On Monday 29th May we left L’aber-wrac’t at 10.00am, two hours after high tide. The difference in the landscape is quite something. Where the day before we could see lots of rock when we arrived at low water, you couldn’t see them just after high tide when we left. We took the Grand Chenal which is a safer route at high water. We received a salute from Bob and Gillian, Morning Star, who have decided “to stay another day” (as E17 sung). Yet again we were going to windward (this not going to windward is not happening) but winds are light and we have flat seas so it’s OK, this time.
I realise we’ve now gone some distance as when I refer to the almanac I discover we have completed the “France – North Coast and Channel Islands” section and we are now into the “France – West Coast” section.
As part of our marina booking we got one free ticket to Oceanopolis, which is similar to Seaworld. So we thought we would take advantage of this, it was that or the (another) Maritime Museum. We were moored at the Chateau marina which is in the main part of town, we initially were going to the one a little way up the harbour, the Moulin Blanc marina, but decided it was too far out of the way. Ironic that Oceanopolis was right next to the furthest marina. It was about three miles away too far too walk or should I say hobble so we got the bikes out. This was a breeze, particularly as they are electricly assisted which was a great help on the way back with the wind against us (we even get to go to windward on a bike). We were glad we went it was very interesting albeit there were quite a few school parties who are always excitable.
The pictures below show one fish hanging onto the other’s tail. They are Blue Spotted Bamboo Sharks. After five minutes or so another one came along and flicked the one holding the tail and then hung onto its fin and wouldn’t let go either. This shark tried its upmost to flick both sharks off. The female would just stop for a while then she would have another go at trying to get the other shark off but couldn’t. Intrigued by this we “Googled” it (as you do) and discovered that this is the courtship. The male will hang onto the fin or tail, the female will try to resist but generally after an hour or so will relent and then the male does his stuff.
By the time we got back to the boat Morning Star had arrived. We found a restaurant and had a nice meal. The following day we decided to go up the Alune River to a small anchorage. There was very little wind but the sun was out so we had a slow gentle sail. Again another beautiful river so we were amazed when we turned the corner to the anchorage and saw these three great big war ships.
Thursday 1st June 2017
Breakfast on Morning Star then off to Audierne which is somewhere we’ve visited, albeit briefly, twice before. First time with the Turners (Kev and Sue) and Jessica (daughter for those that don’t know) on Moyistar bringing her home from Spain and the second time with the Linton’s (John and Prim) bringing home Cuffysark from La Rochelle where she was born!
It was another sunny day but no wind to start with so we motor sailed. After a while the wind got up to about 8 knots so out comes the code zero (an enormous sail for close reaching – a technical sailing term). It was lovely and warm so we sat at the front of the boat arriving at about 6.30pm
We passed the Rez de Sein with no fuss, nice and calm which are the best conditions to be going past.
We had just the one night in Audierne before we departed for Luctody which was about 35 miles along the coast arriving early evening. We initially thought we would have just ktwo nights here but a storm with high winds was coming though so thought this was a good sheltered spot to stay so we were port bound for five days. Wednesday 7th June was the first opportunity for us to leave. We had a lovely bike ride around the area before the storm arrived.
Bob and Ian seemed to have a bit of trouble with riding their bikes. We did tell them it would be better to have both wheels on the ground!
Now we picked to stay in Loctudy because we thought it would be nice and safe. From the storm yes, other boats no. On Sunday evening sitting minding our own business and Ian saw a small sailing boat coming towards us the skipper not paying attention and smacked into the back of our boat! Took out some of the gel coat and scrapped along the transom. He was very apologetic and we exchanged details. The following day was bank holiday so nothing happening then. The boatyard “Uship” were really helpful and able to do the repair so we stayed another day so it was done and we didn’t have to worry about finding somewhere else to get it sorted.
We decided to take the bus into Quimper (pronounced Kemper). The day before had been a bank holiday and this affected the bus timetable the following day, which is obviously something you would expect, NOT! So after waiting half an hour and still no bus. Bob popped into the Tourist office who told him that the 11.30 bus wasn’t running that day and the next one wasn’t for another two hours. So we came back later. Quimper is a beautiful old city with a cathedral. Bus travel is cheap here too, 4€ round trip, which was 40 minutes each way.
We finally said goodbye to Loctudy after six nights bound for the River Belon on Thursday lunchtime.
8th June 2017