Judy and I travelled to France on Brittany Ferries "Bretagne", departing from Portsmouth at 20:30hrs on Friday 17 April and arriving in St Malo at 08:15 next morning. We had the usual enjoyable meal on the ferry and caught a few ZZZ's for the rest of the night. It was then only a couple of hours easy drive to Port de Foleux via Rennes and Redon. The car was well loaded down with gear; genoa (which had been valeted), life raft (serviced), life jackets, paint, tools, bedding, new sun awning and so on.
We removed the boat covers and found "TB" in good condition, even after a hard winter. Jean Francois from the yard told us that the temperature had reached -10degC during the winter.
The work list included:- Anti-fouling Re-painting the hull Rigging an inner forestay Fitting electronics Cleaning the cabin and bilges.
We stayed in La Roche Bernard at our usual B&B run by Dani and Ricky who made us very welcome. Sunday was a bit of a disaster. We had parked our car in the middle of La Roche Bernard and on Sunday there was a huge car boot sale going on all around it. When I tried to open the car, the bloody car alarm would not stop. Very embarrassing!!! Eventually, I had to drive the car away with the alarm sounding continuously and park it in a less populated car park down by the marina. I still couldn't get the alarm to stop. Port de Foleux is about 10km from La Roche Bernard; so we didn't do any work on the boat on Sunday. On Monday, we dumped the car (alarm still sounding) with a motor engineer who eventually disabled the alarm at a cost of 180Euros. But at least we could drive the bloody thing without disturbing everybody within a 500 metre radius.
Ricky from the B&B kindly drove us to Foleux and picked us up in the evening. Next morning Ricky again drove me to the boat while Judy sorted out the car.
Fortunately, the weather was warm and sunny (for the time of the year) and we managed to get all the work done in spite of losing a day.
"TB" was lifted into the water on Thursday afternoon.
Judy "volunteered" to go up the mast in the bosun's chair to attach the inner forestay and feed through an additional halyard. She admitted to being a bit apprehensive but of course she could not resist the challenge. I think her biggest fear was that I would "expire" while winching her up. I will confess to raising a bit of a sweat!
We had planned to go down the Villaine to the marina in La Roche Bernard on Friday afternoon but the very helpful lady in the Capitaineire at Port de Foleux advised us that La Roche Bernard was full as there was a classic boat regatta going on there over the weekend. So we left "TB" in Foleux and drove down to La Roche Bernard in the evening for a meal at our favourite restaurant there, the La Corunna. We have been going there for 5 or 6 years and this was the first time that we were the only customers. Usually it is very popular. Madame Caroline, the young co-owner, told us that they were finding it very difficult. Definitely an indication of the effect of the current economic crises.
On Saturday, we entertained Sylvia and Frank plus their two children. Sylvia worked for us as an Au Pair about twenty years ago and she and Judy have kept in touch. They live about an hour and a half away to the south near the Loire River. After they left, we moored fore and aft to a couple of buoys belonging to Port de Foleux
Next day, we left "TM" at 05:30hrs before daylight on a misty damp morning and returned home via the Roscoff-Plymouth ferry. Judy and Sofie prepared a meal Sunday evening in Ben's honour. He was off to Cambridge Massachusetts on Monday for two years on a research project at the MIT