Monday 27th May 2019 Benodet to Ile de Groix

Saturday in Benodet was a lazy day for John and James while we wait for Yee Tak and Chris to join us. John spends most of the time wresting with some polyester rope for new gennoa sheets by attempting to splice in some eyes. The instructions are reminiscent of the good old days of Haynes manuals…”just ease the outer cover over until point A reaches point B…”. This roughly translates as “you will need the strength of Hercules to “ease” the outer cover and in the process will collect rope burns and be in need of some expensive therapy at the end.”

By the third attempt however (and a day later) we have some new gennoa sheets with neatly spliced eyes as well as some new mooring warps also with neat eyes. John is on a roll now and any odd bit of rope left lying around is in danger of having a useful eye spliced into it.

Yee Tak and Chris’s journey is straightforward with all connections working…a flight from Southampton to Rennes, a train to Quimper and a taxi to Benodet. By 9pm they are safely on board and glugging some wine. We spend Sunday having a very lazy lunch by the riverside and a snooze in the afternoon….life is tough.

We have decided to take things easy around this wonderful cruising ground and will head for Ile du Groix around 6 hours sail away. An early morning dash to the boulangerie for some spectacular pain aux raisin and some gooey pain aux armandes for breakfast, plus a quick supermarket trip and we are still away from the marina by 9.30.

We motor out of the river and within 20 minutes we are sailing goosewinged in around 10kt of wind with the motor off for once and peace all around!

The sail is glorious even if we could do with a bit more wind…we’re in no rush though and as we get to lunchtime, the island appears off the starboard bow. With the mainland on our port side, it is almost as if we are sailing across Christchurch bay to the IoW. We’ve got into a bit of a rut with lunch on board…crushed avocado on bread with ground pepper and a pinch of salt drizzled with extra virgin plus humous and some camembert, all on bread baked fresh this morning….not a bad rut though.

As the afternoon wears on the wind builds and soon we have 20kt over the stern and we are on a bit of a crazy few miles running down to Port Tudy. We pass a small boat sailing  and another yacht closes us motor sailing. We haul down the sails as we approach the harbour and the motor sailer  passes by close ahead as if they are trying to get into harbour ahead of us…grrr, how un-friendly and definitely un-seamanlike.

They pootle around to get a  berth while we are trying to hold steady in a fresh cross-wind in the harbour. With much shouting they dock and we pull in on the finger next to them. I jump down onto the pontoon with a line to receive a mouthful from a goriila in full sailing gear also on the pontoon fiddling with their lines. James resists the temptation to have a go but mutters about King Cnuts (or similar). We get our lines sorted very efficiently (even though we say so ourselves) and have time to help a french boat who get into a bit of a muddle next to us. Eventually with lots of fenders out and their lines sorted, we sit back in the cockpit sun with some G&T and nibbles. It turns out the gorillas (all the gear and no idea) are Brits…bet the French can’t wait for Brexit if that is how some of our compatriots behave…and are still trying to sort out what to do with their lines, as we in a very shallow (and slightly smug) way cheers very loudly!

We pay our dues with the harbour master who plays air guitar and informs us that the code for the showers is ACDC…great bloke. A snooze in the late afternoon sun and then we wander around the harbour…

end up at an Irish themed pub on the quay which is authentically French and does some great crab and a seafood platter. We look forward to spending some time on the island tomorrow.

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