12-13 August 2010 - Belon to Lorient

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Sun 15 Aug 2010 20:03



The glorious twelfth!  I have known him almost 40 years – we met just before his birthday in 1971.

An early start because of the spring tides (a coefficient of 112 on 12th, 105 today – very big for August.). All the neighbours on the trot left with the tide, leaving between 7am and 8am (we are still on BST – local time is an hour later.) Because we were up and because of the tide, we went ashore at 10am and walked the circuit de Belon, along the green lanes to the Allee Couverte, then along to the Fort Belon on the headland and back along the coastal path. Walking back, the Belon bar was starting to show, and there were a lot of people doing peche a pied on the intertidal area. The stroll took 2 hours, at slow speed (it was only 6.8km.) Arrived back at Chez Jacky at 12.25pm FST, and already the best seats had been taken. The dinghy was high and dry. The duration of lunch gave an opportunity to wait for it to refloat (!)

The plateau de fruits de mer royale took until 2.30pm, with careful pacing. Winkles to start, then 8 oysters each (4 plats, 4 creuses,) assorted clams and scallops, pink shrimps, mussels, prawns, langoustines, etrilles, lobster and whelks to finish. We took the crab home – it was too much! The majority of people were also eating the fruits de mer. There was a couple who took almost as long as we did – at the end, there were mutual congratulations, and the comment that fruits de mer are good for your health – his wife is a doctor (so it must be true – although I don’t think in this quantity!)

We had just one small boat alongside overnight; out of La Trinite, a couple of gentlemen on a spring cruise to have dinner with their friend. They visited a bar and returned home very late – I was asleep. They left with the tide at 8am FST – so a very early start again for us. We drifted down towards the Ile de Groix, debated whether to carry on the next 30 miles down to Quiberon but the weather is becoming wet, so decided to come into Lorient.

The marina at Kereval is much enlarged compared to the mid-90s, and a capitanerie has been built. 200 berths were added in 2009, and the brise clapot moved east by about 50m. They are still providing free bikes to allow access to provisioning. The Villa Margaret is now the office of the Director of the Port. We also discovered the Boulevard Roger Le Port (where trailers have to be parked.) Photos of both attached! Kerneval is bristling with WW2 reinforced concrete and an earlier fort, together with a big villa for the Admiralty. Not much else – although I was directed to a bar tabac for bread for lunch.