17 August 2010 - Ile d'Arz / Ile des Moines

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Tue 17 Aug 2010 19:00



3.45pm and it’s been raining since lunchtime – a cloying haar of low cloud and drizzle. Vis is low. It’s not that cold, but cool enough to feel that a bowl of soup for lunch would be comforting.

Weighed anchor yesterday morning from the south east corner of the Ile des Moines for the better holding of the NE corner of Arz. Pilotage in the Morbihan requires care – there are a multiplicity of small islands, headlands, channels and bays. When one takes into account the hefty tides, it’s very easy to lose one’s sense of direction and sense of place.

Arrived off Arz, we went ashore and walked into Le Bourg. There are bars, restaurants, and one small Spar shop – closed on a Monday (typical!) We returned this morning for salads, fruit, milk and bread, and on our way back to the boat bought a dozen local oysters (4.40 eu a kilo for no 2 size) and some winkles (bigourneaux) which I need to cook this afternoon. I had bought a “TOP 25” map (4cm to the km scale) of Vannes and the Golfe many years ago and used it to identify the coastal paths round the island. It walk took about a couple of hours, and was exceptionally pleasant in the shelter of the breeze. We were stopped by a German couple with a baby in a push chair who asked for directions to the dolmen – which isn’t marked on the map. I can only think that either it has been recently discovered, or that the symbol on their tourist info was for a picnic spot. We stopped for a beer in the village before “doing” the north of the island – a mistake to have stopped half way. What a wuss!

After shopping this morning we moved the boat to the NE corner of the Ile de Moines, a more snug anchorage for the expected SW winds.

At this time of year Brittany is full of beautiful people, getting back to their ancestry: cycling (we saw a total of 4 cars and 2 tractors on Arz,) peche a pied, and playing with boats. We walked back through the cemetery, full of new, shiny, marble family vaults. One of our English neighbours described Arz as being full of yummy mummies, and I see what she means. There is no doubt that compared to previous years the influence of America pervades: increasingly one is wished bonne journee, as well as au revoir; and the change in diet/portion sizes is reflected in sizes. The French are definitely becoming bigger, and sometimes obese!