We were originally planning to take delivery of Wings in May of 2020, but Covid got in the way and things got complicated. The boat was then scheduled for completion in the fall but we decided to wait for delivery until spring of this year. The guys at Boreal then decided to stop work on her and she was eventually launched in March, 2021. By then it was impossible for us to get to France until June when the borders reopened for travel and we finally arrived in Treguier to meet Wings. She was at the dock and was beautiful.
She was a work of art and we had all the artists sign their work.
We spent the first week or so unpacking and putting away all the supplies and equipment we had originally sent over and went through a rapid and brief orientation to the boat and her systems. I installed the SSB radio, and a few other pieces of electrical and electronic equipment. As a part of doing that and running cables through the boat, We discovered several items that were not done or not done correctly and began a several months long process of trying to get the boat right and all systems up to the invoice. Unfortunately, there were other boats there with the same idea and the team at Boreal was stretched thin by the circumstances of the times and it seemed to take forever to get anything done.
Our original plan was to leave for Norway as soon as the boat was commissioned, but getting such a late start scuttled those plans and then a plan to go to England and Scotland, got waylayed by the boat problems and the Covid issues. England was requiring a 7-10 day quarantine and our plans to winter the boat there changed due to the high cost and lack of available space. So we decided to spend our time in France, winter the boat there and try again next year.
We did manage to get a good deal of sailing in and spent several weeks exploring the coast of Brittany, getting used to the extreme tides, learning about drying out the boat (these boats are designed to take the ground and to be able to rest on the beach). The coast is full of granite rocks and islands and, while a bit intimidating at first, make all sorts of small harbors and anchorages which are delightful to visit. We had a great time learning the secrets of our new lady in terms of sailing and were able to make her go fast in heavy air and light zephyrs. She stands tall when going to windward in a breeze and keeps the crew comfortable. With her big red Furlstrum (a light air head sail by Elvestrom sails, our sailmaker), she can move well in the lightest air.
As we were getting used to the boat and learning her excentricities, we were enjoying Treguier and her people.
The food and local produce was amazing. I'm not sure if it's the soil or climate or some combination, but everything tastes sweet and remarlable.
It's also a center for seafood and we enjoyed that as well. This is called a Plateau de Fruits de Mer.
We started with some daysails out of Treguier, and then did a few overnight sails and finally a 3 week coastal cruise of Brittany.
Some of the highlights were, Bugeles, a port which at high tide is full of water and floating boats,
, but at low tide the water goes away and leaves a giant beach.
This is the same boat in one of the previous pictures.
We took a walk around the countryside.
Here's Wings in the distance.
Morlaix is a community further west. They built this fort, Le Chateau du Taureau in the 16th century to protect against English marauders.
The French name all their aids to navigation.
It's a very picturesque village.
Even though it is summer, the weather is cool
but it didn't stop the locals from enjoying the water.
Paimpol is a busy harbor and the anchorage is expansive when the tide is high
but when the tide leaves miles of qyster farms are exposed and the workers come out to tend their crops.
The approach to the marina dries at low tide,
but the marina stays full because they close the locks.
Ile du Brehat is a vacation island we showed you before with wonderful trails to follow and discover.
Port Blanc is a delightful spot and made even better by the sailing school there. We had so much fun watching the kids in everything from Opti prams to hydrofoil wing boards and Moth class boats seeming to almost start flying.
Another favorite drying out spot was Ile de Er, right at the mouth of the Treguier River.
It was a summer filled with discovery and celebration. We saw the tour de France come through Treguier, and celebrated Bastille Day,
and had a great time.
Now Wings is ashore and put to bed for the winter and we have promises that al the work wil be done when we return in the spring. We have made the long trip back to the US and are safe and sound, and now are getting ready for another road trip out west, so stay tuned for reports on that. I am going to be changing the URL for the blog to sailblogs.com/member/svwings after this post so make a note for future reference.