At last we felt we had to leave the tranquil life in this river. It's fascinating how fast one changes one's mindset. After just a couple of days in a new place, when you've figured out where to shop etc, you start to feel SO comfortable there. Then after a few days more you start to question your ability to ever get going again and leave...
I call that adaptability, the # 1 human asset to succeed as a species. It is also callled, in this particular context among sailors, - 'Harbour Rot'-.
The intersting thing is that, at least for us, just a few days after starting to question our ability and willingness to ever leave, the decision to do so, just pops up by itself. A couple hours later, we are ready to take off, t least mentally.
We had planned to leave Arzal at 8AM when the bridge opens and the tide turns toward ebb. When the alarm on my cellpjhone played it's weird little tune at 6.30 it was still dark.... and very dense fog. So dense in fact that we couldn't see the shore some 35 meters away. After a quick breakfast we took a little nap again to aim for the 9AM opening.
By 8.15, the fog had lifted just about enough for us to 'feel 'our way at idle speed from bouy to bouy and from pontoon to pontoon via the marina to the lock. We were a number of boats leaving in these conditons, among them around twenty catamaarans the same size as Hobie Cat, with an inflatable towing them in a long row to a race somewhere. Dead calm. The forecast was force 2-3 so we motored along, waiting for the wind to sweep the fog away.
It did after a couple of hours, and we just about made steerage with the spinnaker for about an hour, when the wind died out completely again. Sunny and warm and yes, we ended up motoring most of the 28 miles to the pretty little island of Houat (the Duck) with its smaller companion, 'Hoédic' (The Duckling) a few miles to SE.
We anvchored here among some 150 other boats opposite to the town and a marvellous sandy beach.
Tomorrow we'll go on to Belle Isle (The beautiful Island) some 11 miles to W and the outpost from where we hope to cross the Bay of Biscay within a few days.
A Perfect Morning - and then to the Beautiful Island
Cloudy in teh morning and no wind (!) so we rowed to shore, armed with a screw driver and plastic bags. Why? To 'hunt' wild oysters and Berniques (no idea what they are called in English or even in swedish, but there's a photo of them in the gallery) on the rocks at low tide. This went well. Within half an hour I had a good dozen of oysters and couple of pounds of berniques in tha bags. OF course we bought a fresh baguette at the local baker in the little town on our way back and enjoyed this for lunch on board
By then it was 2PM and wind had picked up, obviously from where we were going, so we had to motor again to Belle Isle. Our batteries are well topped up by now. We anchored in a bay a mile and a half south of 'Le Palais' , the main harbour (fishing harbour) and one of few towns on the island. The anchorage was very uncomfortable due to the swell that came from an angle of 90 degees to the wind, making all 9 boats roll quite badly.
August 15 means Holiday here. A sort of Harvesting Holiday I reckon.
This also means that this little village is launching a great Feast - Fest Noz - in the language of Brittany.
All day long, hot and sunny, everything perfect. Some ancient Breton sports and games, traditional food (and cider) good old Breton music and dance, a great firework at 10.30 PM and more...
In short a great night. We both slept like babies til 11AM this morning...
We went inland for a day, to the Creperie of Isabelle's cousin.
Again, good food and wine, beautiful sceneries and a good time with nice people.
Uploaded some new pictures again
After a few wonderful days with Isabelle's famly we are now back in the river, on the boat. We've got some smaller projects to do on the boat, and then we will make another liitle trip inland to Isabelle's cousin who runs a creperie at one of the many canals crossing Bretagne.
More to follow, I've just uploaded a some new footage to the Gallery.
After the looong day we had yesterday, we slept like logs this morning. In fact, I woke up to an impressive thunderstorm, only to be more than happy to turn over to the other side and go back to sleep.
The heavy rain that followed the thunder, last until 2PM. Isabelle, by now very eager to see her parents, wanted to do so asap, To not lose more time than necessary, we moved 3,5 miles up river to the town of La Roche-Bernard, where we took a mooring in the marina. Isabelle called her parents, who will drive here from Nantes tomorrow to see the boat. Then we will go with them to Nantes for a few days