Roy's Sailing Blog 2012 / j

Sunday, 26 August 2012

PART TEN (Île d’Yeu to Piriac-sur-Mer - 46NM 11:45-20:50 then to Arzal Lock and La Vilaine river to La Roche Bernard!)

Another pleasant sail on Thursday 23 August  - but again the wind was bang on the nose, so mostly I had to motor-sail. I threw all the canvas I could at it and the NE finally backed into NW, but it was too late to be of much use. Forecast predicted worsening weather for Friday, so I had to make good passage. Fortunately I was in perfect time with the tides and arrived in the picturesque floral village of Piriac half an hour before high water - important in a mostly drying harbour! There are very clear traffic lights controlling the narrow entrance and a precise digital display showing the depth over the sill. Much revelry on the pier that night, with a small funfair and bustling restaurants open late. I spent an hour or so in the dark filling my cans with 80L of diesel to replenish my tank!! After a good but short night I was up early (with the public flower waterer - see picture!) to get bread and pain au chocolat and top up the water tank. Because I’ve spent so much time at anchor or on a mooring buoy, I tend to replenish stocks at every opportunity - and this 12 hour marina stop-over had cost €32 so I thought I’d get my money’s worth! My neighbours offered invaluable advice and local knowledge about the 2 hour crossing and entrance to La Vilaine river - the Arzal sea-lock would be open briefly at midday, so I left at 09:40 and arrived just in time to squeeze in and raft in the middle at 11:55 (see pictures). My neighbours (who berth in Arzal) were just a few minutes late and had to wait till 14:00! Had a peaceful drift 3.7NM up the river to La Roche Bernard - then returned halfway back to picked up a vacant private mooring I had spotted! Hopefully the owners won’t return over the weekend... I then went back to the rock in the dinghy - under both of the impressive modern road bridges - and enjoyed a Leffe in a bar on the atmospheric old pier. Back to the boat for fish soup, bread & cheese - and to listen to some more Bach: I brought the complete CD set of JS Bach Cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and JEG, and have found them inspirational for calming and reviving the soul on difficult days! Last night it was Cantata 151 Süsser Trost, mein Jesus kömmt - with Gillian Keith (sop) & Rachel Beckett (flute) - magically divine, and I had to listen to the opening aria three times!!! It’s difficult to put into words, but it was half an hour of amazing peace and tranquillity I shall never forget. I learned by text from Colin Kitching this morning that Rachel was playing in Gdansk last night - where CREDEAU was built - coincidence or what?!