23 May at Port la Foret

Escapade of Rame
Richard & Julie Farrington
Tue 23 May 2017 21:38

It’s slightly awkward enthusing about our adventures in the light of the tragic events in Manchester yesterday.  I wish I knew how to eradicate such misguided hatred from the world.  Our thoughts are with the bereaved families of those innocent young people and I can’t help reflecting on the inspiring worlds of the Ode to Remembrance:  ‘They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn…’  I cannot imagine having Anna or Lizzie snatched from us in that way.


Onto other matters.


Douarnenez is well worth a visit.  The old town was very close to our great overnight anchorage and we enjoyed a short expedition ashore to forage for essential supplies amongst friendly natives who took our yellow shekels with great enthusiasm.  Reminded us of how St Malo might have looked had it survived the war without a rebuild.  The south coast of Douarnenez Bay along to the Ras de Sein is really beautiful.  A mix of cliffs, pine trees, sandstone, gorse… There’s a splendid looking coastal path that runs all the way along.  The scenery is like the more rugged bits of Cornwall or West Cork and it would make an excellent two or three day walking holiday.



Escapade at anchor in the Rade de Guet, Douarnenez



Port Rosmeur, Douarnenez



Douarnenez was built on canned fish…


We reached Ras de Sein as the tide turned in our favour, but the wind dropped.  We hoisted the spinnaker and made reasonable ground to the south for an hour or so.  As the afternoon wore on, the wind returned and by the time we gybed off Point de Penmarc’h, we had 20 knots and were sitting comfortably at 8 knots.  When there are only two of you, that focuses the mind and with some dark clouds approaching from astern we decided to get the spinnaker down before it took charge!  The kit worked really well, particularly the lightweight spinnaker pole and the snuffer on the kite (for Landlubbers, this transforms a 90 square metre isosceles triangle into a narrow pencil shaped sock.  It’s still almost 20 metres long though, so with me hanging onto the bottom of it whilst Julie sorted out the various control lines, I did feel like a windsurfer pulling a log).


We approached Port la Foret as the sun set around 2215 and anchored for supper whilst we waited for the tide to rise at the harbour entrance.  I had started to cook some hours earlier, but slicing an onion using an extremely sharp fish filleting knife, managed to add some extra seasoning from the end of my port forefinger.  Plenty of blood, swiftly staunched by Julie’s excellent First Aid preparations – I can recommend Wound-Seal: it comes in a tube but is actually a powder.  It took a little while to outwit the childproof opening procedures, resulting in vast quantities of the stuff (which STINGS) all over the offending digit… but it’s impact was miraculous.  Minutes later, order was restored.  I was excused cooking and washing up; a short while later the offending body parts were discovered on the chopping board so did not make it into the Spag Bol…


We crept into harbour around 2315.  There was enough water, but the biggest surprise was the huge (unlit) racing trimaran MACIF parked on the corner as we turned into the basin.  We did not hit it, which is probably as well as the yachtsmen who sail these extraordinary things have rock-star status here in France.  We saw quite a few of them and their machines today, prompting an interesting comparison as we took our offending and ancient 5hp outboard motor to have its horoscope read.  The place is vast: I’ve not seen so many boats in one place, with a huge infrastructure to support everything from optimist sailing for infants to record breaking single-handed yachtsmen.  The berth cost us the princely sum of 49 Euros for two nights so we spent the savings on the ‘plat du jour’ at the main restaurant (there are about six, scattered amongst three chandleries, several boatbuilders and a raft of high-tech industrial units supporting Formula 1-style sailing).  It all makes Hamble Point look rather dull…


Tomorrow we head for the beautiful Iles de Glenan.



MACIF – off to practice ahead of a circumnavigation world record