Rade de Brest 24.5. - 26.5.

  • Posted on: 29 May 2017
  • By: Eve

Rade de Brest is landlocked sea that is located on the northern coast of the Bay of Biscay. Most sailors on a way across the Bay of Biscay stop in Camaret-sur-Mer on the coast of the Atlantic just in front of Rade de Brest but never enter there as it is a bit out of the way from their route. We were already in Brest and after passing the breakwater we arrived to the waters of Rade de Brest.
Suwena departing from Marina du Château in Brest
Rade de Brest is vast water area with the size of 180 km2. Totally six rivers are empting into Rade de Brast and there are several islands as well. The land provides shelter from the Atlantic swell but of course the 6 metre tide is changing the water two times a day.
Rade de Brest in Brittany
Its waters are also rather deep and therefore there are a lot of French navy vessels. There are also shipyards building both the military ships and submarines.

The military presence can really be seen. As we were departing from Brest a navy ship requiring some room for manoeuvring greeted us and we had to wait for its arrival before passing the breakwater entrance.
Suwena gives way to French navy in Brest harbour
Nowadays this area is also a popular sailing and boating area due to its sheltered waters. In addition the first heatwave of the summer was coming and we wanted to relax after all spring chores onboard. The deal was made and we quickly steered towards the river for forgetting all the chores and just enjoying being aboard.

When we approached the River of L'Aulne we raised the sails continuing upriver. The feeling was in the sky as the temperature was still 26 degrees in the early evening. Water was purling under Suwena's keel and sails were pulling us when we were sailing on close reach quietly. Our departure was a bit delayed and we lost half a favourable tide with current starting working against us about half way. This was not a problem, we could enjoy the evening for longer :-)
Suwena sailing on the river L'Aulne in Brittany
We passed several anchorages and mooring fields. Most of them are drying during the low water. There would have been some anchoring space between drying bays and deep river but our destination was Terenez. Andrus was googling this area in the winter and found a local council decision for building a mooring field of over 50 buoys on the river L'Aulne near the island of Terenez. We were a little excited waiting would there be any buoys or was it still a plan? Suddenly after passing the abbey we could see them. There was space for small boats until 14 meters.
The river L'Aulne in Brittany
Suwena moored next to the island of Terenez in Brittany
Making fast to the buoy was an interesting exercise. There was a thick mooring line and smaller trip line fixed to it with a shackle. The problem was that there was no loop for passing our own line. Also the shackle was almost full from buoy's mooring line. Andrus managed to hold us next to the buoy and I was hanging over side trying to squeeze our line through the crowded shackle. I really wondered, is this real? Next day the local yacht with three brisk young men arrived and after trying several times they gave up and left. Hopefully the installation is not still final or there might not be so many visitors here. On a shore the dinghy dock was complete and there was still some ongoing constructions.

Next to our anchorage was the graveyard of military vessels that have become a sight of somekind. Next day we put dinghy to the water and went exploring around and looking at scenery. The pine trees on the island of Terenez were smelling cosily. Many people had picnics' on the riverbanks and boats were shuttling both up and downriver continuously.
Military ship graveyard on the river L'Aulne in Brittany
Eve exploring the river L'Aulne in Brittany
Military ship graveyard on the river L'Aulne in Brittany
The island of Terenez on the river L'Aulne in Brittany
Restaurant on the river L'Aulne in Brittany
Finally it was also a day for inaugurate our boat barbeque. It has always been too cold or too windy at the anchorage or grilling have been prohibited in harbours. Now it was only the 25th of May and we were barbequing onboard; How good is that!
Andrus barbecuing at the anchorage of Terenez island in Brittany