26 July 2016
The sight of so many so different craft is extraordinary. Ashore we go on tall ships and wonder at the gigantic rigs; we speculate as to the original purpose of the local reconstructions of working, mainly fishing boats. We imagine the harbour in the 1880s when it was full of 800 sardine boats, and consider what going to The Grand Banks for 6 months at a time to fish for cod must have been like. Standing in a barrel lashed to the side of the goelette, handling a line with 100 hooks, and hauling it in in the freezing cold. Or taking the dory out in fog to do the same thing, and often not being able to find the mother ship and dying of thirst in a boat loaded to the gunwales with fish. Or being left there over winter to guard the shed, with the guts of thousands of fish rotting putrid at the water's edge.
We sail out into the harbour, and watch the raising of the gaff mizzen on a tall ship. Twelve young persons hauling on each halyard, and each pull raising the gaff a matter of inches. On the mainmast of another, with 6 yards, 3 men sitting on the top yard, hundreds of feet above the deck, and they're swaying from side to side in calm waters. We try and imagine doing that in an Atlantic gale. Form plus function equals beauty. But some of the yachts were clearly designed with beauty at their heart.
Amokura was here, but we missed seeing her. We hang out with Auk, our friend from many previous Brittany festivals.
My companions are keen to leave to visit the other lovely towns on this coast, so we decide to leave tomorrow. We must catch the beginning of the flood up the Chenal du Four, and the spring tide will swoosh us all the way round Portsall to L'Aberwrac'h.