One offshore extravaganza excursion complete!
Let’s set the mood shall we! The wind was out of the North East blowing 15 – 20 knots. The wind chill brought the air temperature down to about zero degrees overnight. Brrrrr!
Katrina, Nikki and I set off from Lorient in our little minis for a 66 mile overnight training passage. Our epic adventure started from Lorient in the top of the black box on the map. The first leg took us from Lorient, south west to Ile De Groix with our big spinnakers up. The wind picked up to about 20 knots on the west side of Ile De Groix….not the most ideal wind speed to be carrying your biggest kite and needing to gybe over to 70 degrees true wind! On the back side of Ile De Groix there was some decent wind. We saw puffs up to 22 knots. As we bailed out heading downwind to take the spinnakers down, I saw 18.9 knots of boat speed! The next leg took us to the south west corner of Belle Ile and then gave us a left hand turn straight into the wind. We had to tack back and forth across the bottom of the island. Our “no go zone” was the depth. We agreed to tack between 20 and 30 metres of depth. Basically we would tack into the island until we got to 20 metres of depth and then we would tack back out again until we got to 30 metres of depth. That gave us lots of room to tack back and forth, but kept us within a well confined area without having to think too hard about it. At the last turn before heading home, we reconveined. The leg home was also the coldest. We were sailing about 90-95 degrees true, but since we didn’t all have a gennaker to carry, we decided to just go back under genoa. The last leg was also the coldest as there was the least activity to do. At least when we were tacking back and forth, the exercise kept us warm. In the end, we got back to Lorient as the sun came up and we could see the channel make our way in. Everyone learned some good stuff about their boats, and I got to try out my new Musto dry suit! What a great training run!