It was a short hop around from our anchorage to the marina at La Trinite. It seemed extremely busy as we arrived, but we were met by a marina rib and directed to a berth on the visitors pontoon. We had done some of our preparations for receiving family at the anchorage. The bikes were brought out of the aft cabin and secured in their bags on deck. Various other items were moved out of the aft cabin to make room for visitors and their baggage. So in the marina the main jobs were filling with water, and tidying more stuff away.
Peter, Debbie and family duly arrived, along with Mike, and a great deal of paraphernalia, including a sailboard and two rigs, beach boards, and such like. Importantly, they also brought a replacement masthead wind transducer for the boat. Once unloaded, we sat down to Mo's standby 'spaghetti (read any old pasta) bolognaise' and a glass or two of wine. Despite the early ferry, they kept going until 0130 - although as the boat is on BST there might be some confusion about this.
The priority in the morning was to use the car to top up at Intermarche, which the internet located for us at Crac'h, around 4kms away. We came back with beer, wine, and some other essentials that Mo had asked for. After lunch we set sail, and had a pleasant sail over to Sauzon, on Belle Ile. We found the moorings all taken, and went in to raft up on some trots just outside the inner harbour. It was approaching springs, but the significance of this did not occur to me immediately. A 50 foot boat, we assumed under charter, came alongside, and commented that there was not much water. On checking I predicted we would be just about touching, and he drew 15cms more than us!
|With Mike, at Sauzon, Belle Ile||A dinghy dilemma|
We took the dinghy ashore, and went in search of a restaurant, finding that most of them seemed pretty full. We found a small hotel that seemed to have several eateries, and plenty of room for us inside. When we returned to the dinghy it was high and dry, and some 30m or more from the water: fortunately there were plenty of us to carry it. Once again there was a long debrief.
In the morning, the fourth boat in the raft announced that they wanted to leave immediately. There was a strong ebb running under the boats, and we were the innermost raft, so that the only way he could be extracted was if we all left more or less simultaneously. Mike and Tom had gone off to find the boulangerie, and returned as we left the raft. We had to recover them and the dinghy in the entrance to the inner port. It did us a favour, as it made sure that we were moving early to use the day.
We headed west and then south anticlockwise around the island, keeping close inshore. Our objective was Port Kerel, a bay that Mo and I had found in 2004 when on our way down to the Mediterranean. We arrived there practically at low tide, so a party was immediately despatched under Mike's supervision to collect muscles from the rocks. There were a handful of boats there, and some were likewise engaged.
|Mike enjoying his croissant at the helm||Pete returning with Emma from collecting moules|
|Tom, with precious cargo||More board antics|
The small rig was attached to the sailboard, and after a demonstration sail by Mike and Peter, Tom had a go, managing very well for a first attempt. Inevitably the competition between the brothers set in, and a course was established, with Tom appointed official timer, and Emma as recorder/scorekeeper. Mike went first, and as he did so, one of the marks of the course upped anchor and moved, so the course was adjusted accordingly. Peter went second, and seemed to benefit from a windshift to the first mark, but later the wind fell light, and Mike was declared the winner.
|This serious chess match was one example|
of the competition between brothers
|Mike attending to the barbeque|
|The family Walker|
The main event of the day was another board sailing contest between Mike and Pete. Once again Mike elected to go first. The course was an ambitious one, around a centre ground beacon on a rock some distance to windward, out in the bay, with an ebb tide running. Mike feared that a wind shift might once again allow Pete to take it easy, but the wind deserted Pete on the return leg to the wing mark, and Mike was again the victor.
Mike had declared that the crew should all go on a walk, so we set off leaving the dinghy high and dry. In 'town' we had a look at the churchyard, which has been revamped and seemed somewhat sanitised since the first time I visited around 30 plus years ago when it had made such an impression. We then walked down to the port, and from there along the footpath leading west across the cliff top. There were a couple of bays with yachts anchored off, and one had a pleasant small beach. We returned inland through scrub, until we met a track enjoying views over the island towards Belle Ile. The track led us back to town, and a well-deserved beer.
|In front of the village well at Houat||A beach on the north west coast|
|Looking east along the north coast||Back in the village.. which bar?|
The tide dictated that we could not sensibly enter the Morbihan until around 1500 hrs. Mike had visited the boulangerie yet again, but found the clothes shop closed. He fancied getting a Breton smock similar to the one he had many years ago. As there was not a lot of inclination to action, we decided we would sail slowly over to the Morbihan. This proved frustrating and boring, so we motored in the end, and anchored off the beach outside the entrance for a civilized lunch. The subsequent journey in was uneventful, other than for the disappointing behaviour of Lisa G (UK, named and shamed), who tried to push her way through the gap between Fuga and a local boat under sail that we had just overtaken. The result was a near-collision between Lisa G and the local yacht. We anchored in the channel off Le Bourg, on the Ile d'Arz, outside the local moorings. A shore party went for a walk, and came back reporting that the island was very attractive, with some old houses.
Mike led the shore party for croissants, but on this occasion we were fooled by a van that drew up outside the Spar supermarket. We assumed it was bringing bread, and stood patiently at the back of a knot of locals who appeared to be queing. It was some while before we realised that the van was selling fresh fish and crabs. We found that bread and croissants were available inside the shop. The shop owner was particularly keen to talk English, and told us about the classical concert that we had missed the evening before.
There had been talk of a further windsurfing contest, but it was wet and miserable. We waited until after lunch, then set off with the ebbing tide for the mouth of the Morbihan. We encountered the narrows between Ile aux Moins and the mainland when the tide was in full flow, so that our speed over the ground was around 11 knots for a while. Mike took it easy down below, while I conned the boat out of the narrows at the entrance, and around to La Trinite, in the rain.
We went hunting for food, and found the water front establishments to be very full and busy. We decided to venture into the centre of the village, but had not gone far when we encountered the Mouillage. There was room for us, so in we piled for an enjoyable meal.
|Emma likes to be in all ..||...the pictures!|
|Tom enjoyed himself||as did we all|
Mike once again provided the bread and croissants, having declared the young lady in the boulangerie at La Trinite 'Miss Boulangerie of Quiberon Bay 2013'. Peter and Mike went to do some last minute shopping, and then retrieved the car from the marina north car park while Mike finished packing. They then all set off for Quimper airport allowing us some recovery time. They encountered some strong winds and thunderstorms along the way, and we too had a very short but close thunderstorm. Having delivered Mike, they found various diversions on the way back, visiting Benodet, and then Carnac in order to locate a windsurfer shop.
We were got out of bed at 0900 hrs (FST) by the customs. They remained on the pontoon, and were very civilised. For breakfast we tackled the left over croissants from Mike's forays. Afterwards we set out for Carnac. Peter wanted a new mast foot from the windsurfer shop, and the boat needed some re-victualling that we proposed to do at Lidl. Unfortunately Lidl were not so hot on vegetables (and out of Queen Margot scotch), so we also had to go to Casino. It was only unpacking, back on the boat, that we found that we had left a bag of goodies at the checkout at Lidl, making a return trip to Carnac necessary in order to retrieve it.
After lunch we set out for Houat. It was blowing a westerly F4 or F5, and we could fetch the eastern end of the island easily. I had hoped to manage with just the jib, but the seas were stopping us and we were not sailing well, so put a reefed main up giving us 7 knots most of the time. We headed for the same beach, Treach er Gourhed, but found a south easterly swell there making it seem uncomfortable. We abandoned this berth, and headed around to the port, where we would be sheltered from the south easterly swell, only to find a north westerly swell there. We picked up a harbour mooring, and were very soon visited by a chap in a dinghy for the mooring fee. We already knew that more wind was forecast the following day, but his take on it was westerly F7. It was very rolling and uncomfortable, causing the children to be sick. We had a little pizza, but soon everyone was in bed.
It turned out to be a reasonably comfortable night. The wind died down, and the swell likewise, so that by early morning it was a calm sea. However, as expected, the wind began to increase and very soon the swell was building from the north west. We decided to look again around the corner in the east-facing bay. Sure enough in the southerly corner a handful of boats were lying at anchor reasonably comfortably. After something to eat, we launched the dinghy, and the family headed for the shore.
The wind continued to blow until late afternoon, when the family returned from an active day ashore. They had taken full advantage of the surf on the south west facing beach, Treach Salus. However, the swell from the south east that had put us off the day before had returned, and the motion aboard was quite uncomfortable. Emma became seasick again, and the curry that Mo had prepared had limited attractions. Once again everyone hit the sack early.
The wind was forecast to turn south easterly, so that there would not be a great deal of shelter in our bay. We decided to make an early move to Hoedic, and motored there as half the journey would have been a beat into the bay. We anchored at Port Neuf, an north-east facing beach on the north west of the island where there were was a rocky foreshore interspersed with sandy beaches. We were early adopters, with only a handful of boats when we arrived, although the bay rapidly filled up as the day progressed. The family went ashore with all equipment, and enjoyed a good time swimming, snorkelling and sailboarding. We had a barbeque supper on board that evening, in very warm sunshine.