A Caruña, Spain

October 13, 2018

A Coruna is a busy town in the autonomous community Galicia in Northwest Spain. Sailors love A Coruna as it is the logic start or end point for ships crossing the Bay of Biscay. Well sheltered in Ria Coruna, the two major marinas, Real Club Nautico and Marina Coruna, can be entered at any tide or weather. The approach is straight-forward and easy, also at night. In fall fog may make an approach difficult, though. We stayed at Marina Coruna, the first marina coming in from the sea. It has plenty of visitor berths (floating pontoon fingers) for all size of boats and provides great amenities. We paid around 170 EUR for one week in September with our 12 m boat. That included water, electricity and showers. The marina is protected by wavebreakers but occasionally you will feel some swell from big ships entering or leaving the huge industrial port. The town has two visible landmarks: The modern port control tower and the ancient Tower of Hercules. The 55m high Tower of Hercules overlooking the Northern Atlantic coast of Spain was built in the 2nd century and has been in use as a lighthouse ever since. This makes it the oldest Roman light house in use today. The second highest lighthouse of Spain is a National Monument of Spain and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another distinct building is the San Anton Castle. Its construction began in 1587 and - not even finished - it played a major role defending the city’s walls in Sir Francis Drake’s assault in 1589. This was also the time when Maria Pita took her killed husband’s spear and successfully lead the defense of Coruna with the famous battle cry “Those with honor, follow me!”

Camaret sur Mer - Brittany, France

September 21, 2018

The sweet fishing town Camaret sur Mer is situated in the very Northwest of France, at the Avant-Goulet de Brest in beautiful and wild Brittany. Coming from sea by sailboat, its two marinas are a great alternative to the marinas in the city of Brest. They provide great shelter, and Port Vauban is accessible at any tide. It is a great starting point for crossing the Bay of Biscay. Camaret’s exposed location at the end of Crozon Peninsula has been of great military relevance for many centuries to defend the Goulet de Brest, the entrance to France largest naval base. So you will find remains of fortifications, batteries and bomb craters from a range of eras.

St.-Valéry-en-Caux, France

September 8, 2018

One of the hidden gems along the English Channel is the little town Saint-Valery-en-Caux, embedded between the impressive white cliffs on the channel’s South-Eastern coast. But before you can enter this beautiful place from the sea, careful navigation is mandatory. The pre-harbor falls dry 3 m and harbor entry is only possible HW +/- 2 hrs. Passing a draw bridge and a massive sea gate you will find a most charming marina right in the city center. Situated in Northern France, 32 kms from Dieppe, St. Valery en Caux sure is a highlight on the Normandy Alabaster Coast. Charming alleys, traditional (seafood) restaurants and historic buildings gives you a great taste of small-town Normandy. Memorials remember of the time when this part of the world was less peaceful but also of the achievements of the great French pilot pioneer Dieudonné Costes flying non-stop from Paris to New York in 1930.