One of my favourite Brittany ports - a straightforward run from Peter Port, with the Roches Douvres a good half way mark. Entrance into the River de Tréguier is well marked, although it needs some care over the pilotage. Definitely not to be attempted in the dark, unless you have great faith in your chartplotter!
The town itself is very attractive, although it is a steep walk up from the marina. There is a large supermarket a little further on, but again something of a walk. Across the bridge is a very interesting chandlers/store.
The area does look interesting on the chart, but all the major hazards are well marked.
If you're coming down from Guernsey, you come fairly close to Roches Douvres and Barnouic, although both are very well marked. The Roches Douvres lighthouse is a good half way marker. Beware of cross tides, however.
Les Heaux lighthouse (Oc (3) WRG 12s) is visible a long way off. If approaching from the north, this needs to be left well to port.
From the west, you need to find Basse Crublent (Fl (2) R 6s). Follow the entry channel from there.
Coming round from Lézardrieux, there is a short cut known as the Moisie. You need to study the chart carefully for this one!
There are several ways into the river: which you pick depends on where you're coming from and how good you think your pilotage is! They are all well marked, however.
All the leading lines converge on a small green bouy, and then you turn to La Corne. From there, follow the bouys up the river, but be aware that the channel is not always obvious. It is, however, well marked.
La Corne itself is obvious enough:
The channel is not always obvious and straighforward, but it is well buoyed, and you need to keep a sharp eye on the chart and in front of you. There are unpredictable twists and turns.
Soon the spire of the church becomes visible:
Then you come round the final corner to the marina. There is a waiting pontoon here, as you can see, and it might be a good idea to use it if the tide is running fast.
Note the starboard hand buoy on the final approach:
Berthing can be interesting! The tide flows extremely fast, particularly on the outer berths. Do NOT try to berth downtide unless you are very very confident in your boat handling. It is also a bad idea to venture down between the pontoons with a strong tide. One of the sangs is that the strength of the tide will vary as you go further in.
There seem to be some new pontoons on the nearest arm as you appreoach, and if you are very lucky, you might be met by someoone form the harbour master's office who can take a line. As to the others: the usual caveats about French pontoons apply!
Loos and showers in the capitainerie. Tokens available at the bar.
The town is up a short but steep hill. There is an attractive square dominated by the church, and it all feels relatively unspoiled. There are patisseries in the market square, but the supermarket is some way away.
There is a large but rather unusual chandlers on the other side of the river across the bridge which sells all sorts of oddments.
Boulogne has a long breakwater to protect the harbour entrance from the west. To reach the visitors moorings, you go down to the main harbour entrance and keep to port since the outer harbour is shallow at dries at low water. There is a white painted mark on the wall which indicates where it is safe to trun and head for the hearbour entrance. You need to head for this mark on the way out. There is a lot of fishing boat activity which you need to keep an eye on. Once through the entrance you keep going until you reach what seems to be a bridge, and the yacht club is on the starboard side. You then find a suitable berth.
The surroundings are not very salubrious. At low water, the place becomes rather smelly. Fishing boats are rafted out on the other side of the river, and their comings and goings add to the noise and disturbance. There is also a lot of traffic on the surrounding roads. As you can see from the photographs, the architecture is mainly post war concrete, and the streets around are rather characterless.
However, the old town, which is a short walk up the hill, is a good deal more interesting and worthwhile.
There is an excellent supermarket in a small covered mall in a few hundred yards away.
There is a major industrial harbour to the west of Dunkirk, and there is a good deal of commercial traffic, with a well defined and well buoyed channel which runs parallel to the coast. This section of coast is heavily industrialised, with steel plants and nuclear power stations.
You have to be cautious when approaching from the east since there are many off lying sandbanks, but the channels are well buoyed. Keep to the marked channels!
To find the yacht clubs, you need to keep to port as you go up the channel. The most convenient yacht club is on the starboard side close to the bridge which stops you going any further. Visitors usually tie up on the outside pontoon.
Dunkirk suffered heavily during both wars, and again is somewhat concrete. The High Street with its tower is quite attractive. It is, however, something of a walk from the yacht club to the town centre.