Villes Martin to La Banche Lighthouse

Tide Coefficient 82 Low Tide St Nazaire 11.00am Destination: La Banche Lighthouse

With winds up to Bf 7 in the days running up to the weekend, it was good to see a ridge of high pressure move into the bay of Biscay, Sunday promised a blue Sky, light winds and calm seas.

The tide times meant we needed something very local, an early start was needed. We put together a plan to visit La Banche, about 10 Nm from Villes Martin

The boats were on the beach at dawn, and we enjoyed a stunning sunrise.

The Previmer swell forecast showed up to .5 meter swell, and was accurate for most of the trip.  As we approached La Banche the sea became shallower and the waves became a little larger but no significant difference to the forecast.

The early morning light on the water was quite magical, everything is tinted with gold. Our route meant we had the tide running with us, but even with our early start we only had the last couple of hours of the ebb.  We set off with a good pace making 7 knots during our first hour even with a low coefficient of 82  (MHWS = 90 )

We paddled on a bearing direct to La Banche, and with lots more time on our return with the flood planned to return via the ‘Grande Charpentier’ lighthouse.We reached La Banche just before the Flood commenced, time for some biscuits and hot blackcurrent.

The current tower was built in 1862 and took three years to complete, and replaced a smaller earlier tower. The foundations of the first tower still remain and can be seen at low tide

We set off on our return trip on a bearing for the Pointe de chemoulin, this course will take us directly to the next lighthouse ‘Le grand charpentier’

As the day progressed, the sea became flatter and the sun quite brilliant, it was hard to believe it was the end of october. Previmer reported a water temperature of 15°C

Both ‘La Banche’ and the ‘Grand Charpentier’ mark the dangerous shoals that lay in the Loire estuary.

After leaving the ‘Grand Charpentier’ we had just a couple of miles left to our journey, another great paddle taking advantage of some end of year sunshine

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