Finally! After months of working both on the boat and aside, Aukena is back in the water and ready to set sail.
Destination: Ireland, the Scilly Island, South Brittany, we don’t really know, but it’s so much better this way!
Nantes > Port Navalo > Noirmoutier > Belle-Île > England > Ireland > Scilly Islands > Ushant
July 13th – Port Navalo
First stop: Port Navalo, at the gates of the Morbihan Bay. An important day, for Antoine’s dad Franck has bravely decided to join us! Except that instead of a nice smooth sailing, we end up fighting current, wind and waves for 10 hours. Promised, next time the weather will be good and we’ll fish something… Once we are safely moored, Antoine’s family can finally come aboard and see the boat.
July 16th – Noirmoutier
A few days later, we cross to Noirmoutier with Eliane, a trip down memory lane since we did the exact same thing a year before with our first boat. This time the sun is shining and the spinnaker is out, we surf the waves at 7 knots speed: Per-fec-tion!
July 23rd – Newlyn
It is past time we really set sail. After an unplanned night in Belle-île, we head for Baltimore, Ireland, but the weather is definitely not with us… 6-meter waves ahead and a lot of wind, we change course and land in Cornwall, in the cute town of Newlyn – Penzance.
The weather is as expected, wind and rain and beer and sometimes a bit of sun!
July 29th – Kinsale
Ireland here we come, but not easily. 36 hours of sailing upwind with still a lot of waves, Aukena is really not made for this! We finally anchor in Oysterhaven, a desert river east of Kinsale. It’s super quiet, we love it.
Kinsale is not only a really cute town, it is one of the top gastronomic destinations of the country. We take a bus to spend 2 days in Dublin, where we pick up Marine who is about to stay 10 days with us. Just enough time to take a quick look at the Guinness Store House, and a longer look at many pubs in town!
August 4th – Barloge
Back in Kinsale, we set sail to Barloge Creek. It is a gorgeous place! At the far end of the bay, we cross some rapids on the dinghy, then end up on a lake with an island in the middle, and enjoy incredible sights from the nearby hills.
August 6th – Cape Clear
After a very short and not very memorable stop in Baltimore – we only saw the pub because of the heavy rain -, we set sail to our last, but not least, stop: Cape Clear Island.
It is the most beautiful place we’ve seen so far on this trip. The small island is lined with impressive cliffs, we can see the Fastnet Lighthouse on the west, and can even say hi to the maxi-multihulls that are racing the Rolex Race!
August 9th – Scilly Islands
Our Irish trip is sadly over, we head back to France with a last visit to the Scilly Islands. We’ve heard so much about this place that we really don’t know what to expect… They say there are palmtrees? And the temperature is significantly warmer..?
But we are not there yet, and as much as we enjoyed observing the Rolex Race from Cap Clear, it is a lot less fun from the boat… Facing 400 boats that go 3 time our speed does not mean a peaceful night! It feels a bit like going the wrong way on the highway!
The Scilly Islands are truly beautiful, with their white sand and crystal blue waters… If it weren’t for the 15ºC, we would think it is St Marteen! A bit too touristy for us though.
August 12th – Ushant
Family time is not to be messed with in the Haettel tradition, so we basically had to be in Ushant on August 15th. After a rough entrance – 6-knot current, 1,3 meters of crossed swell and no wind – we tie the boat to what may be one of the last few free buoys of France. The mooring is fine the first few days, but then the wind and swell turned west and we had to sleep ashore.
August 23rd – This is the end…
The holidays are over, we head back to Nantes… With a nice last sunset at the Glénan Islands after a slight misunderstanding of the map that got us to stand on the bottom for a few minutes!