We left Audierne this morning to catch the tidal streams down to Pointe Penarche, unfortunately there was precious little wind, but there was a fair amount of swell. As we have been sailing with the Atlantic swell for so long now, there are times where one doesn’t really notice. At least not anywhere near as much as when first encountered.
The trip down to the corner was pretty uneventful, ditto for about half the remaining part of the journey to Concarneau. We did however hit a patch of water where it was either lobster pot city or long line city – not sure which. It does say in the pilot books that there are still some fishermen using the long line technique and as their lines are pretty much on the surface, one should avoid going through between the markers. Well these particular ones were definitely better marked than normal and had six foot poles with big flags on them (not the usual old plastic drums) making me assume long lines. Therefore I decided to go around this patch, who knows whether I was right or wrong, but it only added about 10 mins to the overall journey so no drama ether way.
It was however rather neat to go through between the Illes de Glenan and Illes Aux Mouton, and somewhere at the back of my mind I have something telling me that there was some connection with the Illes de Glenan and Bernard Moittessier, …………perhaps someone could tell me if this is true or whether I need to go and lie down in a darkened room?
Once through the gap between the islands we decided that irrespective of the light winds, (bearing in mind that Sun Dog needs a fair amount of breeze to get her sailing), that we would hoist all sail and do our best to sail the last part over to Concarneau. Let’s just say that Mr Campbells “Bluebird record” was not challenged!
We managed the heady speeds of between 0.5 to 1 knot, but the sun was shining and were in no real rush, in fact it was lovely and peaceful for a couple of hours, but we did eventually have to admit defeat, fire up the engine, and get ourselves into Concarneau. Upon double checking the pilot book it suggested that Fridays were best avoided as this was sailing school changeover day! (guess what day this is?) However when we went into the marina we were pleased to see that there were plenty of visitors berths available on “D” pontoon.
It’s really quite impressive sailing into Concarneau marina, as right in front of you stands the Fortress of Ville Close another defensive structure built by Monsieur Vauban……he must have been a busy chap as he was also responsible for the one in Camaret……….he must have been the French “Thomas Telford” of his day as his civil engineering products seem to be everywhere.
We had a cursory look around the old town contained within the walls of Ville Close, and its very reminiscent of Carcassone in France, albeit on a smaller scale.
We then went to find a mobile phone shop to buy a dongle for internet access and were pleased to find almost immediately and Orange shop. In we went, saw the right dongle package tried to buy it but were refused because we were not residents of France nor did we have a French bank account.
Now I know what you are thinking, we probable messed up the translation and they thought we wanted a dongle on contract/account – no we didn’t – the only dongle they were prepared to sell, unless you had the above, was a dongle that would last exactly one day!!
We left this shop scratching our heads, but just a few hundred yards away was another mobile phone shop SFR, into the shop we go and go through the same request – viola – we could get one with the first three days free, then a quick phone call would connect us onto our 60 day access whilst in France.
Just the ticket, duly purchased just before the shop closed, back to the marina all excited because we could catch up on e-mails, update the blog, check the detailed weather forecasts, and hopefully get onto Skype.
Onto the boat out with the laptop and guess what bloody thing wouldn’t work….O’ dash it I heard myself say!
We tried on and off into the evening but no joy – we will need to go back to the shop tomorrow…ho hum!