Returning Home Via a Vineyard (or Three)

When we returned to Calypso from our mid-season break in the UK we left our Citroen Berlingo at our winter destination, complete with a tent in the boot. After 3 days hard graft in the boatyard we headed South to tour the vineyards of Bordeaux.

2017 Review and 2018 Plans

We followed our intended plan for 2017 quite closely, and in spite of our fears of a delayed channel crossing whilst waiting for the wind in Weymouth we did arrive in France on the last day of May. We had a great time, and here are a few highlights, lowlights and numbers:

Winterising and Winter Berth

Before we had the boat lifted out of the water at our selected boatyard we dried and removed sails and undertook the first part of the engine service – oil and filter change.

In this part of France the winters can get very cold indeed, and we needed to take care to prepare Calypso for the very cold months ahead.

La Roche Bernard

The winds were fairly gentle as we headed north from La Turballe towards the Vilaine River, but we did have a very pleasant sail for most of the way, dropping the sails as we we reached the point where the approach narrowed and shallowed. We are perhaps over-cautious, but didn’t want sails up in case we needed to hunt for deeper water.

Sitting it out in La Turballe

On 7th September we started our journey North towards our winter berth – stored ashore on the hard – having pre-booked our late September lift-out date as early as February. We had intended to stay another day but the forecast of high winds over the coming days meant that instead of a leisurely trip North we would knock off 40 nm of the trip in the one day to give us plenty of time, sitting out high winds if need be, to get to our destination.

Ile D’Yeu – Cyclists’ paradise

Various people along the way said that Ile D’Yeu is a must see, and so we went on Friday 1st September, the day that the mooring fee falls from 38.50 to 22.00 euros! Whilst in the end we did really like the island and had a great time, the marina was not well situated and the town it sits in was OK but shops and bars are a long walk from the marina – and the bars and restaurants were not as attractive as in some places we’ve visited.

Heading South – Getting warmer – Ile De Noirmoutier

L’Herbaudiere, on the tip of the Ile De Noirmoutier, is just 15 nm south of Pornichet.  We sailed pretty much the entire way on a beautiful day and caught another Bonito on the way. Knowing by now that this was far too good for fish bait we were pleased to land it.

Back Home Then Return to Pornichet

We had arranged to go home for a couple of weeks and traveled with Alice and James by ferry.
30 odd of our family and friends who were not on holiday joined us for a BBQ at home when surprisingly it didn’t rain! We packed in a lot over the 2 weeks and were looking forward to getting back to Calypso by the end of it.
However when we arrived back……..

Pornichet and Pornic – and visitors!

We had to be back to the mainland and in Pornichet marina by the last Saturday in July where we had arranged to meet Alice and James who were coming for a week’s holiday. Paul’s back was sufficiently mended to leave the madness and noise of Le Palais by Wednesday – which would give us time to reorganise storage in the aft cabins to have one cabin clear for our visitors!