It went pretty well actually, except for one part at the very end. The weather at least was fabulous. Bright and sunny with a moderate 15-17 knot breeze out of the west. I motored down the river, Le Jaudy they call it, against the dregs of the flood tide, and raised sail just before reaching the entrance. There followed a few hours of experimentation in open water. Took a reef in the main. Played with the Windpilot windvane for a while. Diddled with the electronics. Reveled in the moments and all. One of the highlights was when I turned back in and saw the creator of the Boréal, Jean-François Delvoye, heading out on his own new boat (that’s him on the foredeck trying to take photos of me) for a bit of an Easter Sunday jaunt.
I can tell you one thing for sure. The old Lunacy (recently sold, FYI, to two young French couples living in the U.S. who plan to cruise her to Patagonia) felt like a dinghy compared to this boat. I understood, of course, that this new one is bigger, but I told myself it wouldn’t be that different, as the mast is exactly the same height (old Lunacy has a very tall rig for her size).
Well, yes. But the sails are still bigger, and this is, I will confess, the largest boat I have ever sailed singlehanded. Another Rubicon crossed.
Yours truly on the foredeck, in between his bouts of exercise
On a broad reach to nowhere
The loads are bigger, as is the cockpit, so there is a bit more scrambling about when sailing alone. Also, admittedly, I am still learning this boat. Ten years of sailing on any boat will create a very impressive economy of motion and effort in handling it, and I am sure I will realize similar economies on this boat once I’ve sailed it a few thousand miles.
About this river. It truly is spectacular, as is all the countryside and shoreline I’ve managed to see here en Bretagne. One very good reason to buy one of these boats is to have an excuse to hang around here for a while. I only wish I had the time to spend a full season cruising the coast!
Snaking up the river toward Treguier as the ebb tide drains away beneath me
And now about the massacre part. Very embarrassing this. My first solo landing on the new boat, in a wind against tide situation (tide ahead, wind behind, both working away from the dock), and I messed it up! Prodded the boat ahead, gently, but significantly (fortunately it is already in a semi-decrepit state, with a missing spreader, varnish long gone, an unraveled deck, etc.), and I munged up its stern pulpit a bit, cracked its flag staff clean off, and snapped one stay on the wind generator’s mast.
Checking my French phrase book I see the appropriate phrase here is: Je suis désolé!
So very sorry.
The damage done. I just met the owner, Frank (sp?), before sitting down to write this and he was very magnanimous. Lucky me. Needless to say I promised to pay for the damage, and I assume he understood me
Scene of the crime: the marina at Treguier. It looks pleasant enough, but 30-foot tides can make any postcard more interesting than it seems at a glance. Check out the mud! This isn’t even dead low yet. That comes when the boats closest to shore are up to their hulls in it
Afterwards I strolled around town for a while to work off the shame, soaking up the Easter vibe, and snapped many pix. If I had a faster web connection I’d post many more of them, as it really is a medieval wonderland.
Up the hill toward the center of town. Note the intriguingly perforated cathedral spire on the left
My favorite building so far. Complete with hawks overhead