Very close to Roscoff is the river of Morlaix which leads up to the town of Morlaix.
Morlaix is quite a large town with an imposing large bridge over the middle of it.
The route to the town by sea is interesting, passing some small islands and then proceeding up an estuary to a lock gate. You then enter the shelter of Morlaix marina.
The lock is only operated 3 times on a high tide, at 1.5 hours before high water, at high water and 1 hour after high water. We aimed for the high water lock. It meant the tide would be rising on the way up the river – always useful if you get stuck and we would have a bit of following tide. We would also ensure the tide is at its highest, especially useful as the tides were neaping.
The trip up the river is very interesting and scenic. Once you have passed through the initial groups of rocks, the passage is well marked with the red and green buoys. Sometimes you have to go between boats so watch for the buoys and watch your speed. On a 67% coefficient tide, we always had around 4m under the boat except for right at the end.
At the lock, they let the boats going down the river through first. You can tie up to a wall on the starboard side in waiting and there are chains you can attach your ropes to.
In the lock, there are good ropes to tie or hold onto. The harbour master operated the locks and then helps you moor. He speaks very good English and was very helpful.
As you enter the marina, there are a number of pontoons. Some of the pontoons are the other side of a footbridge which crosses the marina. These tend to be for smaller boats which remain in the marina and the footbridge is only opened when the lock is open and boats need to pass through. Visiting boats will be on the lock side of the footbridge. Do ask the harbourmaster where he would like you to go while you are waiting for the lock gate.
The marina is close to the town and well located. The town is quite big and has lots of interesting buildings and good places to eat.
But the Town and the marina are probably not at their best. There is a lot of graffiti around the town and shops and houses that are boarded up.
The harbour staff could not have been more helpful and the marina is fine, but the facilities are very dated. The men and ladies toilets are in the same room and the urinals behind a saloon type door in the same area. Some of the loo seats were missing and the facilities were not well maintained or looked after. Disappointing.
The marina office did post opening times on the last day, but apart from that seemed to open with the tides so it was difficult to get a WiFi code and pay.
In English – http://www.plaisancebaiedemorlaix.com/en/port-of-morlaix/introduction-to-the-port-of-morlaix
There are some very good restaurants and creperies. Some are closed on Sundays and/or Mondays so check first. There are some interesting walks and views. You can walk across the lower level of the train viaduct which is a bit of a climb but provides excellent views
David Cranch says “A useful break before the long slog to L’Aberwrac’h. You can anchor, or pick up a buoy, at Pen Lann, or anchor below Dourduff – mind the oyster beds – within dinghy distance of a restaurant.Or go 5 miles further up river and through the lock into Morlaix marina. Brilliant choice of restaurants of several nationalities.
Don’t miss the local real ales: black, brown and blond. The Brasserie des Deux Rivieres sells its quaffable products under the name Coreff. You can buy it in a bottle but draught is recommended. A good source is the cafe at the far end of the square with Duchess Anne’s house in it. A lively place.”
According to our map, some rental car offices are located in Morlaix.
Windfinder – www.windfinder.com/forecast/morlaix
Restaurant – www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g608763-…