Îles de Glénan 30.5. - 1.6.
The Isles of Glenan, one of our most sought after destinations this summer, was next after Camaret. Glénan is a place for settled weather because its anchorages are rather unsheltered in strong winds and high seas. We had eagerly waited for windless weather window for visiting Glénan and staying there for at least a couple of nights.
The lack of wind meant we had a motoring day when we weretravelling 50 something nautical miles from Camaret-sur-Mer to south. This was fine for us as it promised lovely time in the archipelago.
We timed our departure so that we'd have a favourable tidal current in the next strait that is famous for strong currents. So did several other yachts as well. No wonder, as at best we had six knots of current with us and Raz de Sein almost flied us and the flotilla of other boats to South-Brittany.
Îles de Glénan consists of nine islands in addition to several islets and rocks. There are several anchorages and a mooring field between the islands. We wanted just to relax at anchor.
The five entrances to the isles of Glénan are shallow and it's best to arrive above the half-tide. Also the water between the islands is quite shallow. Mostly the depth is from below two metres to half a metre. In addition there are large areas that dry completely on low water and are suitable for anchoring catamarans and other yachts that can take the bottom.
Our draft is 1.9 m and we calculated carefully what is the absolute minimum depth for us at present tide for not causing an embarrassing scene.
We calculated that at minimum we need 2.5 metres of water, as there is always some swell at sea. From our 2.5 m minimum we subtracted the lowest low tide of the next few days that was the 1.3 m. After this we added the current tide level from the chartplotter. The tide was at +2.4 m. All together we were ready to drop the hook as soon as we were happy with the location and there was at least 3.6 m of water on our depth sounder. Finally we anchored in 3.9 metres on the north-east side of Île Cigogne island and Suwena for sure had some water below her keel during the low water.
On the Glénan islands everything have something to do with the sea. There is a diving centre on the Saint-Nicholas island as Glénan is famous for its clear waters. There is one of the most famous sailing schools of France on the island of Penfred. Centre Nautique des Glénans (CNG) was founded in 1947 and it is one of the first and the biggest sailing schools in Europe.
Bananec, the sister island of Saint-Nicholas can be reached on foot only during the low water when the sand tombolo between the islands is revealed for a few hours. When we arrived there by the dinghy for wading before the water retreats we found that the others had the same plans as well. The dinghies arrived from yachts together by tourists from vedettes on a daytrip from the continent.
From Île du Loc'h we found an amazing sandy beach. The sand was so fine and the emerald green waters were as crystal clear. It was the 1st of June and it was also a time to have a first swim of the year in a 19-degree water. Now the summer has really started.