Race fleets hogging marinas

Three times on our cruise to southern Brittany we were turfed out of marinas and harbours because of race fleets: at Torquay Marina, where we arrived just before dawn, we were ejected as soon as staff arrived because the marina was fully booked for a Figaro single-handed race; at Port Tudy, on the Ile de Groix, we were turned away for the another race fleet; and at L’Aber Wrac’h we were refused a second day when we  wanted to stay, because a 120 strong race fleet was arriving that afternoon, which was going to more than fill the marina. Each of these fleets were closing a succession of ports, day by day over anything up to a week. With L’Aber Wrac’h in particular, there isn’t anywhere convenient near, and tired arrivals that day from Falmouth or Dartmouth must have been furious, since it is the standard stopover when heading to the Chenal du Four.

It would be great to find a way of broadcasting the information about closures more widely: maybe something for Reeds Almanac or the Cruising Association to pursue?

Useless marina internet

Marina internet is a waste of time. It’s fun doing a live blog of a cruise, but it was so difficult to get web access on our 900 mile round trip to the Morbihan this summer that I failed to file anything en route, and will do a single post later.

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How we got marina wi-fi in Vannes, but nowhere near the boat. (The jacket shelters the tablet from the rain).

Every single marina over 4 weeks advertised wi-fi, and only one actually delivered it in practice at a decent speed, with the rest either intermittent and unworkably slow, available only a few yards from the marina office, or simply not showing up on my tablet’s wi-fi source list. Some marinas openly confessed to technical problems, others were incredulous at our inability to log on. At most marinas, it was a cheek to advertise wi-fi at all. Maybe sailing magazines should be taking this on as a campaign.

There were cafes and restaurants, of course, but we went to drink and eat not write in a corner. I’ve also filed posts in the past from my phone using 3G, but we seem to have consistently chosen places where the 3G signal was poor, so that didn’t solve the problem either.