Category Archive

Castets – en – Dorthe to Fontet

A sleep in this morning and our lazy days of travel have commenced. A change to the dinghy arrangement, a quick ‘house’ clean and we were off. Boats are moored close together here and the stern mooring is placed dead centre. In reverse, our motion rapidly came to a dead stop. Believing the prop had […]

On the Road Again….

An early start and heading towards our first lock and Castets – en – Dorthe.

Bègles to Castets – en – Dorthe

Full moon having been a few days prior, this was the day upon which the tidal stream would be fastest and for the shortest length of time. An early start, rearrangement of the mooring lines to ensure ease of cast off in what was already a strong flow. Pull in the stern line, slowly release […]


One would not want to fall in the river here. This tree branch which thrust itself through the pontoon decking overnight gives one an indication of the river’s power. Marina pylons used along the Gironde are gigantic here, a requirement for the powerful tidal rushes. The marina:   The day was searching for the Navicartes […]

Bordeaux To Bègles (Port Garonne)

A short 5nm motor up river took us to Bègles on this morning. Bordeaux, with its centuries old buildings, viewed from the river was an awe inspiring sight to one visiting for the first time. Excitement for the morning occurred upon entering the marina. At no time had we read or been informed that upon departing […]


[map style=”width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px 0px 20px 0px; border: 1px solid black;” address=”Bordeaux, France” marker=”yes”] The mast was removed and stored upon Gratis early this morning. After a wonderful sojourn up river at speeds of up to 10 knots we arrived on the outskirts of Bordeaux.

Pauillac to Bordeaux, France

  By mid – morning we we upon the river and ‘motoring’ toward Bordeaux. Fifteen months after departing Adelaide and three major ocean crossings later, it was almost with disbelief that we realised we were truly setting out upon the next leg of our adventures: exploring Europe and the Mediterranean. Approximately 5 knots speed of the […]

Mast Removal

After a pleasant day or so, it was go, go, go this particular morning. With the estuary/river tide (mascaret) always flooding or ebbing and low tide leaving mud flats in its wake at Pauillac, it’s imperative that any work be carried out at high tide: the ½ hour of still water between tidal change is […]


  [map style=”width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px 0px 20px 0px; border: 1px solid black;” address=”Pauillac” marker=”yes”]   We go to explore Pauillac today. Mast down tomorrow. Some shots from the marina.      

Gratis is a Motoring

Currently motoring at 6 – 7 knots (a good 2 knots tidal) up the La Gironde Estuary towards Pauillac: sunny, warm, relaxing.

La Rochelle to Pauillac, France

A massive river system that opens into the sea, the Gironde Estuary and River Garonne experience tidal flows of up to 5 knots. The strong currents, in tandem with nearby rocks and sandbars mean that in winds of 20+ knots this becomes a dangerous area and entering/exiting is a no go zone. Entering this waterway […]

Depart La Rochelle

Midnight tonight, we depart for Pouliac just inside the Gironde Estuary.

La Rochelle, France

As towns go, La Rochelle was a holiday destination for the French, it proved quite expensive, so for those people on a budget it was not a long term port of call.  

La Rochelle

After a 12 day sail from Flores, the Azores, we have arrived safely in La Rochelle, France. Click the link below to the page for our travels of 2015.