Where we went and how we got there.

This is our Routes introduction page and from here you will be able to link to three different sections; one that covers our time from the UK into and around the Mediterranean, the second that covers our Atlantic years and finally one that handles our route back to the UK via the French and Belgium rivers and canals.

In 2004 we headed out from our UK base in Fox's Marina, on the river Orwell near Ipswich, and called in at Dover, Portsmouth on our way to Plymouth. In Plymouth we refitted Kiah with many items we believed we needed for our future voyages. Alan's youngest sister and her family live on the outskirts of Plymouth, and it was wonderful to be able to spend some quality time with them. Alan's niece Paula and her husband Mike were kind enough to put us up whenever we felt the need to have a stable bed for the night. Paula also allowed Alan to use her car for the whole time we were in Plymouth, talk about hospitality we will never forget.

Plymouth is a wonderful city and many years ago Doreen and Alan lived in Plymouth for a while, so it was really nice to be back.

Having completed our refit, we headed out for Brest on the Biscay West coast of France. Unfortunately, really bad weather meant we decided to head into Falmouth to await better weather. Whilst in Falmouth Alan's eldest sister, who lives in Penzance, Cornwall, came over to visit us and come aboard to have a good look at Kiah, a lovely day was had by all.

Finally we were able to head out across the Channel and decided to head into Brest. The voyage went fine until we reached Ushant when we found ourselves in thick fog. We rounded Ushant to the West and avoided the shipping lanes coming up from the South but still found enourmous ships passing us by. Thank goodness for Radar and our Chartplotter/GPS.

Our youngest son Neil was on the wheel when we spotted a ship in the fog that had passed us by a very short distance. We were grateful when we came out of the fog and rounded up into the outter harbour of Brest.

The Rade du Brest is an enourmous inland set of bays, leading from the entrance up to Brest itself on the Northern side and into a second very deep bay/estuary of the Riviere du Faou on the right hand side of the Rade.

From Brest we headed down to Camaret-sur-Mer (a beautiful little village), just for an overnight stay. Our voyage then took us through the Raz du Sein (which, if your approach is timed badly, can be a very difficult passage). Luckily, we timed our approach such that it was slack water and we were able to transit the Raz with no problems at all

Once through the Raz we headed into Benodet and actually tied up alongside another IP380 Island Girl. Once again this was a lovely place but nothing like our next port of call which was on the other side of the bay at a place called Concarneau.

Concarneau is a splendid place and Doreen & I fell in love with the town and people very quickly. We ended up spending a week there just enjoying the old town (inside its own castle walls) and the newer part too.

The Mediterranean Years

The discussion above covers much of our voyage out from the UK to Gibraltar. In this section we cover the 4 years we spent sailing on the Algarve coast of Portugal as well as the Westernmost southern coast of Spain, outside the Med. The Med officially starts at a line of longitude which passes down through the Spanish town of Tarifa, just to the West of Gibraltar.

Key places you will find, include The Guadiana River, Cabrera Island and Malta. However, there are many other places which we look at in some detail so enjoy.

The Mediterranean Years

The Atlantic Years

Having made the decision to do 'The Atlantic Circuit', we headed back out into the Atlantic in 2007. This route took us back to a number of places we had stopped on the way into the Med, including a second visit to Alcoutim, up the River Guadiana. We spent some time in the lovely little town of Alvor, checking everything for our first long distance off shore cruise to Madeira. Eventually, we headed out and had a really spectacular sail all the way to Funchal in Madeira. To read and view our Atlantic Years, click on the link below.

The Atlantic Years

French and Belgium Rivers/Canals

Probably the biggest decision we had to make was that of which route we should take when we returned to the UK. The two options were: a. Sailing up the West Portuguese coastline and back across Biscay. b. Heading East to the South coast of France and then taking the rivers and canals up to the North Sea.

French and Belgium Rivers/Canals

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