Roy's Sailing Blog 2012 / i

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

PART NINE (St Martin on Île de Ré to Ainse des Vieilles on Île d’Yeu - 45NM 07:05-15:15)

Very pleasant sail on Monday 20 August  - though with barely 4kts of wind right on the nose, I had to motor-sail - from Ré to Yeu. Islands are obviously the biggest joy on a boat, usually more relaxed than the mainland and always somehow more meaningful (otherwise you might as well drive!) I’m anchored in a beautiful bay (see photo above) actually spoilt for choice - there are three more bays on this south side of the island (just 5M long by 2M wide) including one with the ruins of an 11th century château! Notice my kayak is now aft on the port-side - I was able to really enjoy it on my first day here! There are (separate!) bicycle and footpaths all around the coast, and it’s not far to the bustling centre at Port Joinville on the north side - I went there (about 7NM) in my dinghy yesterday and did some much needed shopping. At about 6pm the shipping in the busy harbour there was like Piccadilly Circus - four large mainland ferries departed within about 15 minutes causing panic and chaos amongst the small pleasure and fishing craft trapped in the ‘crossroads‘ just outside the packed marina! I just sat on the pier and watched (with a nice beer) for half an hour. Unfortunately, thanks to the Vent Solaire my one hour return was rather wild and the shopping (especially my two baguettes tradition) got very wet! Anyway back onboard to prepare my favourite tagliatelle with Loyd Grossman tomato & roasted garlic sauce, chopped tomatoes and mixed olives, steamed fresh courgette and carrot and a topping of grated Compté cheese - hmm, nice!! Depth for anchoring here is a little deeper than I like (10m low tide and 15m high tide) so I’ve changed position each day as a few yachts arrive and depart, and found a slightly better position. You can just see my white tripping-line buoy in the photo below, but it needs re-setting for this depth. Dame Emma Kirkby phoned me twice today (!) she was en route driving with Howard Williams from a break in Northumberland to the Fagiolini Prom and was approaching Newark at lunchtime - would I be at home?! Very sadly not, but she called afterwards to say they had found some healthy nourishment near the timbered marketplace! I’m planning to continue north tomorrow, crossing the Loire estuary to Piriac-sur-Mer for the night, and then through the Arzal lock/barrage to spend a few peaceful days on the non-tidal La Vilaine river, up to La Roche Bernard!