Most of my paddles on the Golfe are circular routes making use of the high or low tide to take a short break. During the summer months with long periods of high pressure its not too difficult to find a day where a circular route works, but winter with fast changes of weather often means that planning can only happen a day or two before the proposed trip. So after a massive storm out in the Atlantic a very narrow window appeared where the wind would drop, the rain would break and a promise of some winter sunshine.
Thats a pretty good forecast for the end of November
Here’s the tides for the 30November, High Tide at Vannes 12:30 midday, travel that morning excluded a circular route, so a one way was settled launching from Sené. The last figure is the coefficient of the tide, which describes the state of the Range of Tide
( The coefficient ranges from 20 to 120 with 45 = Mean Neap rate & 95 = Mean Spring rate).
After parking up the shuttle, we returned to Sené and launched from the Slipway at the end of rue Eric Tabarly, it can get really busy here in the summer, but no issue in the winter. A small beach next to the slipway makes it easy to get loaded
The sky was a little grey, but patches of blue look promising
Just a couple of minutes after launching and suddenly the cloud parted revealing a blue sky and a rainbow appeared, the green boat in the centre is the same one in the pre-launch photo. This rapid change in conditions was going to be the routine for the day
A bout of cramp in my foot saw me leaping out of the kayak to adjust the footrest, at which point we had entered the golf and rounding the Eastern shore of the Island Boëdic.
There are just a few buildings on Boëdic, but they are rather grand, the island is privately owned so landing should have permission
after rounding Boëdic we set out across the North eastern stretch of the Golfe headed for Île aux Moines. There we were going grab a bite to eat and a coffee. The wind had increased slightly and against the tide just raising the surface water, the sun was out sky blue
The dark mass just above the red bow is the small island of Drenec, our route was to takes us to the left of this island to the more distant Île aux Moines. Its still a blue sky with sunshine from the left
about 500 meters short of Drenec and very quickly the sky darkened, a squall was heading straight for us, wind had increased to the top end of BF4 and the rain was heavy and thick.
There was a point where we thought it may pass us by on the right, but it completely covered us.
It was very dramatic with a very clear line of the front and a fine display of a double Rainbow. Now the wind was driving the rain straight at us so we headed direct on to Drenic to wait it out in the lee of the island. But as quickly as it had approached after 10 minutes it had blown over.
Landing at the harbour on Île aux Moines is not so straight forward, the large bay at the top of the island empties on the ebb through the harbour, it runs out at about 4 knots across the end of the slipway. its quite clear in the photo the fast stream flowing out
We overstayed on the break, and chose to continue the trip down the West side of Île aux Moines, at the narrows round top of the island opposite Aradon I was making 9 Kph without paddling.
It was really important here to keep quite close in to the island, and avoid getting swept along with the tide. The red GPS trace ends at our destination, had we allowed ourselves to stay in the deeper fast running water we would have been swept past our destination resulting in a very difficult 1 kilometer paddle searching out the eddies. along the southern coast
Reaching the Southern tip of Île aux Moines is the crux of this journey, the crossing from the island to Pointe St Nicolas is a little over 400 meters, but the current runs fast with a race just off St Nicolas Pointe. so a large ferry glide is the order of the day with a determined sprint across the race to finish, afterwards its a very easy paddle across the bay to Bilouris slipway