La Nebuleuse, a sustainable way of sailing
La Nebuleuse is one of the rare cruising boats to sail between Ireland, England and Brittany. Its main advantage is its ability to sail comfortably in the sea conditions that prevail in the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. The boat is well maintained and constantly upgraded by Voiles & Traditions.
A fishing boat that has got arout the seas
The boat was equipped for fishing since it was built in 1949 and until 1990, when it was acquired by Cedric Lagrifoul, who has a passion for old ships. This tuna boat was used to catch Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) from Brittany down to the Gulf of Gascon or up to the Sea of Ireland along the migratory routes taken by this fish species. Needless to say, that after having gone through rough times at sea for decades, this Dundee Thonier boat can to take you, in all safety, on a leisure trip to the destination of your choice.
This robust sailboat made of wood has elegant features and stable rigging. With good speed, it is as powerful as the tuna sailboats that used to drag their fishing lines at speeds between 5 and 10 knots. This old ship will provide you with an enjoyable stay at sea without stressing about when you reach your landing point, taking your time to get there; an entirely different way of travelling.
A comfortable old sailing
The boat has ample deck space which is the perfect spot for daydreaming, a wardroom that can accommodate around 15 people, a fully refurbished kitchen with all the modern equipment, comfortable berths for one or two people, two showers, hot water and heating. La Nebuleuse offers excellent comfort for long-distance cruises.
Exceptional sailing opportunities at legendary sites
Hop on board La Nebuleuse for a sailing trap around the wonderful island of Bréhat, raise the anchor to sail towards Ireland or plan an island-hopping trip around Brittany.
Day trips in the archipelago of Bréhat
Day outings are organised for groups up to 28 people. You can also rent the boat for a themed outing. You will encounter a rich biodiversity while sailing among the islets of the archipelago and will be able to observe various species including Northern Gannets, Eurasian oystercatchers, terns, cormorants, dolphins and seals. Moored in one of the various wild inlets that are hidden away in the archipelago, you can enjoy a lunch, dinner or musical evening. In the heart of this remarkable maritime domain, you will sail among the rocks while playing with the tidal currents, a way to discover or understand the usefulness of keeping the forces of nature in mind.
“Granit rose” Coast et Sept-Îles
If you manage to allow yourself some time for travelling, then La Nebuleuse is the ideal choice for a unique and unforgettable sailing experience around Brittany. For example, you may board at night at Lezardrieux, a small inland port a few miles away from the estuary of the Trieux River then, in the early morning, sail down the river along tidal currents, past Loguivy before entering the channel that meanders among the sandbanks and stones. Leaving Bréhat on the starboard side, you will take a bearing on the imposing Heaux lighthouse to determine your position until reaching the high seas. A truly amazing experience. A sailing trip along the pink granite coast towards the renowned Sept Iles bird reserve is a must. There, you will discover a multitude of birds and numerous species: one of the largest populations of Northern Gannets in Europe, which are present in thousands, the Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), the common guillemot (Uria aalge), the common shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), penguins, the Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), shearwaters and seagulls. This is the largest seabird observation site and the oldest nature reserve in France. It is also home to a large colony of grey seals. Since 1993, the French Coastline Conservatory is the owner of the Île aux Moines (Island of the Monks), which is a Natura 2000 site. You will be offered a visit ashore, then will spend the evening and night moored in this exception place.
Sea Iroise, Biosphere Reserve and Marine Park
The following day, you will head off to Batz Island, whose economic activities have remained traditional in many aspects. Organic farming practices are widespread on the island and seaweed is used as fertilizer. You may decide to stop there or continue your sailing expedition towards an essential stopover, Molène Island, in the Iroise Sea. A sea that is evocative of various legendary names that the crew will be mentioning all through the day: Ouessant, the Passage du Four, the Fromveur Channel, the Kereon, Stiff and La Jument lighthouses and the Saint Mathieu Point, amongst others.
The Iroise Sea has been designated as a biosphere reserve by the UNESCO and more recently the first marine nature park in France. It is the theatre of a turbulent encounter between the westernmost land in Europe and the ocean. Due to the strong currents, considerable amounts of water constantly smash on the rugged and jagged geological formations, causing a specific positioning of the thermocline and creating physical conditions which allow the existence of a rich biodiversity.
The land of lighthouses and marine legends
Welcome also to the land of lighthouses. At night, in Ouessant, at the foot of the Creac’h lighthouse, you will alternately spot at least 19 lighthouses flashing or their beacons! The surroundings are well guarded but there’s never too much precaution with the risky navigation conditions at night.
After reaching a comfortable mooring in the lagoon of Molène, you will take a walk around the island. Enjoy the stunning view of the houses clung to the granite slopes a few metres above sea level. You are there at the very heart of the reserve; besides the hundreds of species of migratory and resident birds that are present in the archipelago, you will encounter sea otters, seals and dolphins. After your round-the-island trip, you may stop at the Kastell an Daol restaurant & bar to enjoy the lively atmosphere!
The islands of Molène and Sein, in the heart of the reserve
The day after, it is possible to cross the sea Iroise towards Sein Island, another land of legends and windy storms in the ocean… Located 5 miles from the Pointe du Raz, Sein is surrounded by lights like the old mythical, Armen, Tévennec…
While cruising on the plateau of Molène, there is much chance of crossing the path of bottlenose dolphins, which may come to play with the boat’s stern for a while. The crew will give you ample explanation and introduce you to legends on these sites that hold a wealth of maritime history. In the distance, you will see St Mathieu Point and the ruins of an abbey which was among the richest in the Christian world in its time.
The Glénan: the tropical archipelago of Britain
Depending on your choices or those of Voiles & Traditions, you of breast you will leave Sein Island for other legendary islands and destinations such as the Glénan Archipelago, its white sand beaches, its fleets of dinghies and its emerald waters. The place offers comfortable moorings both during the day and at night. An excellent seafood restaurant which is mainly supplied in lobsters caught by the owners themselves is a good dining option! A fish-tank serves as backup and the restaurant is never out of stock!
The island of Groix, an open air geological museum
The next stop is Groix Island, which once was the home base of La Nebuleuse! At the time, tens of sailboats used to come into the anchorage, yet fish resources were not as threatened as they are nowadays with factory ships whose operation is profitable only if whole shoals are caught without distinction!
Enez Koalen, a traditional local boat
Enez Koalen is a lobster fishing boat and is one of the old ships owned by Voiles & Traditions. It has been designed for lobster fishing in the surroundings of Bréhat and was used to put out and retrieve lobster pots all tide long. This docile boat allows for accurate steering. Built in 1989 at a local shipyard located on the neighbouring Jaudy River, it was bought in 2004 by Voiles & Traditions and restored. The fast boat is easy to sail and comfortable, and it has a low draught. Covered crew’s quarters located in front of the mast can provide shelter in case of bad weather.
The boat is built out of oak wood and its ample ballast ensures safe and comfortable navigation in the English Channel. This type of boat used to sail up to Sein Island for fishing campaigns.
An old sailing ship to discover the Breton islands
Enez Koalen can accommodate up to 13 passengers and its manoeuvrability makes it ideal for sailing among the rocks in the lagoon of the archipelago. It is rigged like a sloop and the rig is one mast with two sails, a jig and a staysail. It has ample sail area and is equipped with an auxiliary engine.
Renting the boat to take part in a local nautical event is a must-try. It is a real chance to be able to take photos or video footage with the boat’s bow in the foreground of the landscape of Brehat. Enez Koalen is the perfect solution to noiselessly glide and encounter the local wildlife at the turn of a rock. You may arrange a visit to Bréhat or even cross the Bay of Paimpol to visit the Abbey of Beauport, which is now managed by the today managed by the French Coastline Conservatory.
The boat is rented with a skipper who will enjoy sharing with you a local story or legend or will teach you to some sailor songs! You can order your meals in advance, be it a sandwich or a gastronomic meal, with unlimited drinks.