Tonic 2023

Vessel Name: Tonic
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau Oceanis 411
Hailing Port: Brixham
Crew: John and Barbara Sumner
18 May 2024 | Ile d'Houat
17 May 2024 | Port Haliguen
16 May 2024 | Port Louis
15 May 2024 | Port Louis
14 May 2024 | Port Louis
13 May 2024 | Port Louis
12 May 2024 | Port Louis
11 May 2024 | Ste Evette via Ile de Sein
10 May 2024 | Roscoff to L'Aberwrach
09 May 2024 | English Channel
08 May 2024 | Salcombe
21 July 2023 | English Channel
20 July 2023 | Roscoff
19 July 2023 | Roscoff
18 July 2023 | Camaret
17 July 2023 | Lesconil
16 July 2023 | Golfe du Morbihan
15 July 2023 | Vannes
14 July 2023 | Vannes
13 July 2023 | Vannes
Recent Blog Posts
18 May 2024 | Ile d'Houat

A beautiful island

There is rain forecast over the mainland but the weather looks better out to sea so we decided to head over to Houat, after a quick trip on foot to the supermarket which is 15 mins walk away. There was no wind so it was a motor but a fair bit of swell when we reached the SW side of the island. Our usual secluded anchorage to the west of Beg Salus seemed very rolly so we went into the big anchorage on the other side, along with several other boats. Had a bit of trouble getting the anchor to dig in but eventually had success. It was still quite rolly but not unbearably so. Spent the afternoon relaxing. We had the odd light shower interspersed with hot sunshine. A beautiful deep red sunset. 10 miles in 2 hours.

17 May 2024 | Port Haliguen

Into Quiberon Bay

Time to move on today. Unfortunately just as we were getting ready to leave John's brother rang to say that his wife had passed away suddenly. A big shock. We set off for Port Haliguen at 10am but there was very little wind, mostly on the nose, so we weren't able to sail much of it, and it started to rain at one point, but by the time we reached Port Haliguen it was hot and sunny. We were able to get a finger berth in the marina which was good as we don't want to go into the new visitors' area as there is a cill which will restrict when we would be able to leave. We went in search of an ice cream. There was none to be had in the marina complex but just beyond is the Café du Midi where we had delicious ice creams in the sunshine. 25 miles in 5 hours. The photograph is one I took yesterday from the Citadel of Pen Duick III, a 17.5m boat built in 1967 by and for Eric Tabarly, a famous French yachtsman.

16 May 2024 | Port Louis

A visit to the Citadel

We decided to visit the Citadel and bought the tickets online where they were €9 each instead of €10. It was a really interesting visit, although we had been once several years ago there was a lot that was new - part of it is a museum of the lifeboats and the other part is a museum of the French East India Company which was established in Lorient at the beginning of the 17th century. There were some fascinating pieces of porcelain which had been brought over from China and also some which had been lost in shipwrecks and recently recovered after centuries on the seabed. Thankfully the rain stayed off till we got back to the boat. Then an Austrian couple from a boat called Jappaloupe came on board for drinks. They explore a different section of the coast of Europe each summer and then leave the boat somewhere for the winter (Vannes last winter). She brought a gift of a very pretty little bunch of wildflowers and a bar of chocolate. Their English is very good and we had a very interesting chat.

15 May 2024 | Port Louis

An interesting bus ride.

We went into the town to La Dame Blanche for coffee - thankfully it wasn't raining so we were able to sit outside in the lovely garden at the back. If ever you're in Port Louis a visit to the Dame Blanche is a must. As well as being a cafe with a lovely garden, it is also a fascinating bookshop, despite the books being in French. In the afternoon we decided to get the bus to the supermarket which we usually go to on our bikes, but due to the risk of rain we thought the bus would be a better bet. We had worked out we needed to get the number 15 to Riantec which stops just by the marina, and leaves at 16 and 46 minutes past the hour. So we thought we would get the 13.46. However it never came, although there was a number 16 bus there. I was very pleased with myself that I had managed to download the Izilo app and buy e-tickets at €1.50 each. Eventually a bus came at 14.16 but it was numbered 16, so I asked the driver if she knew when the number 15 was coming, and she said "oh, that's me" and changed the number to 15! So we got on, scanned our tickets, and rattled happily off, until we began to realise that we were not headed for the supermarket at all. A bit of panic and incomprehensible conversation with the driver ensued, till we agreed that we should stay on the bus as it was going back to where we started from. It then turned out that when it got back to the marina, this bus turned into the number 16 which was, in fact, the one we wanted, and was going to the "Centre Commercial", not Riantec at all! Anyway we had a successful visit to the Intermarche and an uneventful ride back on the 16.06 number 16! Thankfully time is not of the essence and our €1.50 tickets were valid for the whole journey so all ended well.

14 May 2024 | Port Louis

At last, a visit to a creperie!

Had another leisurely start to the morning. Went to the Capitainerie to pay for a third night and were pleased to find that it was only €27. There is a lot of building work going on on the quayside outside the Capitainerie and we were fascinated to see that they are re-laying the old railway lines that run the length of the quayside, and putting down beautiful granite blocks to recreate the cobbled pavement. After having coffee on Tonic we went into the town to our favourite creperie, Jean Bart, for lunch. It was still raining quite a lot and there weren't a lot of people around, and the creperie was quiet, so we had a nice corner table and enjoyed a galette complete (cheese, ham and egg), followed by a sweet one. All washed down with a bottle of sweet cider. Yummy! Tristan came to say hi and brought us a lovely loaf of bread which Julienne had baked that morning - how sweet is that! We had a little look round their boat - very different to a relatively modern fibreglass one like Tonic. I take my hat off to them for taking on such a huge project - they have an awful lot of work to do! Then we went for a walk up to the citadel and along the remparts - John walked along the top but it was too high and narrow for my liking! It was turning out to be a nicer evening, and the rain seems to have abated for a while at least. We enjoyed Julienne's delicious bread with jam for supper.

13 May 2024 | Port Louis

Rest day in Port Louis!

How wonderful to have a lie in! The rain had started in earnest so we were very glad of our tent. Had a leisurely morning, our only deadline being to get checked in at the Capitainerie before noon, which we did (only just). Those of my regular blog followers will be pleased to know that there follows a detailed report on the laundry facilities. Those of you who are new to my blog might wonder why laundry information plays such a prominent part in my blogs. Well if you've ever been away on a boat for more than a week then you will understand! We took the washing to the marina laverie but it needed 2 x €2 coins which we didn't have. A dash back to the office for change met with failure as they had closed for lunch. We went into town to discover that the little supermarket was closed on a Monday, along with everything else, except for the boulangeries. Got a baguette and a pain aux raisins, and some €2 coins at the boulangerie on the road up from the harbour, and went back to put the washing on. There are 2 washers but only one was working, but it is a large machine. We met the young couple from Nereus in the laverie, who speak very good English, so we invited them on board for a drink this evening. The rain was relentless and I got soaked going backwards and forwards to the laverie! The dryer took one €2 coin for 30 minutes but thankfully everything was dry after one cycle. We then had a much needed sleep before our guests came. It was quite cold in the cockpit so we sat down below and they brought a bottle of local wine called Chouchen made with honey. It was quite palatable but rather sweet! Our new friends are called Tristan and Julienne, and are aged abut 30. Tristan bought Nereus 2 years ago and has been restoring her to live on, and Julienne has been with him for about a year. He is an Architect and she trained as a nurse but is now setting up a business selling food from a trailer which she says she can dismantle and transport in the boat. They were a delightful couple, very well educated and charming, and we really enjoyed getting to know them.

A beautiful island

18 May 2024 | Ile d'Houat
Barbara Sumner | Hot & light showers
There is rain forecast over the mainland but the weather looks better out to sea so we decided to head over to Houat, after a quick trip on foot to the supermarket which is 15 mins walk away. There was no wind so it was a motor but a fair bit of swell when we reached the SW side of the island. Our usual secluded anchorage to the west of Beg Salus seemed very rolly so we went into the big anchorage on the other side, along with several other boats. Had a bit of trouble getting the anchor to dig in but eventually had success. It was still quite rolly but not unbearably so. Spent the afternoon relaxing. We had the odd light shower interspersed with hot sunshine. A beautiful deep red sunset. 10 miles in 2 hours.

Into Quiberon Bay

17 May 2024 | Port Haliguen
Barbara Sumner | Still showery but hot
Time to move on today. Unfortunately just as we were getting ready to leave John's brother rang to say that his wife had passed away suddenly. A big shock. We set off for Port Haliguen at 10am but there was very little wind, mostly on the nose, so we weren't able to sail much of it, and it started to rain at one point, but by the time we reached Port Haliguen it was hot and sunny. We were able to get a finger berth in the marina which was good as we don't want to go into the new visitors' area as there is a cill which will restrict when we would be able to leave. We went in search of an ice cream. There was none to be had in the marina complex but just beyond is the Café du Midi where we had delicious ice creams in the sunshine. 25 miles in 5 hours. The photograph is one I took yesterday from the Citadel of Pen Duick III, a 17.5m boat built in 1967 by and for Eric Tabarly, a famous French yachtsman.

A visit to the Citadel

16 May 2024 | Port Louis
Barbara Sumner | showers
We decided to visit the Citadel and bought the tickets online where they were €9 each instead of €10. It was a really interesting visit, although we had been once several years ago there was a lot that was new - part of it is a museum of the lifeboats and the other part is a museum of the French East India Company which was established in Lorient at the beginning of the 17th century. There were some fascinating pieces of porcelain which had been brought over from China and also some which had been lost in shipwrecks and recently recovered after centuries on the seabed. Thankfully the rain stayed off till we got back to the boat. Then an Austrian couple from a boat called Jappaloupe came on board for drinks. They explore a different section of the coast of Europe each summer and then leave the boat somewhere for the winter (Vannes last winter). She brought a gift of a very pretty little bunch of wildflowers and a bar of chocolate. Their English is very good and we had a very interesting chat.

An interesting bus ride.

15 May 2024 | Port Louis
Barbara Sumner | Better
We went into the town to La Dame Blanche for coffee - thankfully it wasn't raining so we were able to sit outside in the lovely garden at the back. If ever you're in Port Louis a visit to the Dame Blanche is a must. As well as being a cafe with a lovely garden, it is also a fascinating bookshop, despite the books being in French. In the afternoon we decided to get the bus to the supermarket which we usually go to on our bikes, but due to the risk of rain we thought the bus would be a better bet. We had worked out we needed to get the number 15 to Riantec which stops just by the marina, and leaves at 16 and 46 minutes past the hour. So we thought we would get the 13.46. However it never came, although there was a number 16 bus there. I was very pleased with myself that I had managed to download the Izilo app and buy e-tickets at €1.50 each. Eventually a bus came at 14.16 but it was numbered 16, so I asked the driver if she knew when the number 15 was coming, and she said "oh, that's me" and changed the number to 15! So we got on, scanned our tickets, and rattled happily off, until we began to realise that we were not headed for the supermarket at all. A bit of panic and incomprehensible conversation with the driver ensued, till we agreed that we should stay on the bus as it was going back to where we started from. It then turned out that when it got back to the marina, this bus turned into the number 16 which was, in fact, the one we wanted, and was going to the "Centre Commercial", not Riantec at all! Anyway we had a successful visit to the Intermarche and an uneventful ride back on the 16.06 number 16! Thankfully time is not of the essence and our €1.50 tickets were valid for the whole journey so all ended well.

At last, a visit to a creperie!

14 May 2024 | Port Louis
Barbara Sumner | sunny & showery
Had another leisurely start to the morning. Went to the Capitainerie to pay for a third night and were pleased to find that it was only €27. There is a lot of building work going on on the quayside outside the Capitainerie and we were fascinated to see that they are re-laying the old railway lines that run the length of the quayside, and putting down beautiful granite blocks to recreate the cobbled pavement. After having coffee on Tonic we went into the town to our favourite creperie, Jean Bart, for lunch. It was still raining quite a lot and there weren't a lot of people around, and the creperie was quiet, so we had a nice corner table and enjoyed a galette complete (cheese, ham and egg), followed by a sweet one. All washed down with a bottle of sweet cider. Yummy! Tristan came to say hi and brought us a lovely loaf of bread which Julienne had baked that morning - how sweet is that! We had a little look round their boat - very different to a relatively modern fibreglass one like Tonic. I take my hat off to them for taking on such a huge project - they have an awful lot of work to do! Then we went for a walk up to the citadel and along the remparts - John walked along the top but it was too high and narrow for my liking! It was turning out to be a nicer evening, and the rain seems to have abated for a while at least. We enjoyed Julienne's delicious bread with jam for supper.

Rest day in Port Louis!

13 May 2024 | Port Louis
Barbara Sumner | Torrential showers
How wonderful to have a lie in! The rain had started in earnest so we were very glad of our tent. Had a leisurely morning, our only deadline being to get checked in at the Capitainerie before noon, which we did (only just). Those of my regular blog followers will be pleased to know that there follows a detailed report on the laundry facilities. Those of you who are new to my blog might wonder why laundry information plays such a prominent part in my blogs. Well if you've ever been away on a boat for more than a week then you will understand! We took the washing to the marina laverie but it needed 2 x €2 coins which we didn't have. A dash back to the office for change met with failure as they had closed for lunch. We went into town to discover that the little supermarket was closed on a Monday, along with everything else, except for the boulangeries. Got a baguette and a pain aux raisins, and some €2 coins at the boulangerie on the road up from the harbour, and went back to put the washing on. There are 2 washers but only one was working, but it is a large machine. We met the young couple from Nereus in the laverie, who speak very good English, so we invited them on board for a drink this evening. The rain was relentless and I got soaked going backwards and forwards to the laverie! The dryer took one €2 coin for 30 minutes but thankfully everything was dry after one cycle. We then had a much needed sleep before our guests came. It was quite cold in the cockpit so we sat down below and they brought a bottle of local wine called Chouchen made with honey. It was quite palatable but rather sweet! Our new friends are called Tristan and Julienne, and are aged abut 30. Tristan bought Nereus 2 years ago and has been restoring her to live on, and Julienne has been with him for about a year. He is an Architect and she trained as a nurse but is now setting up a business selling food from a trailer which she says she can dismantle and transport in the boat. They were a delightful couple, very well educated and charming, and we really enjoyed getting to know them.

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