We were supposed to be going there today, a week before I take my boat to Brittany for “the big one”. My wife and I bought a caravan in early 2013, and I was doing it up until the moment when my mother died. We stored it in the garden of a friend, and now we are going to use it. When I brought it back to our house to do the remaining work, one of the tyres blew out as I arrived. I saw that both tyres were just as old and perished. I put on the spare tyre and took the wheel with the punctured tyre to the garage that services my van. The special size of the wheel made it difficult for my garage man to find the right tyre, and finally, he promised it for Saturday morning. Great, I will go and get the wheel with the new tyre tomorrow morning, put it on the caravan – and we’re off.
I took the boat yesterday, since one can’t tow a caravan and a boat at the same time. We are going to leave the caravan stored at the camp site owners’ farm for a reasonable rent outside the time we will be using it at the camp site for the normal cost per night. I was never keen on a caravan in the first place, but my wife finds it difficult to live in rough conditions like in a tent. I will be sleeping in my boat the following week!
There should be some reasonable sailing days next week on the open sea, and it would be good to sail further along the coast than I did in my old boat, to Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue and the beautiful island of Tatihou. Perhaps my wife will sail with me if she isn’t too afraid of getting cold!
We are getting used to going to this “old place” for weeks off. It is unspoilt unlike a lot of Brittany where the coasts have been increasingly built-up with secondary houses. Barfleur is still very much a fishing port with a few workmanlike open boats and the bigger metal trawlers. The fish and seafood is sold at the quay, and it is all fresh, delicious and cheaper than in the supermarkets. There will be nice long walks for when the weather isn’t right for sailing, and a quiet time for recharging batteries.
We will return home on Saturday 9th May, and I will be setting off on Sunday 10th for the Semaine du Golfe. That will be different from the caravan holiday: no computer or internet, sparing use of the mobile phone, a little transistor radio for the news, weather and music (France Musique). Apart from that, it will be a life without electricity (other than what works on batteries) or modern technology other than evenings ashore to buy food and socialise with my flotilla mates. I am counting on this to be a spiritual retreat like none other! I have just received the navigation plans for my flotilla (Voile-Aviron) and everything is extremely well organised.
I will have my computer at Barfleur, but with only a limited internet connection (I will have to go into town to get wi-fi at the Mairie). Given this, please be indulgent if I am slow to answer comments on the blog or private e-mails. I will be totally off-line from 10th to 18th May.