Dear family and friends, Happy Labor Day Weekend! (The end of summer for many and back to school). Our friend Roger came by to pick us up at Port Louis Wednesday afternoon. Al and I thought we were just going for a ride in the country to see inland South Brittany. But to our surprise Roger asked where our overnight bag was as we were leaving Artemis. I quickly threw some things into a bag and then we were off on our very first European overnight in a fellow cruiser's home. Roger drove us over hilly, winding roads reminding us of upstate NY with the small farms and villages. Roger and Angela's village consisted of perhaps 5 houses, a dairy-chicken farm, and several other buildings dating back to the 1600's. Most were made of stone with thatch or in some cases slate roofs. Their home has the Chapeau de Jandarm (hat of policeman) style roof
France | South Brittany | Roger's House s/y Kandy
It's called that because it resembles Napoleon's hat. Their home, the main house on their property once served many purposes. The top floor stored grain/hay, the main level at one end housed the animals and the other is where the family lived. Another structure on their property is an old 8-10 ft diameter community baking oven. The neighbors would bring their dough once a week to rise overnight and then be baked the next day.
Roger seems to be a "Jack of all trades", sailor, rugby player Club level for 30 years, retired English solicitor and now the re modeler of their beautiful home. I can't begin to describe the quaint, comfortable, country home they've created for themselves. I can only say it felt perfect. Just what one might expect to see in South Brittany but we never dreamed the doors would be thrown open and we would be invited in to share it with them. Angela prepared a beautiful and delicious meal of kebop's that Roger grilled on the BQ and several vegetables, cheeses and dessert. It was interesting to have a real conversation in English with someone other than Al. Their friend Tim (81yr. old author/sailor) came for dinner too. So we had a variety of topics to discuss but most came back to sailing and cruising areas.
France | Lorient | Submarine Museum and pens
Yesterday Roger drove us a different way back to Port Louis so we could see more of the countryside and then made a short stop at Lidl's for groceries. In the afternoon Al and I took a ferry across the bay to Lorient and visited the excellent Submarine museum and pens.
Today we left Port Louis and had a fantastic 37nm sail to Port de Sainte Marine on the west side of Odet River and Benodet on the east. Cute little town with some nice restaurants along the waterfront. Probably moving on tomorrow to Ste Evett hopefully another 34nm sail. Have a great weekend. No skype today but maybe tomorrow...Love and God Bless Sally and Al
August 29, 2012
Dear family and friends, Well we haven't progressed very far north but we've had lots of fun cruising. We met an English sailor Roger Harper "Kandy" who has retired in South Brittany with his wife Angela and he has convinced us we cannot move on with out experiencing some of his cruising ground.
France | Bell Ile | Port de Palais | Artemis mooring at high tide
France | Belle Ile | Port de Palais |Looking to city/ Vauban Citadel from Artemis mooring
So Sunday we left Vannes and motor sailed out to Port de Palais on Belle-Ile. It's the site of the massive Vauban Citadel. It's a star shaped fortress built by Vauban in 1761. We moored to a buoy tied to the breakwall looking up at the citadel. Very cool:-) Roger and his guests, came by and invited us to dinner with them. So we climbed the low tide ladder to a path that followed the wall of the citadel around to a bridge crossing to the town. Roger had chosen a restaurant on the port entry facing the citadel. We had fun speaking English, sharing travels, and enjoying a great meal of monkfish kebobs. Roger speaks fluent French and even utilizes the perfect French expressions so we had a humorous evening as he teased our waitress or the occasional customer who was foolish enough to strike up a conversation.
Monday we said good-bye to Roger and friends as they headed home with promises of calling when we arrived in Lorient. Al and I toured the town of Le Palais and then took a bus to visit nearby Sauzon. Cute fiord type harbor but best suited for boats that can take the ground at low tide. We had lunch then went back to Le Palais to visit the citadel. The citadel today is a museum and with spectacular views from the ramparts.
Tuesday we had the best sailing passage in a while. We sailed 22nm to Lorient and then motored 3nm up the River Blavet. Roger had told us of a lovely free anchorage off a tuna boat graveyard. It was idyllic so peaceful and we seemed to be the only people aboard our boat outside the moorings that were there. We even got to use our grill:-) We were a little nervous about the up coming Low tide so we move into the channel further to hold over 3m at low tide.
France | Lorient | Port Louis | Artemis moored alongside
Wednesday we left our quiet little anchorage early and headed down the river before we lost too much depth with the approaching low tide. Unfortunately a small squall came through dropping a bit of rain and gusting winds that made it difficult to moor in Roger's marina so we went a mile further toward the sea to Port Louis. The wind died down and we took the last visitors spot. We called Roger and made plans to be picked up about 4:00 and then we went sight seeing. Port Louis is a small tuna port and resort with a 16th century citadel. The citadel contains several excellent museums including a lifeboat museum and one about the French India Company. Roger did arrive to pick us up at 4:00 but I'll leave that adventure for another log. Love and God bless Sally and Al