A Slot in the Rocks October 2008
A slot in the rocks
Clive Williams ( Talisman ) describes “.....the most beautiful harbour in France.”
Ster Wenn looking North from the shallow end with Talisman and Myrica anchored to the left of the picture.
he most beautiful harbour in France.” Well that’s a good start, we’ve all been to some pretty good harbours in France but you may have passed this one by. Where is it? You will find it in Brittany near Port Ster Vraz on Belle Ile. No wiser? Dust off the chart and with the aid of a straight edge or passing gas bill scribe off N 47 22’ W 003 13’ there you’ve found it – not much there is there? If it were up to me I would downgrade it from a “harbour” to more of a slot in the rocks but I go along with the most beautiful bit having visited it more than once. Read on…. I am indebted to The West Coast Pilot and also The North Brittany Pilot for providing all the information necessary to stay at Ster Wenn, however when they say “it is a narrow cleft in the rocks … over popularised…
and by boat it has no appeal” or “the entrance is a death trap in bad weather or heavy swell…. It is a lobster pot, easy to get into but impossible to get out of.” Your initial glow of enthusiasm to follow me in will have rapidly turned into a cold sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. Well thank you pilot books – I now face an uphill task.. Williams first principal of pilot books says that in order to allow for the innocent novice sailor they have to paint the blackest picture from time to time and I believe this is one where in common with everywhere else we sail we do sensible things bearing in mind the conditions. So let me tell you what you will find once you are past the entrance at Pointe Dangereuse, oh shucks, do they have to keep doing that – is there anyone still reading?
At the NW tip of Belle Ile, clear Pointe des Poulains outside the N and W cardinal marks which guard the off lying rocks, don’t be tempted to cut the corner. Once clear of the WCM make a track of 136 true (SE) which goes to Stęr Vras 1.5 mls ahead and passes between the two cliff headlands named Pte Verticale and Pte Dangereuse. Enter the 400m wide 900 m long Stęr Vras inlet directly ahead taking care to stay clear of the rocks to port. Ster Wenn itself will not be seen until directly opposite the entrance when it will open up to starboard to reveal the 50m wide and 500m long anchorage.
Ster Wenn is a perfectly sheltered anchorage except in strong onshore winds but is smooth in all winds u