15 August 2010 - Golfe du Morbihan

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Sun 15 Aug 2010 20:22


The plan on Saturday was to visit Port Louis, across the harbour. There is a water taxi that runs during July and August during the afternoon from Lorient to Kerneval, Port Louis and on to Port Gavres. As the first boat arrived, at 2.15, the heavens opened. The boat was pretty full. Roger decided that going to Port Louis was a bad idea.

After half an hour, the squall was past. We went up to the capitanerie to pay (78 euros for 2 nights,) and investigate options. The guys advised that the Cite de La Voile and the submarine museum were well worth a visit – so we tried to catch the return ferry into the town centre. Again, it was full – no spaces. So after an “after you, Claude” debate, we took our own dinghy across to Port Louis. The marina used to be municipally owned, and according to Reeds Almanac, has 15 visitors berths. Not so! It has been upgraded and now has 50 berths for visitors and Wifi!! In addition Port Louis is a charming town. We went to the wrong marina!

Port Louis is the home of the French Compagnie des Indes – the company town. There’s a well preserved citadelle, developed by the Spanish, and criticised by de Vauban. (so it must have some merit!) It contains a fascinating museum covering the Compagnie des Indes, submarine archaeology, and the French lifeboat service. We were there until the museum closed at 6.30pm. From then we walked round the ramparts of the city, reflecting on the different attitudes to health and safety legislation. The ramparts have an un-railed walkway of between 2.5 – 4 feet wide, about 9 feet above ground level. It was a good thing that we didn’t meet anyone coming in the opposite direction – there were moments when I felt quite unsafe. Definitely not a trip to make with bikes!

Today, Sunday, left Lorient betimes – only time to get up to the depot de pain for croissants and bread before setting off. The mooring was in the corner of the visitors pontoon and the brise clapot, and so had to spring off to get the bow off and past the boat in front. In the process the dinghy wheels got tangled with the pile to which the pontoon is attached, and the tyre on the wheel came off and sank. Not a good morning.

The wind was better than expected and we were able to sail most of the way. The wind failed at lunchtime off Quiberon, so we motored through the inshore passage, rock-hopping from balise to balise. From there it was a close reach across to the entrance to the Morbiham – until the rain came in, so we motored again.

As ever, the tides were strong in the Morbihan. The traditional anchorages, as marked on the chart, are now full of moorings, even on the islands. Magnetic Attraction is tucked in behind the Isle de Moine, in a bay protected N-NW, but away from the moorings. There was a British Oyster on a buoy in front of us who has just had to move when the buoy “owner” returned….

A wonderful sunset over the island – all reds, oranges and pinks. It’s a truly magical place.  Only spoiled by those pesky French boats coming in  late and anchoring very close to us!