Having had a somewhat rough night at anchorage on Isle de Glenans, the sanctuary of a marina beckoned. Concarneau to the North offered such facilities, so we upped anchor, set the sails and travelled the ten miles to the marina. No long journeys for us!!!!! Recently all under 10 miles!!.
Concarneau turned out to be a busy, vibrant French holiday resort, undergoing preparation for a forthcoming music festival, and in full flow with visitors. Judith and I walked the town and had lunch in a small café. We both ignored the fort which dominated the sky line and marina in favour of retail therapy and supplies in the local Intermache. I honestly thought that the fort was a very busy tourist attraction with hundreds of visitors crowding across the bridge into and out of the historic fortification. We struggled with the shopping back to Money Penny and saw that later on the fort had quietened down considerably . We decided on a final walk of the day and ended up at the entrance to the fort. As we entered the fort via the archway we encountered a throw back to medieval times with narrow winding streets all occupying the little space available within the shelter of the castle walls. All street level properties have been taken over by shops and restaurants, but there was a lovely ambience about the place. There were some quaint little shops all vying for your money and offering something different to the mainstream big retailers. What a delight, and Jude and I enjoyed the place and the vibrancy of the busy streets, we went back for another look the following day. We had fun watching a rather rotund French skipper on his yacht in the marina. A French man who had grounded his yacht in the marina! He sat at the helm shouting orders to his crew and the marina staff who were attempting to extract the vessel from its current position. After much shouting, engine revving and mast pulling, the yacht eventually became free. Still with rotund French man sitting at the helm. Once free, he decided that the best course of action was to engage forward, rev the engine to its upper limits and hot the ground again, probably within inches of his last grounding. O dear, now everybody is shouting at him, including the instant experts gathering on the quayside. An almost identical tactic was deployed by marina staff heaving the mast over on a halyard, whilst French skipper blasted the engine in reversed. Success, the yacht shot backwards and out of the grip of the sea bed. Said rotund Frenchman decided that having drawn a large crowd to view his antics he would retire gracefully, he turned around, and headed out of the marina, cursing everyone at the top of his voice.
Isle de Croix
Late in the afternoon we set sail for another island, this time Isle de Croix (I don’t know how to pronounce it either!) After a great sail we arrived at the harbour, our sanctuary for the night. Channel 9 on the radio produced two young boys in a fast rib, who instructed us to follow them. In we went and they very helpfully took Moneypenny’s lines at our requested position in the harbour, fed the lines through the eye of the mooring buoys stern and bow to, which we secured onto our cleats. Great, we thought an excellent mooring in a harbour on this popular Island, mid August. How dare we believe that we would be afforded such luxury as our own mooring buoys. In total, another seven large yachts became moored to the same two buoys as us. Most amusing was the fact that young boys on rib at one point hit a yacht amidships and motored a line of 20 odd yachts sideways in order to make room from a brand new £700k aluminium yacht which came in astern and moored alongside us. Transpired it was the owner of the company that made said aluminium yachts , no doubt attempting to prove the undoubted durability of his beautiful yachts.
Money Penny next to her £700k new found friend!! Our Neighbours!!
A short dinghy trip ashore took us to a quaint village, full, as expected, of all the touristy things, including a plethora of bike hire shops. We walked up the hill to a neighbouring village which as per normal for a French village had a church in the centre, surrounded by shops, houses,and even a Cinema!
We had sufficient food on board to feed the French navy so decided to eat on-board that evening. The following day, any thought of an early start was scuppered by our neighbouring boats. We were well and truly hemmed in, without any sign of life on any nearby yachts. OK Alistair, calm down, accept the situation and we may get out of here by 5pm.
The neighbouring yachtsmen leaped into action at 12 noon, and all decided it was time to go at that allocated time. Don’t know why but each and every yacht decided to go all at once. French mayhem ensued!!!