One of my ‘must visit ‘ places on this adventure of ours is the Golfe de Morbihan. We left Isle de Houat at 11.30am and set our sails for the entrance into the Morbihan. Having read all the pilotage books on-board, the entrance into the ‘Golfe’ was to be treated with respect. The pilotage books all clearly stated that there was a right and wrong time to enter the Golfe. In the Morbihan there are literally 70 islands contained in an inland waterway covering some 50 square miles. The difference in the tide times from North to South is almost an hour. So, the problem lies in getting through the narrow entranceway at the right time. At full flood, the water races through the entrance at 8 knots on a spring tide. So Mr Lindsay sort this one out! Easy, wait just off the entrance and wait for someone else in a yacht to attempt entry. Simples. We hung around for a while and could see an approaching armada of sailing vessels. Ok lets go for it. With 55 horses inside Moneypenny’s engine we commenced to motor into the entrance behind a couple of like sized yachts. Oops, we all came to an abrupt halt in the outgoing tide. Way to early, stated my only crew member Judith. She was lucky to stay on-board at that juncture.
Entering The Morbihan Quite has returned!
We waited and again put the 55 horses into full gallop mode and slowly but surely edged our way into the Golfe. Having negotiated the entrance, we decided to turn to port and navigate the River Auray, which believe it or not takes you eventually up to Auray! We travelled some 5 miles up the river and picked up a convenient mooring buoy and settled down for a well earned rest. Why oh why did we pick a mooring next to a disused landing stage which in the late evening became a magnet for the local youths to congregate at and scream each and every time someone jumped off the stage into the water. By the end of the evening I was ready to drown an unsuspecting said youth, but there were too many witnesses!!!!. Thank goodness the tide went out and peace and tranquillity returned, allowing a restful night sleep.
The following day we ventured ashore by dinghy and walked through ancient woodland (complete with medieval burial tomb) to the town of ‘Bono’. No I don’t know if he has ever been there!!. A small town located on the edge of the river dominated by an old iron bridge. We found that the bridge was in fact the third model to be built on the site and allowed the residents of Bono walking access to the bigger town of Auray some 8 miles away. Just popping into town for a pint darling!!! was the call from older times.
The Bridge connecting Bono to Auray
Arriving back at the dinghy we noticed that someone had stolen the water out of the river and we had to carry the dinghy down the foreshore. Ouch, ouch as we trod on oyster shells. And that was with sandles on!. Launch said dinghy and jump in Alistair. Oh Poo, I managed to puncture the dinghy on an oyster shell and a loud hissing sound accompanied us in our race back to Moneypenny before all the air escaped out of the punctured compartment. There are three compartments on the dinghy but I didn’t fancy getting wet. Out with the puncture repair kit and a quick repair was undertaken. Leave to cure for 24 hours stated the instructions. Forget that for a start and within 2 hours we were back on the water heading for Auray, in the same dinghy. Auray was a fascinating mixture of ancient and modern. On the riverside were medieval buildings and warehouses converted, in these times, to shops and restaurants. Walk up the steep cobbled street to the modern town again with its collection of French chain stores. Jude and I were due to return to the Uk on the 7th September for three weeks and I was under orders from my daughter to dress smartly for an event in London on the 8th September. Someone should really tell the French clothing industry that someday someone may wish to purchase a pair of trousers which will actually fit a fat bellied Welshman. No, there isn’t a man living in France with a waist band over 38 inches (Or the french equivalent measurement which is 52)(52 what I don’t know!) Not a single pair of trousers to fit in sight. A jacket sir? (Please remember this was taking place through the services of my on-board translation service – Madam Judith). A Jacket. It was like I was shopping for moon dust. They all stop at the equivalent of 44” chest. Why didn’t I put a jacket and trousers on-board when we left Milford. There commenced the search of the century, in every town we visited for the elusive jacket and trousers. I was even walking down the streets eyeing up French men and trying to guesstimate their waist size. Surely his waist is as big as mine!!!! Where does he shop? Defeated, we returned to the dinghy and motored the six miles downstream to the sanctuary of Moneypenny. It can’t be that difficult to buy a sodding jacket and trousers in France can it? Answer – yes it can.