Friday, July 15, 2016

Home sweet home

We are finally home, to a house which has briefly been empty because Guy is in Greece, sailing with my sister and her family, and reliving old memories. Apparently we are in the Sailing Holidays history book!

Probably around 18 years ago...
But at least there are a couple of friends who are pleased to see us...

Jade trying to climb up my nose
On Monday we took an expensive taxi ride to Redon to deliver Robin to the station, as promised, and collect the car from a VW garage somewhere in a "zone" (industrial area) north of Redon. Like an idiot I left the (road) GPS on the boat so used Mrs Google Maps on my phone to get away from the industrial zone and back to Arzal, and very impressive she was too. The Passat seems to be ok, which is just as well as the roads were much busier than the previous time I drove from Arzal to Redon.

We couldn't have achieved what we did without Robin, and he is 78, so it's perhaps excusable if he lets someone else get on with things. Although it's a pity he cleaned the teak all down one side of the boat and never quite got around to doing the other side - this is the story of his life. Here is a sneaky picture taken by the other Robin from Cyclone of Langstone as we got ready to leave L'Herbaudière for the first time.

Rob's caption reads: "Camilla (skipper) gets boat ready to depart. Robin (crew) eats croissants!" 
I spent the rest of Monday cleaning and sorting things out, and talking to the marina about options for leaving the boat over the winter, if that's what we decide to do. They will come back to us in August with a proposal.

I thought that as our immediate mechanical problems had been sorted we could take a day off on Tuesday and have an outing in the car. This proved incorrect, see below, but we had a delightful couple of hours in Guérande, which is a very pretty tiny walled town, full of tourists, and then the port of Le Croisic where we expected to spend barely an hour and actually enjoyed it even more. Le Croisic has a marina which dries even at neaps, and moorings which would have meant that Sam had no access to the town, so was no good to us in Kalessin. Anyway there are loads of restaurants and cafes along the very long harbour frontage, and a vente directe of poisson where we could have ordered an assiette de fruits de mer if only we could have come back the next day. Just as well we didn't, probably, since for several days my tummy felt very odd in the evenings and a supper of raw shellfish would not have been a good idea. 

Sam in Guérande

Part of the city walls

This could have been us - moorings at Le Croisic

I really wanted some fruits de mer....
Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning saw us packing and sorting. A final mop of the bilges revealed quite a lot of fresh water in the bilge under the aft cabin. It transpires that the drinking water pump is still leaking, and what's more it leaks slightly all the time, even when switched off completely. It seemed best to drain the freshwater tank to reduce the chances of finding 70 litres of water in the bilge when Alex & David get to the boat in August. I should have spent Tuesday sorting it out, but hey.

I had booked a hotel in Saint-Malo for Wednesday night when we thought that we might be travelling to see Harry & Liz in the Limousin. Sadly this has not proved to be possible, and a couple of recent emails from Harry suggest that Liz may be coming home for the last time very soon, as no treatment is helping her cancer. Anyway we still had a night at the very pleasant Domaine de la Barbinais which was only just over two hours' drive from Arzal, and were in plenty of time for the next day's Brittany Ferry at 1030. The room, dinner & breakfast for two of us came to more than €160 though, which makes me realise that a total of say €45 for a mooring and boat-cooked dinner for three on board Kalessin is a budget option!

Au revoir to France - for now
 We were very lucky with the ferry crossing. To start off with the wind and bumps from the day before were still with us, but La Manche showed her more benign side with blue seas and sunshine for almost all the trip. I'd hired a cabin at modest cost because this was a day crossing, and it proved well worthwhile as Sam spent around half the time lying down & taking things easy, while watching the amazing news about Theresa May's new cabinet. We had a couple of picnics with food garnered from the vast St-Malo Leclerc the day before, and finally got home about 2230. Phew. I should of course be working on Cruising rather than updating the blog, but thought I should write this while things were fresh in my mind. Things will now go quiet for a while.

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