That’s it, we’re finally out of the corona crisis! So I’m embarking on a simple challenge to test my new lifestyle: living and working at anchorage only for a month. I would live on my reserves and stops at the port and restocking is forbidden!

Thank you Kernével

I arrived at the habour of Kernével on February 21 and found myself confined there. Since then, I met almost everyone who lives on board their boat there and the atmosphere was really nice. During this period, I did a lot of work in the boat that is not fully completed. With the month of June coming, the question of staying to finish the work or leave was a natural one…

The choice was quickly made: I’ll leave and go back to my pre-crisis program!

So here am I, testing the lifestyle that is the essence of the project.

Living on board, sailing, travelling, paying no rent, working, fishing, escaping the weather, pampering my boat, loving it, hating it… Bored, making bread, having fun, making more bread…

In reality I don’t know where I’m going – literally and figuratively – but what’s certain is that I’m leaving what I know.

In short, the unknown… Only for a month, it’s not a feat either!

Refuelling and final adjustments

A day of shopping, no less than 7 hours spent in the shops buying the food and equipment I miss. I come back exhausted, but with enough to do scuba diving, enough to live for surely a month and a half or more. It is no surprise that I find that I do not have a single fresh vegetable: everything is cans and “powdered stuff”.

Apart from that there is a lot of nonsense like an excess of chickpeas and a deficiency of potatoes and onions. Ha yes, with 15kg of flour I’ll be able to make bread! It’s good I have 20 boxes of Hénaff pâté and 10 of sardines.

I remove the labels so they don’t clog the bilge pumps

At the beginning of the containment I had removed the water tanks from the keel so that I could work in it. It’s time to put them back on track because I’m going to need fresh water during this month alone. I would spend a full day putting it all back together properly.

It’s a long time, it’s painful, it’s a start that seems endless, I’m tired!

The start, the real one!

Come finally the moment when I take one last shower, when I refuel the tanks with 200L of fresh water, tidy the boat so that nothing brittle does not fall … Then we have to go.

I have a bad apprehension of the port maneuver and even if I leave at high tide and therefore without current, there is still a lot of wind. In short, I start to drop the moorings one after the other to see how the boat behaves without this or that mooring, then finally everything seems rather correct, I drop the last two and then “ho hold it is there”, I no longer touch the earth!

A little loose anyway since the boat goes wrong because of the propeller torque, so I have to put it back in the axis by pushing with my foot on the boat next door, it’s not class at all but it works. I could have asked the friends for help but no, I want to do it alone, it’s important. It is very important.

“But what does he do, he could have asked us for a hand instead of looking so stupid!”

Leaving the port I put away the moorings, the fenders and get ready to hoist the sails when Iceni, the big yacht of the friends rings the foghorn to say goodbye. I greet the friends with my hand and continue my gestures mechanically, but this is an instant I will remember. We helped each other well and above all we had a good laugh during this confinement! Now we have to hoist the sails and sail.

A page turns, and a new one appears.
That’s it, I’m gone!

To have fun and to work

As soon as I get out of the harbour the wind falls, I move slowly and bypass the island of Groix from the north where I meet dolphins who have fun jumping from the water. I finally arrive at the anchorage of Saint Nicholas harbour, a very nice little cove where I drop the anchor.
I’d spend two days there. I would work in the morning and in the evening, during the day I dive to clean the hull of Øya. During the confinement she was invaded by this little seaweed velvet. There she found her beautiful original blue!

The mooring of Saint Nicholas harbour, west of the island of Groix.

Telework means internet connection. As a matter of principle, at anchorage we seek shelter from the elements, so they are rather cashed places where we capture badly and on one side that’s a good thing. To fix the problem I put my phone in connection sharing mode and then hoist it to the top of the mast. So I have a flawless 4G connection and a good excuse not to answer the phone!

Failed

With this little routine alternating work and holidays I forget the essentials and look only lightly at the weather. On Wednesday evening I can see that the wind is forcing a lot the next two days but I prefer to fish rather than seriously prepare the rest of my program by thinking “I would go to the red sands anchorage, there I would be sheltered”.

This is obviously wrong and I leave the next day in a hurry to go wet to the island of Houat in Quiberon Bay. The journey is going very well, it’s not going that bad in 5 Beaufort of wind! I quickly find myself (4-5 hours later) approaching Houat when I see on the digital chart that the mooring of Treac’h er Goured is now forbidden. This is new since on my paper chart bought last December it was allowed.

I head to the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan with the idea of finding a mooring by the entrance or at worst going to the port of Crouesty. In this case, that would mean abandon my challenge and therefore fail miserably after 4 days.

You don’t go into the gulf like that, it’s well known for its violent streams and you have to be careful. I also do not want to admit defeat, so I drop the anchor a first time to temporize in front of the beach of Fogeo, a place poorly protected from the announced winds. Then I went back to anchor right at the entrance to the gulf to enter at the right time of the tide the next day.

Never two without three

This place is sheltered from the wind but little of the current. During the night, it sounds the same as when it is sailing because of the current that rubs against the hull. She pulls loudly on her chain that scrapes against the seafloor which then makes thuds. I don’t know all the noises of my boat yet, so I often go out to understand where this or that noise comes from.

It was a short night so I’m tired. I’m making a vain attempt to get into the gulf too soon! Then a second, again missed! Finally, I manage to pass the entrance and get wet in the shelter of the Île Longue island, just a little further.

It’s over, 27 hours after I the anchorage of Port Saint Nicolas, including 8 hours to make the 95% of the journey. Here you feel almost no wind and the sun hits hard, so much the better!

That’s all the better.

I take a nap in the sun and then debrief with myself, which is pretty severe. Anticipating, preparing B plans is the basis.

He knew it, he was told, but he didn’t do it: what a blockhead he is!

Consciousness

It doesn’t matter, quite the contrary. That’s how I learn: by making my mistakes on my own, by myself.

The sun of the Gulf of Morbihan is deserved!

A new step in calm

In the Gulf I discover a whole different atmosphere…

Half an hour after arriving an employee began mowing the lawn on Île Longue island. The boats do not stop passing here and there: grandpas with their grandchildren, oyster farmers, bimbos-free boats, old rigs, fishermen… And I’m taking my salty shower in the middle of all this beautiful people.

In the evening I fish and cook my mackerel. Too bad I do not really like this fish, but fresh is not that bad finally!

Since then, I have moved to another island. Now I’m back to work and my routine. I already want to get out of the gulf though. It’s nice but it’s not the ocean. It’s convenient because it’s sheltered!


To be continued…

Last Updated on 9 June 2020 by Vincent