The morning is damp, but we want to have a look around the little town of Locmiquel before we catch the afternoon tide around Ile aux Moines to Ile d’Arz. Dampness turns to a downpour (so glad we sailed south for the sun) and we are forced to hole up in a small bar. They don’t sell food but are more than happy for us to make a dash to the boulangerie and bring back some cakey comestibles to have with our coffee.
Back on Heydays, the last of the ebb has faded and we ease our way over the shallows into what passes as a deep channel in these parts. With a fresh NW breeze we set a smallish genoa, in part to keep our speed down, in part to aid manoeuvrability (and the possibility of losing it rapidly should we touch the bottom) and in part to be able to see in order to hop from buoy to buoy. We are still doing over 5 kts though and we count off the buoys and markers in rapid succession. The channels go very close to the jaggedy bits of rock in places but we trust the charts and the echo sounder and round up to head for our next little island. The buoyage changes direction here as we are now effectively going against the flood and we need to remember to now leave the green ones to port…until another new channel and we are back with it….leave the green ones to starboard. With a freshening breeze gusting well over F5 we search out a likely anchorage, but again seem only to find mooring buoys. The forecast for the night is for occasional F7 so we are happy to pick up a vacant mooring (there are several to choose from) having sussed out that there are some bigger boats already hanging off them and they look in reasonable condition and strength…we cant see what is below the water though!. The rain comes again, but with the ‘sitter-outer’ (a Peterhead name for our cockpit cover) up, we settle down with the wind now a good F6 and gusting F7. With some gin and wine on the go, we have a grandstand view of the sailing school boats who are still out and being well shepherded by a small flotilla of rescue boats. They seem to be enjoying themselves hugely despite regular capsizings and dunkings. It is too rough and unpleasant for a dinghy trip ashore and we have plenty of food on board. By 10 and with the light fading, the wind eases and we have a more restful night than we had expected.