Ile de Houat to Ile de Dumet
25 September 2013
Stu & Shar
I'll skip the sailing bit again, still no wind. There are a number of small ports along the coast in these parts, but most of them are tidal and have limited visitor space. La Turballe looked a likely prospect so we headed across to have a look. Shar the "shark spotter" saw another shark about 5ft long off our port side, I turned the motor off did a u-turn and coasted back to where Shar spotted it....but just like Jacque Cousteau....it had "returned to the deep".......We entered La Turballe harbour....well shit....it must have shrunk in the dryer.....this was a seriously tight harbour, anything over 30ft was going to have a problem getting in. We did try a berth but finger didn't even reach the mid-cleat and the depth would have us on the bottom on the next low tide....Back out....run away......the alternate today was Ile de Dumet, so we set off the six miles across the bay to find the island. In the northern end of the bay were massive jelly fish, some about a metre in diameter (see photo). We felt a solid bump as we unfortunately shredded one with the keel and prop as we crossed the bay.
On arriving at the Island......we thought what a find this place was.....a jewel in the Rade de Penerf..... It's a small island about the size of 4 rugby pitches....which under declaration of the local "Maire" (Mayor) head of the "Commune" for this area, along with a whole list of articles, rules and regulations, appears to have been aside as a sanctuary for the local wildlife. It has an old fort which has been preserved quite well...wild oysters "huitres" that are big, fat and juicy....birds of several different species.....to our surprise, once the day trippers had left, we shared this with one other lone sailor. Sitting there watching the sun go with a cold G&T in hand was bliss.
The old fort on Ile Dumet built in 1756....is still well preserved..It was used as the lighthouse keepers cottage from 1953 until 1986. In 1953 a couple (Fleury de Valois ) moved on a lighthouse keepers. They spent the next thirty-three years without electricity, with little freshwater, mail every fortnight (when the weather permitted) and a twice daily radio link, back to the mainland. They eventually left the island by helicopter in 1986 as a very elderly couple....they both passed away three years later.