Pootles on La Gioconda

Summer Travels Start Here

03 July 2014 | Dartmouth
Well here we are nearly ready for our summer wanderings. We've had the trip to the French Alps (Les Ecrins), a motorcycle trip to Snowdonia and now its back to all things watery! We have a couple more days work to do on the boat. Lots of work was done on the engines over the winter, new mountings a new sump and timing cover for the port engine...... ol' devil corrosion had been doing its stuff caused by a leaking water pump..... nothing like hot salty water...... now I've just got to clean them up and the delightful bilge cleanup. Oh and we've got to hank on the sails. How come I alway seem to be spending more time and money on the engines that the sails......IT'S A SAILING BOAT.... yea tell that to the boat maintenance gods!

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So it's a few more days in Dartmouth, funny but we don't spend much time here and it really is a fabulous place...... Can't wait to get moving though.


22 December 2013 | CARDIFF

Home and End of Summer Adventure

10 September 2013 | Cardiff
Dave surprisingly warmish
A week ago today we were ten miles of the coast of Devon and Dartmouth. A spectacular sunset and calm seas........ more than can be said for the first few hours of the passage from St. Peter Port. Heading north with a tide under you through the Little Russel one expects overfalls.... you don't expect them to last for the next six hours!!! Oh Neptune what did we do to upset you. I mean we made offerings of apple cores and plum stones..... were they somehow misinterpreted? But it was fun and the rest of the voyage was less disturbed.

AND now we are home and that's good..... except for the leaking garage roof, four month's worth of mail and paper work, flat bike battery and little men with blow-pipes in the impenetrable jungle that passes as a garden............... Now how about an winter trip somewhere!!!

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Well It’s Been a Blast…. Now Nearly Past!

31 August 2013
A failed panarama shot leaving St. Malo. Shouldn't have worked but it did.

Here we are in St. Peter Port, Guernsey a quiet two days before what looks to be a gentle channel crossing on Monday and that will be the end of this year's Pootles on La Gioconda.

The last week has been taken up with fairly non-stop passage making, through the canals and rivers of Brittany (PS they take a lot of beating). It has all been thoroughly enjoyable. Renewing acquaintances with places and people that we know and enjoy. Beautiful countryside, wonderful Dinan and delightful evening with Jill's brother and Juliana. Then St. Malo, St. Servan and the Sea. Here in St. Peter Port there are still a lot of holiday makers. Not the same "fin des vacances" feeling as there was in post rentree France. Most boaties have departed for home berths and moorings, days are drawing in, sea mists are appearing night and morning and however settled the weather today the dreaded equinoxial storms are a non too-distant threat. Better get home quickly!
Now we are poised for the final passage, home, friends and treasured activities......

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A Summer of Bikes…..

27 August 2013 | Dinan
The French do cycling in a big way and that's ignoring the Tour de France. Everywhere we have been this summer there have been bikes. Old, young, lycra covered gofast, bikes with trailers for kids or camping or builders gear.
The islands..... Ile de Ré, Ile Noirmoutier, Ile d'Oléron are cyclist havens. Every lampost street sign or other vertical street fitting surrounded by bikes whilst the owners shop, imbibe of the refreshments offered by cafes and restaurants or just sightsee. By English standards quite extraordinary.
There is a cycle path that links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean running the length of the Gironde, Garonne and Canal du Midi.... Skaters note... it is tarmac and skateable. We have seen celebrations of bikes in Agen(knitted bike décor), Betton(astounding display)and various other places. The bike display at one lock was because the Tour de France had passed only several kilometres away!

The French do B&B in a big way....... Bikes and Boats that is.

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‘Ere We are… ‘Ere We are …’Ere We are…. AGAIN…….

24 August 2013 | St. Medard
Near freezing (19 degrees)Dave.
The photo says it all. We are “power motoring” our way through Brittany but thoroughly enjoying it. Universal decision ( well Jill didn’t agree but I used chairman’s casting vote ) …. that we prefer the Brittany waterways to the more southerly ones. Tomorrow the 11 lock ladder at Hédé then Dinan on Monday and hopefully the mast back up!!

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Vessel Name: La Gioconda
Vessel Make/Model: Heavenly Twins 8m catamaran
Hailing Port: Darthaven Marina, Dartmouth, Devon
Crew: Dave and Jill Conroy
About: Action man and Adventure woman. In other words retired couple with nothing better to do. We enjoy walking, visiting historic towns and sites, bird watching and in between a bit of sailing.
Extra: This blog is to allow friends and relatives to follow our journeys over the next couple of years.
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La Gioconda's Photos -

Who: Dave and Jill Conroy
Port: Darthaven Marina, Dartmouth, Devon