Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cruise of the ‘Ishani’, a 26’ Eventide – Part 14

Île de Groix

For the next two days fog associated with high pressure prevented us from sailing the short distance to Île de Groix. This small, highly cultivated island, only 8 kilometres by 3 kilometres, is a real gem. It supports a higher percentage of woodland than its immediate neighbours. Five years before our visit, the island was designated as a mineral nature reserve, since it is the source of more than 60 different minerals. Port Tudy on the northern side of the island serves as its main port. Regular ferries run every day between it and the Brittany port of Lorient. Port Lay, a short distance to the west is very small, being only suitable for a handful of boats that can take the ground, most of them are fishermen’s open boats suitable for crabbing or lobster fishing. The natural cove Locmaria to the south does not provide a great deal of protection, but it is filled with moorings for local craft.

Entrance to Port Tudy

Sunday, 28th June

The barometer was still high, at 1,023 millibars. Visibility improved sufficiently for us to sail for Île de Groix. An hour after leaving Le Palais we observed a wall of fog advancing towards us from the south. In 1987, the year of our cruise, we were not equipped with a GPS, nor did we have radar – Our most useful tool for navigating in fog was a DF set. As we neared Île de Groix it became a race between us and the fog. At 1047 we caught our first glimpse of the Île de Groix, but at the same time we very aware of the ever advancing fog. By the time we were approaching Port Tudy it was almost upon us, and we could no longer see the easternmost end of the island.

Mondy, 29th June

We elected to stay one full day at Île de Groix. We agreed that this was ample time for exploring the island by foot. That morning we walked to Port Lay with the purpose of having a swim in the sea, but conditions were not suitable. As far as I remember, the tide was out and the bottom was very rocky and full of weeds. We returned to the yacht, but I was disappointed at our lack of success; therefore and I thought I would search elsewhere for a suitable beach. Bill didn’t object, so I left him to tinker around on the yacht. I covered quite a lot ground and found a beautiful beach at Port Melite.

That evening we dined at a local restaurant specializing in sea foods. I didn’t fancy eating mussels which was Bill’s choice; instead I had delicious Sole Meunière fried in butter. The very thought of mussels made me feel queasy – each to his own I say – but we both shared half a bottle of rich red wine. I was a bit light-headed on my way back to the yacht, but I felt a contented glow within.

Text for the Day

1 Corinthians 16:13, 14 ‘Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.’

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