Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Bancs de brume

Sunday was a quiet, grey, drizzly day. Ben and I went for a walk along the coast, exploring some of the territory I saw with Rob and Jo two months ago. Ben ran back - I walked, feeling much wearier than I'd expected. Then just as we'd got dinner cooking in the Remoska, there was a knock on the hull and Mark and Judith Grimwade asked if they could pop over for a drink. Judith is CA president and was one of the interview board when I first applied for the editor's job (and didn't get it). She's also Biscay section secretary. She and Mark have been very kind to me and it was lovely to chat over a few glasses of wine, although at some point I apparently spoke over Sam, or interrupted him, or insulted him - not sure which. Anyway he was very upset and went to bed in a huff.

Monday was forecast to be a better day but didn't look promising when I rose at 0730 to go to the supermarket, bakery and newsagent. By the time we left Piriac at 1000 it was just as grey and drizzly as Sunday had been. We motored around the rocks to the north of the point but once we were level with the coastguard station on the point we were able to sail fairly close-hauled into the WSW wind, and once we cleared Le Croisic free off a bit and sail, rather gently, into winds generally only 7-9kt, straight for L'Herbaudière .

Judith and Mark had headed west for Port Crouesty at the entrance to the Morbihan and as we crossed the entrance to the Loire I was composing a message to them saying what a pleasant but undemanding sail we'd enjoyed despite the very grey conditions. Then I noticed that the pilot ship Courronnée had disappeared. The fog continued to close in and as we approached L'Herbaudière it got even thicker. Even worse the sun was bright overhead and condensation formed constantly on sunglasses, so we were not only blind but dazzled.

We came in entirely on the GPS, with Ben on the bow ready to sing out or hoot if he saw anything. The harbour entrance and extremely large harbour wall weren't visible until we passed the second green buoy which must have made visibility well under 100m - not quite as bad as Guy coming into Roscoff, but pretty scarey for me. Ben has total confidence in electronics and was not worried. Even inside the harbour, which is a confusing one anyway, I couldn't see where to go and ended up following our track from last time we were here. Fortunately several hammerheads were free and we moored on J.

Within 10 minutes of our arrival just after 4pm the fog started to clear, then rolled back - it seemed to come in with the breeze. But by 6.30pm when Ben and I went for a paddle, the sky was brilliantly blue and the whole coast south of the Loire was clearly visible.

We're staying two nights here to do some washing and perhaps explore a bit on our folding bicycle, if its tyres will hold pressure. It hasn't been used since, um, Denmark?

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