This weekend we achieved our target that was worthy of the boat’s name: reaching the first of the Glénan Islands 4 miles off the coast. A guaranteed force 4 south-westerly wind speed and the Genoa jib meant the return journey took 3 hours. The keelboats and motorboats were stunned to see us sail in smoothly (where have you come from?).
Unfortunately there are no photos because it was just a trial.
In August we plan to sail to the heart of the islands 8 miles away which, thanks to Sheep Island, is in line with regulations. We’re not talking coast there; it’s the open sea. Calling all “Gazellists” from South Finistère and further afield, we could do it as a crew. Our launch point couldn’t be easier. The Glénan lagoon in the Gazelle des Sables is truly spectacular.
We sailed to Sheep Island again today. Conditions: regular WSW bft 4 winds, 1m deep, still water and cloudy sky. We chose our start time carefully to make the most of the tide’s currents so the 4.3 miles were covered in 90 minutes and one tack with 3 sails. You have to be properly equipped because it gets choppy in the middle. The waves were sharp and flecked with white caps. Most of the time, the Palourde rose above them. When you hit them on the side, it’s hard to avoid getting splashed without actually broaching.
Yachts were giving us the thumbs up during the trip. There weren’t any small boats, they stayed in the Forest bay.
It’s really easy to reach Sheep Island by beaching to the north of it at low tide. An hour on the island is enough to soak up the scenery and dry out the oilskins. There was just one zodiac whose crew was fascinated to see such a small boat coming from the continent. They weren’t sure of where it had come from, as if it had been built on-site. They said: “well done to whoever designed that”.
When you’re there, after a choppy crossing, you can really feel the ocean. The other islands are still 4 miles away. It’s more a trek than a leisurely trip in the Gazelle – 16 miles in one day, you need good cushions but it’s certainly doable.
Souvenir album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mousterlin/sets/72157646155068660
For safety reasons, 2 people should be on board for the trip. It’s perfect for a crew outing. Come and try it soon!