Here are the best of the photos I took with a waterproof camera. All the same, the lens needs cleaning from time to time to get rid of the salt build-up. I arrived last Sunday afternoon (10th May), rigged and launched the boat, parked my van and trailer in the designated car park and my whole existence was in the boat.
I sailed / rowed to Vannes for the completion of my registration and spent the night moored near my launching slipway. The following day, I sailed to the mouth of the Gulf to find the boats that would be in the Little Parade, but I think I was much too early. Anxious about the tide, I returned to the north of the gulf, and moored at the north of the Isle of Arz, not knowing where my Flotilla would spend that night. My answer came on Tuesday morning when I saw my flotilla mates sailing for the east and south of the island. I followed them and managed to catch up. We spent the day on this island. Sarum can be seen beached about third of the way from the left of the photo.
Finally, I found Roger Barnes, the author of the Dinghy Cruising Companion on the beach. He had spent Easter with me this year.
We sailed to our next port of call, Port Anna, where we spent Tuesday night after the festivities on the Isle of Arz. The wind died and the current was to be changing before long. I graciously accepted the offer of a tow behind these kind gentlemen from Marseilles (though the boat was local). Allez, un bon pastis et un jeu de pétanque!
We set out on Wednesday for Le Logeo on the south of the gulf. The wind was fresh and gusted at about 20 knots or force 5 Beaufort. My mainsail was reefed and we close-hauled almost all the way. I cleated both sails and regulated the boat just with the helm and my weight on the gunwale. It was exhilarating!
Thursday was washed out with rain and violent winds gusting at 7-8 Beaufort. Sailing was cancelled, so we spent the day on land. There was little to do other than talk with people, shelter as best as possible and eat as necessary. Friday would take us to Port Blanc via three possible routes. We needed to stay together as a flotilla, so we had waiting points to allow the slowest to catch up. One remarkable boat Roger and I saw was what we called Le Méchant Seil, an eighteen-foot pram in wood or plywood to a François Vivier plan. They are very fast!
The thrill of the day was a very narrow gap through which the entire tide would flow. It was like a weir. It was perhaps a little foolish to photograph the moment of whooshing through, but it was fun all the same. Crowds of people watched us do that! As you can see, we were looked after in case of accident.
As we approached the entry to Port Anna, the sea was full of boats, including the passenger ferries that made a terrible wake when they went at any speed. Here, it was going very slowly at about 3 knots.
Here is the famous Maison Rose of Port Anna, built in 1879. It stands out as you sail past, and the pink colour is required by the nautical authorities.
It was also a sad moment, because it was the end of the Parade, the end of the Week and time to take the boat out of the water. As I write, I can still feel the effects of a week on the water in the form of a kind of vertigo that gives me the sensation of being at sea whilst on land. It will pass, but it is very strange.
I may have some more photos as they are sent to me by those who took them and to whom I gave my e-mail address.