My Semaine du Golfe in Photos

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.

semaine-golfe02Finally, I found Roger Barnes, the author of the Dinghy Cruising Companion on the beach. He had spent Easter with me this year.

semaine-golfe03Here he is packing up his boat ready for the day’s sail. The tent arrangement is described in his book.

semaine-golfe04He has just pushed away from the beach and appears to be looking at something very attentively before hoisting sail.

semaine-golfe05We 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!

semaine-golfe06This is Port Anna where we moored afloat.

semaine-golfe07We 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!

semaine-golfe08Thursday 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!

semaine-golfe09Here we sail with the current.

semaine-golfe10The 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.

semaine-golfe11From now, it is the Grand Parade of Saturday. I had some problems getting out of Port Navalo and found myself a considerable distance behind. I caught up before being back at Port Anna.

semaine-golfe12The photo is unclear, but that bit of land is full of spectators and journalists.

semaine-golfe13Here is where I caught up, though not yet with my own flotilla. We are all kinds of boats together, and we had to watch out for the ships!

semaine-golfe14I was in butterfly position (in a dead run with the mainsail on one tack and the jib on the other). The boats off my fore quarter were sailing on a port tack before the wind.

semaine-golfe15As 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.

semaine-golfe16Here 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.

semaine-golfe17It 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.

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4 Responses to My Semaine du Golfe in Photos

  1. I just read all your three posts about your journey. It seemed like a very challenging affair with brilliant moments counterpointed by some gloomy patches.
    To be honest, six nights on a dinghy is an enduring experience even for young non-spiritual kids, so you can be proud of your endeavour.

    As I recently went cruising with my mirror rigged Tabur 320, here is my testimonial video

    It was a much more lonely affair than yours, I was the only guy around. I think aloneness facilitates cruising enjoyment. I am sure your next night aboard Sarum will be a much more comfortable experience with all the improvements you will do to it.

    Best,

    Juan

    • It is good to hear from you again. Your video is magical. I congratulate you for your long hair. I have recently bought a waterproof video camera and will soon try it. Yes, living onboard was made hard by the cramped space and the dampness. I have ideas for improving the sleeping space and the tent, and it should be much better next time. Perhaps this autumn, I may try to get a two-day cruise along the Normandy coast south of the Seine.

  2. Roger Barnes says:

    Roger is not gazing attentively at the horizon, he is hauling up his stern anchor, which can be seen dangling from his hands. And in the earlier picture he is using his mouth to pull tight the cord on his folding pillow before packing it away.

    • In the light of this, it’s obvious. My waterproof camera is not a particularly good one, even less good when seawater salt builds up over the lens. It has been good for me to get experience of real dinghy cruising and to discover my own limitations. It has been for me a real school in things like different methods of mooring other than hauling onto a beach. Camping on a boat teaches one to be careful, precise and methodical. Thanks for the teaching by example!

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