Monday, 29 August 2011

Wendy’s Diary Mardi 23 Aout - Seagull Soup and the joys of WIFI

Bonjour encore.... A much quieter time to report than last time – but here goes...

We left Hennebont and stayed on a mooring at the boat club down the river at Kervignac as invited, where we received a very warm welcome. We stayed for two days and it rained for two days. We had a couple of wet bike rides to the local shops (easy reach of several supermarkets) to provision and were both pleased to find that cycling up hill is becoming much easier and we don’t have quite so sore bottoms when we get off!!

The weather finally brightened up and we had a long day motor sailing around Quiberon and into the Gulf of Morbihan where we blasted through the entrance at 12 knots and found our way to an anchorage off of Ile D’Arz.

I promised you a story of seagull soup...we carry a fishing rod and so far have not had any success, but keep trying in want of a free dinner. As we left the river Blavet we set up the line but at the speed we were travelling the bait (a plastic fish) kept jumping out of the water. I relayed this to John along with the thought that it could be attractive to seagulls, his response being of we caught one we could always cook it for dinner. A while later he went down for a sleep whist I took the helm, whilst keeping an eye on the line. I woke him up with the line ”you know what you said about seagull for dinner??” He managed to pull the line in along with a very angry but young gull who had managed to catch the bait only in his wing and hadn’t swallowed it. A few bite marks later in John’s arm, a lot of struggling, getting caught and re caught in the hooks we finally had the poor thing free of the bait and sent him on his way. Neither of us fancying the idea of having him for dinner. Sorry to disappoint if you were after the recipe, but I guess to quote a Terry Wogan line – it probably tastes like chicken!

 The following morning a trip ashore in the dinghy proved this to be a very pretty town with quaint houses, a couple of bars, a handful of arty shops along with a very expensive Spar.  The weather was beautiful and we returned to the boat to chill out for the afternoon. John spotted a boat dried out on the beach and went to investigate if we could do the same the next day to scrub the weeds off the bottom.

He declared it a fit place to dry out, so the following morning – John’s Birthday saw us both in knee deep water scrubbing and scraping away. How so many barnacles manage to find their way onto the bottom of the hulls I have no idea. A French family wandered along the beach and stopped to chat, John issued his usual invitation of joining us on board for coffee, they declined, but said they would be pleased to provide us with coffee at their house later once we had finished working on the boat.  

At the end of a long days work we found our way to their house where we accepted beer rather than coffee as it was so hot. A tart was cooking in the oven and on hearing it was John’s birthday, they produced a set of candles and we all sang happy birthday (in French then again in English). John was very touched, this was a family whom we had only met on the beach and chatted to for about half an hour, it is amazing how friendly people can be to us foreigners!

We moved on to Vannes as we needed more fresh supplies, and to avoid harbour dues, we anchored outside and went in to the harbour in the dinghy. A quick whizz round to where we thought we would find Lidl, but failed and settled with Monoprix instead. This was a mixture of very expensive stuff (Jam at 8 Euros a jar) and very cheap (Cucumber 25 cents) so we were content to find the bargains and stock up. We took our purchases back to the boat, exchanged them for the bikes and went back ashore for a general site seeing tour.

After Vannes we crossed to the eastern end of the Morbihan to a little place called Le Passage, which was not very inspiring, but it was the entrance to a pretty river Noyolo and we spent a pleasant morning in the sunshine exploring the river. On the falling tide we managed to go aground and it was nearly midnight before we could leave again when the tide returned. An interesting night-time run back down to the anchorage at Le Passage, using the instruments in the dark and working out where the channel was, spotting buoys etc.

Another quick trip over to Ile D’arz again, we needed water and internet access and knew both were available here and on the afternoon tide headed off to the Auray river where we managed to find room to anchor at the end of the buoys opposite the tributary that leads to Le Bono.  I had another important email to send and so we went up to the town centre where the bars were but couldn’t find any with access. I wandered around with the netbook open hoping to come in range of something.  We gave up in the centre, looped back down to the foot bridge across the river where I picked up a weak signal. We followed the path back down to the harbour where it (the signal) appeared and disappeared about 20 times. We got back to the boat where I sat on the harbour wall above the boat and spent the next hour trying to get the thing to send. Orange is my email provider and there appear to be lots of WIFI providers who do not allow outgoing emails to connect to the server through outlook, although received items arrive ok. John has only had this problem once with Google mail – maybe orange is worse for some reason.  Anyway, back on the boat, as I started reading through the new emails I noticed I was on line, with the strongest signal I had had all morning. BAAAAAAAHHHHHH. 

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