These are the voyages of the sailing vessel Pétillant. Her original eight-month mission: to sail from Baltimore to France via Florida and the Bahamas, to successfully navigate the shoals of the French douane, to boldly go where few Maine Coon cats have gone before was completed in 2008. Now she is berthed in Port Medoc and sails costal Spain, France, and the UK during the summer months.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Return Trip

We’re Back!

Sorry for the delay in posting this – we were without internet connectivity for 5 days, and then so busy unloading the boat and doing house maintenance that I was not able to put it all together.
We are now back home, and Petillant is back in her berth in Port Medoc, after a great sail down from Milford Haven.  After 4 months of heavy seas, adverse winds, and rain, we got a great weather window and rode it south.

La Rentree

We left Milford Haven at 0600 on August 31, with the sun coming up brightly, and the tide behind us.   The conditions were quite good, with the wind from the WNW at about 12 kts.  Once we turned the corner in MH to the south, we hoisted the sails, and off we went. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lion Sighting in Milford Haven

We stayed in Kilmore Quay for 4 days, waiting for bad weather to blow thru.  It blew and it rained, and there was one sunny day, and one cloudy day.  We took a day trip up to Wexford and walked around a very nice town that seems to have retained its down-town shopping area quite well.  It would certainly be a destination for sailors if the entrance had not silted up, and made it extremely difficult to enter. The bus service was decent, and there was a Dunne’s in town that we used for a moderate shopping trip.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Heading South


We left Ardglass on the 14th, heading south.  It was clear that Tuesday would be the only day that would be even possibly passable to head to Dublin, so we went for it.  The boat that we had been rafted to,in Ardglass, was supposed to leave at 3AM, to make a tide window into Peel on the Isle of Man, but they decided to stay in port, so we left first.  The trip was not too bad – Force 4-5, occasionally 6, with the seas starting out light, but eventually turning moderate.  The wind was on the nose, so we motored the whole way, but did some motor-sailing at times to take advantage of some slight variations in wind direction.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Strangford Lough and Ardglass

We are now in Ardglass, Northern Ireland.  We spent Friday sailing placidly out of Bangor, down the coast of NI, and up into Strangford Lough, where we stopped at the Killyleagh Yacht Club. 

The trip started quite well, with the installation of the autopilot and the seatrial tests and adjustments.  Raymarine and DHL came thru with a delivery of the unit as expected. They found the burnt resistor and repaired it, at the nominal cost of only about €500(!), but when you have had to hand steer for long periods of time, cost is (essentially) no object.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


We left Troon on Aug 6, at 6AM, to try to catch the tide out the Firth of Clyde and then south to Bangor.  This was generally pretty successful, although the weather threatened all the way across the North Channel.  We managed to sail for about 8 hours out of the 10 hour crossing, on a close reach all the way, at 6.5-8 kts.  The current in the North Channel was as predicted, and we saw LOTS of ferries.

We will be here for at least three nights.  Phil and Joan are already in Dublin, and are having fund down there before they come up on Wednesday.  Also, the autopilot has been fixed, and should be shipped tommorrow.  If they did as we asked, it should be here on Wed, as well.  No more hand-steering!  Yeahhh!

Kitties are having fun exploring the pier - we are at the furthermost point in the Marina, but there are a fair number of power-boats here with stern platforms that can be sniffed.  And LOTS of very interesting gull droppings...


We left Oban on August 27 and headed up to Dunstaffnage, where we participated in the Jeanneau Scotland Rendevous.  This was a gathering of Jeanneau boats, and it was quite well attended, considering the location.  We had a great time talking to other Jeanneau owners,  dealers, and factory reps about our boats.  The food at the Wide-Mouthed Frog restaurant was quite good, as well.  We also won a  step-bumper during the quiz-night!