Atlantic-Biscay

Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Royan

After so much country air, it was of course a pleasure to take a deep breath and breathe in the sea air in Royan on June 17th. This air is clear and moist, and then there was a long thunderstorm at night, it just feels good.

Amica arrived at the port at around 1:30 p.m. and the freight forwarder managed to get the boat off the trailer before the official deadline. I then used the time to clean the underwater hull.

Amica on the trailer, still very dirty

Amica in the boat lift after high-pressure cleaning

The launching was quick and problem-free. They can do that here.

Then I had to wait another 5 days for the mast to be erected. That only be done professionally here with an electric mast crane, and you need an appointment for that. Then comes the mast trimming and securing everything. The electrical and electronic connections have to be checked and connected. That takes more than a day. Overall, I spent a week in Royan. It also got really hot here, over 30 degrees. In the afternoon, nothing worked at all. I was glad to finally get back to the sea, the Atlantic with swell. These are gentle movements, really great. Unfortunately, the first few days were without wind.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Saint Gilles Croix de Vie

Exit Royan, doesn’t look so nice from the outside.

The suburbs looks nicer.

Moreover, my fenders gleaming white again after I removed all the covers that had been soiled by the lock.

At the end of the Gironde, about four nautical miles from land, there is a sandbank, roughly in the middle of the sea. Numerous wrecks all around bear witness to the dangerous nature of this bank, the Banc de Matelier or Banc de Coubre.

The Ile d’Oleron, an eternally long sandy beach and not a single hotel!

At the tip of the island is the port of Saint-Denis, a bit dull here.

Only the harbour had many restaurants.

Here we finally had the cacahuètes with our beer.

The galette was quite heavy on the stomach. Just buckwheat flour.

We continued north along the Ile de Rhe, with another endless sandy beach without people. It took me 8 hours to get to Saint-Denis on the first trip, but now it took me another six to Les Sables d’Olonne. I’ve earned a break here, and also there was a rainy day with strong winds from the northwest. On this rainy day, they organized their Iron Man, first a 2 km swim, then a 70 km bike ride and finally a half-marathon.

Of course, the harbour was closed.

The peloton came back here.

At the exchange-station, there was a lot of action.

During the run that followed, you could see from time to time that it was all quite exhausting. Respect for the more than 2000 non-professionals who fought their way through. There were around 60 pros and they took just under 4 hours. The last non-professional completed the course in 6.5 hours, just before the heavier rain started.

The next day I actually wanted to go straight to the Ile d’Yeu, but from there the low wind came. So I opted for the 17 nautical miles to Saint Gille Croix de Vie, but also under motor, because you can’t sail the acute angle and I didn’t feel like crossing in the weak wind.

In Saint Gilles Croix de Vie they also have a tower on the Capitainerie.

And funny comics on the walls in the harbour.

I just couldn’t find the statue of Monsieur Beneteau, it seems to have disappeared. What a pity, I wanted to take a photo of it.