We left La Trinite and sailed East
towards the island
of Houat, which has
reputedly the best beach in Britanny.
We anchored off it and went ashore in the dinghy. It is a long, sandy bay, with probably
over 100 yachts anchored off – bit like East Head but more beach and more space
to anchor! Unfortunately it was
cold and grey and by the time we had dragged the dinghy up the beach it had
started to drizzle (is this really August?) so after being British for an hour
or so, we motored back to the warmth of Nutmeg, hauled up the anchor and headed
onwards to Piriac.
Piriac is a lovely place which can
only be entered above half-tide.
The town is very picturesque and there are flowers in hanging baskets
everywhere. We moored alongside
with plenty of room and the sun came out.
The kids were in bed, so Sarah went for a stroll along the harbour front,
which was bustling with people and had a great atmosphere, while I sat on the
aft deck with a bottle of wine and the Sunday papers. What bliss!
We had a mooch round in the morning
and went to the excellent market, but decided to push onto Pornic, on the back
of the weather forecast which indicated strong winds were on their way
again. We were sorry to leave (and
even sorrier when we got to Pornic!)
Those who know this area will
probably question our choices of port and the omission of a trip into the Golfe
du Morbihan. We have been somewhat
dictated to by the weather, and we are aware that time is ticking in terms of
getting South before the weather gets worse (? Can it?). Even on a year’s trip, you find yourself
running out of time, and needing to stick to a fairly strict timetable in order
to stay within the wider weather windows (ie not being in Biscay in September,
for example). So we decided to
leave Morbihan for another time, and “do” it properly over a couple of weeks on
In terms of our rough itinerary, it
is basically to get to NW Spain for the end of August, so we can spend some time
in the Spanish Rias. We will have
spent a month in France – possibly a bit longer than I had originally
anticipated, but it has been a far more rewarding and interesting location than
I had expected. I could definitely
spend a lot more time out here.
I have to say, I love the way the
French approach sailing. Almost
every boat has the tell-tale orange lifejacket of a baby or toddler – far more
kids on boats than in the UK. Every pontoon will have at least a
couple of dogs who are taking their owners sailing. And every town has a sailing school
where they are towing 8-yr olds out into a F6 in a line of Oppies. The boats they cruise in range from your
standard Beneteau through to Open 40s and Pogo 8.50s – this is just for
Talking of Open 40s, I think I would