Waiting For Weather

Trip Start Oct 15, 2010
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Trip End Dec 15, 2010


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Flag of France  , Brittany,
Friday, October 29, 2010

Passing through the gate of the medieval city you come to the vegetable market set up twice a week on the cobblestones between half-timbered, jettied houses that lean crookedly out to have a look.  Old women with baskets elbow past you as you watch the fish mongers slicing up the morning's catch.  Soon you are heading back to your sailboat with heavy bags of oysters and mussels, tomatoes and olives, mackerel wrapped in paper.  You need it all for the days you are going to have to wait for the wind to mellow and turn.

Genevieve smiled as she descended the gangway toward Eclipse: her man DeDe was safe and happy and she was here to fetch him back to his vineyards and cognac making, after a couple days of sightseeing in Brittany around the Gulf of Morbihan.

We began at the tide flats south of Vannes where small boats lay aground on the muck and cormorants searched for fishes.  We drove to Le Bono to see the grave of Bernard Moitessier who lies in the corner of a cemetery beneath a palm tree draped with necklaces of cowrie shells, a corked bottle of seawater from Cape Horn resting against his hand engraved headstone.  Then we visited Auray, where Ben Franklin negotiated the alliance with France to aid the American Revolution, and we lunched on savory crepes at an outdoor table in chilly Autumn sunlight.  The tidewater was rushing beneath the old stone Pont-Neuf.

This area is loaded with megalithic sites.  We started with the Dolmen du Mane Lud which one could be forgiven for mistaking as a WWI bunker.  Nearby we arrived too late to enter the Megaliths of Locmariaquer and had to peer at then across the perimeter hedge, and then duck into the gift shop to avoid a rain shower.  But we did get to walk among the Menhir of Carnac, lines of boulders crossing fields and hills, and sneak into a tumulus.

The next day brought the departure of DeDe and Genevieve and suddenly we felt aware that we were just three and it was time for final preparations.  There is always work to be done on a sailboat and our weather forecast looked dreary for at least a few more days, so we got busy.  Morale was dropping: we wanted to be underway.  And then I bit a piece of oyster shell and hurt a tooth.  Not happy times.

Thursday began with demonstrators passing the boat carrying signs and red flags to a rally against President Sarkozy.  We replaced the electric wire to the port side bow light.  The wind generator finally came online.  We pulled the dinghy from the depths of the cockpit locker, inflated it, and tried the oars.  Everything was becoming ready to go.

Now it looks like Saturday we will leave Vannes to find moorage closer to the mouth of the Bay of Morbihan, and Sunday we will celebrate Halloween by starting the four day crossing of the Bay of Biscay, on the heels of a low pressure area that should spin our winds back toward Portugal once again...

Photos from this week start here.
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