Arrival to Santa Maria

The first boats of a fleet of 4 Pogo arrived in the Azores. Back in early July.

  • Boomerang (Pogo 36);
  • Léthé (Pogo 30);
  • L’Aventure (Pogo 10.50);
  • X-Ray (Pogo 30)



A new NKE training this year?

A NKE training was organized on March 25th in Lorient.

On this occasion we tested two innovations:

– Carrying out the session on board a Pogo (afloat at the pontoon)

– Involving directly the NKE company, to comit his autopilots’

The assessment made by the four members, who have registered, is very positive and we will redo this training once having enough requests.

We are aware of the need to find a solution for those who are too far from Brittany to go there. We are trying for example to convince NKE to sell its training material or, what would be better, to make a video recording.

Xavier, thanks for lending your boat

First meeting in Loctudy

The first Pogo meeting of the year took place on 29 and 30 April in Loctudy (near Structures shipyard).

It gathered 12 boats: 1 Pogo 44, 1 Pogo 12.50, 2 Pogo 36, 5 Pogo 30 and 3 Pogo 8.50.

Sailors met on Friday around a langoustine aperitif 😋.

The next day the wind picked up in the early afternoon and we have tacked some of the numerous buoys of this rocky area.

In the evening, after two aperitifs and a good meal, everyone slept well.

On Sunday we had a litlle bit stronger wind for a long and hard-fought spinnaker run to Les Glénan, in the magnificent anchorage of La Pie.

Like VIPs we were brought ashore by our friends of SNSM (french lifeboat institution) to have lunch together on the beach.

The way back close hauled was as pleasant and even faster.

Loctudy 2023 Pogo Gathering

The AIP in partnership with APLOC and AUPPL is organising the first Pogo meeting in Loctudy open to all boats.

Sailing together on this magnificent stretch of water in the Bigouden region and opening our cockpits to local sailors to get to know each other on land and on the water around our passion boat.

Registration is open to all skippers who wish to participate. Overnight stays are offered to Pogo.

This convivial meeting will start on Friday 28/04/2023 with the reception of the participants at the port around an aperitif.

Saturday morning: departure from our meeting at 10 a.m., the route to be defined according to the weather conditions.

Back on land for the prize-giving ceremony and the crews’ meal at the Mahi Mahi, ideally placed on the port. The menu (starter-main course-dessert, without wine) is 27€. Don’t forget to book your meals

Sunday: raid around the Glénan and picnic on one of the magnificent islands of the archipelago.

Sunday evening at the Glénan for those who want or possibility of returning to Loctudy.

Gathering and meal

Déjà inscrits :

Dominique (Ar Valafenn)Pogo 8.50
Francois (PrimAvel)Pogo 8.50
Christophe (Indigo)Pogo 30
Christian (Mobikissi)Pogo 36
Xavier (Moana)Pogo 30
Randall (Firefly)Pogo 36
Xavier (X-Ray)Pogo 30
Chris (Akouavi)Pogo 12.50
Francis (Braveo)Pogo 10.50
Jean-Yves (Caramba)Pogo 30
Pascal (Vesper) Pogo 30
Antoine (Java)Pogo 44 from the shipyard
Jean-Yves (Jean Baptiste)Pogo 8.50


2023 Wheater4D trainings


We are setting up a Weather 4D training course in Saint Nazaire with Francis Fustier.

We propose the following dates (a bit late):

Update March 2, 2023

January 14, 2023 PMClaude Nos

Xavier Poncet

February 25, 2023 all day longBruno Bessec

Henri Mosnier

Patrick Avalle

March 25, 2023 PM
April 1, 2023 PM

The price: 75€ per person for an afternoon (3 hours) for two.

There are still 4 places available.

To register, contact Xavier.

The AIP office


2023 NKE trainings


We are setting up a training course on the use of the NKE control unit, with a particular focus on the settings of the automatic pilot, conducted by NKE in Lorient (Port de Kernevel).

Update: we propose the following date:

25 March 2023 a.m., 0 remaining places (out of 4).

Price : 75€ per person (after AIP contribution for 25%).

Four people per half day.

The training will take place on board the Pogo 30 of a Board member (afloat at the pontoon).

Possibility of having lunch together in the immediate vicinity to extend the time of exchange between trainees.

The AIP office

Kind regards




La Sénane 2023

The Association “Voiles en Cap Sizun” proposes a regatta on 27 May 2023, around the island of Sein. There will be a ranking and even a special Pogo prize!

More information will be available soon.


Sénane 2023

Sénane 2023

Scotland 2022

Our spring cruise Pogo, like every year, held a few surprises for us! After Spain and Portugal last year, we chose to take an alternate route this year and head north. Our goal was, depending on the weather, to sail as fast as possible to Scotland towards Oban and Tobermory and visit the beautiful Hebrides. The rest was wonderful … but somewhat different!

  • Participants: Bruno B. 36 BOOMERANG 2 de saint Malo, Thierry G. 8,50 SO WHAT! Saint Marie de Ré, Claude N. 12.50 VENULLUS de Port la forêt, Henri M. 30 LéTHé de la Trinité and Xavier P. 30 X-RAY de kernevel
  • The project was as usual; to get together a group of Pogos  not in a regatta, a rally and even less a cruise. At each stop we gathered in a festive, even very festive atmosphere, for a navigation debrief and weather analysis of the days to come and to define the objectives. We gave each other advice and each skipper chose his own route according to his software. Very informative.  From that we noticed that some, although old (lol,) are real geeks and master an impressive number of very practical apps on their phones. Isn’t that right, Bruno?

Leaving Lorient on May 14, the first objective was to stop in Lesconil after a very short day sailing. This gave us the opportunity to reconsider what was essential to ensure security for a long cruise  especially as some skippers were sailing solo: autonomy in water, fuel, means of satellite communication, medicine etc. It turned out to be a great adventure for many of us!! Those who entrusted winter maintenance to third parties had many problems.

The weather was favorable to pass the raz and stop in Ouessant before heading to the Scilly isles. The rule never to moor in Lampaul with a NW to SW wind , was respected. However, after passing the Vieille without incident, the wind dropped and Thierry’s engine, perfectly overhauled in La Rochelle, began to smoke… We then agreed to leave it to be carried by the current, back to the bay of Douarnenez for repairs. Sailing North in the Irish Sea without a motor is, to say the least, unthinkable. Thierry, with his usual optimism said: “don’t worry, I’ll join you in Scotland”. Oops, the voyage had started badly and a terrible doubt invaded us…but we were wrong: with an 8.50 everything is possible, everything is achievable.

  • Departure from Lampaul on the 16th at 1.30 p.m. in duo with Venullus and his proud crew, route to the Scilly .165 nautical miles. Fortunately, we found two free moorings which suited us perfectly as there was a gale warning of force 8 to 10 announced for the evening… We met Anne and Bruno B. who joined us from Saint Malo and we celebrated this with our first fish and chips! The 36 is a superb boat and its crew were on the job: Scotland is ours!
  • On the 19th the sea was still choppy but we had SW wind. We took advantage of this and left at 4 p.m. from Ste Mary to pass west of the rail in broad daylight, we made good progress under gennaker towards Dunmore where we arrived around noon. 145 nautical miles, a great cruise. The still favorable weather pushed us to Greystones after 97 nautical miles and then to Northern Ireland at Ardglass the next day. Hauling down  your spinnaker correctly when you are solo is a difficult manoeuvre and it came down too quickly for my taste (hence the discreet shower). Sailing solo turns out to be a profession!
  • On the 22nd we were in Scotland in Campbeltown .YES. Very nice stopover. We found a very good restaurant just in front of the pontoon. Perfect. Food, laundry and rest.
  • Two days later we reached Carradale and Tarbert via Loch Ranza, our first sail down a loch. It was beautiful, we were under the spell despite having to take 2 reefs in the mainsail.
  • May 25 we went from Tarbert to Largs by going around the island of Bute. We left with 2 reefs in the mainsail. When we arrived to the North of this island we discovered the katabatic winds. These winds come down from the mountains and don’t announce themselves…43 knots! Fortunately, it was downwind. An Englishman who wanted to race with X-RAY under genoa alone had a few problems : broaching, boat lying down, and a catastrophic hauling down of sails. Bruno contacted me by VHF: He was of course in front (!) and had begun to descend. We wisely agreed to haul down our sails and advance with our motors as the situation had become very difficult and dangerous.
  • Road to the Crinan canal. We arrived in Ardrishaig around noon but on a Sunday and that’s not a good idea at all. At 3 p.m. we passed our first lock and then… that was it. We were stuck until the next day. Unfortunately, the midgees, tiny but hungry Scottish mosquitoes, were there to greet us! Fifteen locks later we arrived at Port Crinan to head south of Jura to Lowlandman’s Bay. Alone. Wonderful. The passage of this channel was certainly an interesting experience but we will not do it again. When soloing, never leave your two mooring lines cleated for a moment during lockage: some lock keepers are in a great hurry…
  • May 31st. Arrived at Port Ellen in Islay (pronounce: aïla). Great moment. We unknowingly arrived on the first day of the Islay week: Every day of the week a famous distillery takes turns to open its doors for an open bar. Unforgettable moments where, for example, French crews, whose names we will keep silent, returned to the pontoons in great shape and participated in a giant karaoke for the great pleasure of our Scottish friends who were not the last to party. After two days our livers becoming fatty, and by mutual agreement we left for Loch Tarbert in Jura. You have to eliminate.
  • We passed  the sound of Islay between Islay and Jura. Entering Bunnahabhain Bay in front of a distillery (one more) but poorly sheltered. We finally slept opposite. The next day we went to Craobh. Big discovery: we had seen on our maps a lot of acronyms like wavelets. It turned out to be a danger=current signal. Yes, but strong, even very strong. The passage between Elean Mor Island and Jura is likely to be an unforgettable memory if you do not do it perfectly at the slack. It may be fine but… It turns out to be Corryvrekan Chasm with some awesome potholes. 3rd biggest maelstrom in the world. Videos of all madmen taking helmeted passengers in RIBs around the edges of whirlpools are spectacular. And some pay to do it…
  • If you see your speed is 11.7n in calm weather: you’re there! Thereafter we were very vigilant when we saw these acronyms and the tide times. They are indicated in many places.
  •  June 3 from Craobh to Puilladibraihn. It was magical. We spent the night at anchor and had a long walk among the herds, through a field with a hundred not very shy rabbits right next to a pub in this very small village. The atmosphere was amazing.  Sailing back to civilization towards Oban we passed by the very small loch Ellean Dubh. A tight entrance but afterwards, it was simply magnificent. There were a few sailboats at anchor and we had another very nice trip, first in the dinghy, surrounded by seals, then on land. It was just sumptuous and so calm.
  • June 6 we sailed towards Staffa. We had a nice visit of the Abbey of Saint Colomba d’Iona . We truly appreciated the calm view facing the sea. These basalt columns of Staffa are certainly impressive. However,  there is infinitely more beautiful a handful of miles opposite. If you pass by Dutchman’s Cap your breath will be taken away: greeted by hordes of little penguins you will have to launch your dinghy, and then climb up the rock face to have the rare pleasure of approaching (if you are very very gentle) within ten meters some little puffins, just as Bruno did. Certainly a very magical moment!
  • June 7 from Gometra Loch to Tobermory. The pretty postcards of this small port with very colorful houses turned out to be accurate. It was a very pleasant stopover that we recommend. And all the more so since the marina of Oban, essential for transfers to airports, is only authorized for a maximum of two days… Hence a retreat to the marina opposite kerura and there, although sheltered, the sea is choppy.  Once again a pleasant surprise awaited us: Henri M. was on the pontoon to greet us. Owner of a Pogo30 called Lethe and based in Trinity, he was cruising with his crew in Scotland. Initially he was not very keen on becoming a member of our association but after a few drops of a typical Scottish beverage and no doubt in the euphoria he decided to become a member of the AIP! Henri joined us on the trip back to France. As for Thierry G. on his 8.50, that we had left in Douarnenez with major mechanical problems, we received an unexpected email one afternoon: “I’m coming!!!!” We thought it was a joke but after his improbable arrival solo at the pontoons, our reunion at the bar of the yacht club was Homeric… Hats off to Thierry.
  • We had planned to stop in Oban and come back to France for 48 hours via Glasgow and then return to visit the Hebrides Islands with a new stop in Tobermory. Emmanuel our excellent webmaster had fed us a dream … But that was before…
  • After a visit to Glasgow, which was a little disappointing after our magnificent weeks close to nature, we had to face the facts: the conditions were rotten. Bruno and Anne had had to stay opposite Tobermorry in Loch Aline for eight days in the rain and wind. In short a catastrophy.
  • A first gust of wind, then a second. Council of war: the weather forecasts were terrible for the next few days. Heading north to the Hebrides was unthinkable. There were few or no marinas for shelter. It was certainly very beautiful but not in gale force winds.  We agreed therefore to go south protecting ourselves between the islands and the mainland. My 16-year-old grandson made me very happy by joining me for the thousand mile journey back home and was decorated by Anne with a golden puffin!
  • In general, in the Irish Sea the prevailing wind comes from the SW then it turns to the NW, that’s in the books. We had four successive depressions and no change to allow us to sail downwind. From Oban we descended to Tarber loch in Jura continuing to pay attention to the dangerous tidal streams then we moored at Gigha Island before joining Ratlin in Northern Ireland.
  • By June 17 nothing was getting any better. We stopped at the port of Glenarm then Carryfergus to the NW of Belfast. We then sailed through loch Stangford and Carlingford. Between the depressions there was no wind . We arrived in Dublin at Dun Loaghaire. There we received an unfriendly  welcome by the harbor master’s office: coming from the N we should have announced ourselves on the VHF which we didn’t know…. Afterwards we sailed to Arklow then Kilmore, which is a very nice little port although a little crowded! Here we heard our fourth gale warning. All the very big southern Irish trawlers remained blocked by three or four at the quay for four days like us! Outside it was hell!
  • June 29 A small good weather opportunity opened up for us. Bruno and Anne considered joining the south of England with their Pogo36. The two 30s headed for the Scilly isles. The arrival in England proved difficult. As for us, we reached the Scilly isles around 11 p.m. after 141 nautical miles.
  • On July 3, the two Pogo 30’s  arrived in Sainte Marine after a stopover in Ouessant. Bruno and Anne on their Pogo36 travelled a bit in the South of England before joining Saint Malo. Claude N. with his Pogo12.50 also cruised in the south of England before joining the first Pogo rally in Barneville Carteret. As for Thierry G. and his Pogo8.50, everything went well for him; having family in Oban, he took the opportunity to have a well-deserved stop before a much calmer return than we had.

Adventure is adventure. This spring 2022 we headed north. Next May it will be due south! See you soon, if you feel like it…


Orca Iberica

POGO 10.50 Boulegan (ex Dranga)

Hervé, after acquiring my Pogo 10.50, undertook to take it, from Douarnenez, to the Mediterranean. He met the orcas on his way out of La Coruña. He tells us here his adventure, thanks to him. The report he made will certainly be of interest to those who will take this route…

Finally on vacation, I finally took possession of the boat, bought at the end of May, and which had been waiting for me in Port Rhu for 2 months, under the benevolent supervision of Emmanuel, her former owner.

Arrived on August 6th in Douarnenez, I took ten days to fit the boat, to do all the usual checks before a long trip to Marseille. Of course the situation with the killer whales never ceases to bother me, but putting the boat on a truck to reach the Mediterranean seems to me a shame and an absurdity.

So I decided to refuel in Galicia, then to go far offshore to reach Gibraltar avoiding the 150/200 miles zone where the orcas are rampant. Too bad for the Atlantic cruise part, but the risks are too high.

My crew (my wife, my sister and her friend) arrived on August 10th, and a weather window appeared for the 16th. We left Port Rhu on the 15th, and set sail on the 16th, with a mild Breton weather.

10 knots of wind upwind, ideal to get acquainted with the boat. We passed the Raz de Sein with 20 knots of NW and 4 knots of current. Rain and fog for the atmosphere, the Marseilles native that I am doesn’t have much to do. Barely time to get used to it, we are already in the middle of the Bay of Biscay, on the beam under solent/1 reef at more than 10 knots average. Then the wind weakens and gradually refuses, until we are forced to motor, then to sail upwind in the calm. We arrived at the anchorage in Ares on the 19th, after a nice spinnaker tack.

In a phone call with Emmanuel, I realized that the killer whales could go up to Galicia, whereas I thought they were further south. So I decided to go to Camariñas to fill up the tank and to leave for the open sea.


On August 20th, around 8:00 PM, 5 miles NW of Laxe (43°17’N, 009°03’W), SW, while we were sailing under engine, with no wind and a long W swell of 5m, we heard on the VHF a sailboat reporting to the MRCC Finisterre that there was an “interaction” with killer whales. This boat is 2 miles ahead of us…

At this moment, all my dreams, hardly realized, suddenly seem to crumble. We put all our strategic stuff in a waterproof grab bag. The raft and the life jackets are ready. I wait, I watch, I know they will come. And of course, 15 minutes later, I see them coming, 2 young people, 5 to 6 m long. I take the measures dictated by the authorities: stop the engine and leave the helm free in the axis, pilot on standby. I reported the situation to the MRCC Finisterre.

This will last until midnight: 4 successive “interactions”.

The first one lasted about 45 minutes. They went straight to the rudders, calmly and resolutely; they breathed very close to the hull, sometimes moving away by about ten meters, then coming back. The boat is spinning, doing 360s in all directions… They’re having fun. I think the starboard rudder is broken very quickly.

Other boats passing by distracted them for a few minutes, during which we thought we were saved, but they came back to us every time.

The second one starts to be worrying: the broken starboard rudder does not interest them. They nibbled away at the port rudder well above the bottom of the fuse: you could hear the crunch of their teeth in the epoxy foam, the bits floating around behind. That’s when they start banging into the hull, I think to try to catch a little more. The shocks are violent, the hood of the rear trunk, not locked, jumps. Sinister cracks are heard louder and louder. The mast is shaken: I am afraid to dismast, I shield the backstay. I cry for the boat: what a pain!

My wife joined us in La Coruña. The atmosphere on the breakdowns is like a killer whale, between those who come back broken and those who don’t dare to leave the harbor anymore… Information taken, we leave again the next day for the marina of Sada, which seems to be better equipped, with all the conveniences at a few minutes walk. Very good welcome: the boat was taken out 2 days later.

Assessment: starboard rudder broken and twisted, port rudder eaten and twisted. The 2 bottom bearings (needle bearings) are broken, the structure of the rear trunk is broken/delaminated.

The Pogo shipyard being closed for the year, and my insurance showing no sign of making any progress in Spain, I quickly realize that the boat will never be repaired in time to arrive in Marseille before the end of September. Moreover, I cannot imagine going back to the orcas once the boat is repaired… Failure and disillusionment; I decide, ashamed of myself, to send it to Marseille by truck …. (which I should have done from Douarnenez)


The damages


For those who are still tempted, here are my conclusions.

What to do:

  1. Before :

    • The probability of being attacked is very high: when they are in a zone, they visit all the boats in the zone.
    • Before leaving to sail in the area from Tarifa to Ferrol, check with your insurance company. Considering the price that these little beasts must cost them, it would not be surprising if some exclusions started to appear in our contracts.
    • You can never get enough information: the situation is much more serious than I had imagined before. Beyond the internet (GTOA), and Facebook (orca attack reporting), the MRCC Finisterre has been very available and patient. It’s a good idea to call them before arriving in the area to know the position of the current or recent “interactions”.
  2. During:

After reading a leaflet for tourists coming to the area to observe cetaceans, I realized that the instructions given by the authorities were exactly the same for humans approaching cetaceans, and the opposite, as in the case of “interactions”. I deduced that these instructions have for sole purpose to protect marine mammals, and not at all the boats.

So, what seems to help:

    • Going astern seems to bother them: as they can’t eat the rudders by swimming backwards, they have to expose themselves to the propeller to follow the rudders. But for this to work, the sea must allow it, and a boat with a single rudder and a wheel.
    • Some people use transponders, but I don’t know how effective they are.
    • I’ve talked to some boats that have found big bangers that work underwater.
    • There is also the solution of sailing in shallow waters (20m and less) which seems to work well, but the coast is difficult to navigate, especially when sailing. And then you have to get in and out of this area. Boats leaving the Mediterranean for the West Indies follow the Moroccan coastline until Cape Espartel before diving towards the SW: they prefer fishermen without lights, floating nets and coastguards to orcas!
    • In any case, if I had to do it again, I would get much more information, I would not stop, and I would be equipped with deterrents.

And now …

I put the word “interaction” in quotation marks because that is the vocabulary used by the authorities. And I quite agree that the orcas’ attitude is not aggressive: they are only interested in the rudders. Neither the rest of the boat, nor the people on board. In our case they took their time: 2 times 45 minutes and 2 times 15 minutes. For the catamaran Black Pearl on October 03 south of Tarifa in the DST, the “interaction” lasted 2 minutes: the 2 wicks, and it was “folded”.

To me it looks more like a behavioral disorder, a habit, than a game: they looked more like work than play. But for us humans and boaters, it’s hard not to use the word “attack”. Why sailboats? Because they are slow, they have small propellers and large rudders made of crisp materials, a shape that resembles that of their fellow creatures, but above all because the people on board do not defend themselves, quite the contrary. The ideal target!

These animals are very powerful, intelligent, communicate very well between different groups, and know how to adapt. Their food is scarce. In Galicia they eat dolphins and whales, they have decimated the white shark population of the Cape of Good Hope. It is now the same thing in New Zealand. What would happen if one day one of them tasted a human, by mistake, and found it not bad? He would immediately go and tell his friends…

The authorities, supported and advised by marine mammal protection organizations, must really find a solution to protect boaters. Only those who have not experienced them find these “interactions” sympathetic. The rest of us will make sure that it never happens again. Protecting boaters is protecting orcas.

Hervé (Boulegan)



A windy 2022 gathering

After four years of dearth, finally some wind!

While the previous years were marked by weak or no wind, this edition finally allowed our boats to express all their power. With a well established wind of 20 to 30 knots, the Pogo’s glided without stopping to complete a course of more than thirty miles which led them from Douarnenez to the opening of the Brest Narrows and back. Thirty miles of sliding and good mood.

Thirteen boats were present: the 44 of the Shipyard, two 12.50, two 36, one 10.50, one 30 and five 8.50, as well as Diego, the Bongo 9.60 of the Winches Club.

Warmly welcomed by the Winches Club of Treboul, the party continued in the evening, crowned by a magnificent presentation of gifts collected by Monique and Christian Bouroullec from their suppliers. The crews were overwhelmed by all these gifts.

All the participants promised to meet again next year for this friendly moment.