I think I’ve mentioned already that I’m a serial list maker which as afflictions go is probably not the worst possible although I know some of you will find it unnecessarily structured and pedantic. We were sailing from Saint Gilles Criox de Vie to Les Sables d’Olonne yesterday evening with the last of the evening sunset, when I started pondering about lists of things.
- Ile de Brehat. Delightful, like going back in time, no cars, great anchorage, a beautiful water mill and quiet and understated. Been before, loved it then, still loved it now.
- Belle Ile. Great coastal walking, not unlike Cornwall. Small coves and sandy inlets and an impressive Citadel overlooking the main town, Le Palais. In fact the footpath goes through part of the Citadel. Save up and go for lunch. We hadn’t but someone arrived by helicopter who had. There’s something to aspire to …maybe.
- Iles de Glenan. Described to us by a local as the French version of the Caribbean or the Galápagos Islands. St Nicolas where we anchored takes about 20 minutes to walk around. Crystal clear water, white sandy beaches. We swam with wetsuits on – wimpy?!?
- Rob Knowles, Mark Ludbrook and my dad will be polite and make supportive noises about my dolphin photos because that’s the kind of people they are. In reality they are pretty shoddy and some more photographic work is required here. Dolphins swimming on the bow wave make us smile every time.
- Not sure this really fits under wildlife but the queue to the trawler that arrived with sardines got bigger and bigger as locals and tourists turned up with buckets and Asda plastic bags.
- Being at anchor in Cameret where the evening entertainment was watching gulls dive no more than 4m from the boat and coming up with beaks full of fish. My personal fishing attempts have so far drawn a blank. Hum.
- Crab Mayonnaise. A whole crab arrives in pieces with an array of tools that could only have been invented by a dentist or someone from a horror movie to help dissect it. A painstaking hobby with lots of delicious reward.
- Moules a la crème. Top Nosh and another time consuming but delicious dish.
- Ice cream. Lemon for Dave. Mango for me. No need to embellish. Buy one and walk round the old town which is in the ramparts of a castle on an island in Concarneau.
Les Sables d’Olonnes is an iconic sailing location. Pete Goss was welcomed back here by over 500,000 supporters after forsaking his own race to sail 2 days into 80 mile an hour winds to rescue Raphael Dinelli from his life raft in the southern ocean. Epic. Yesterday a few families out walking along the piers waved to us and the fishermen and women retracted their lines as we motored in along the canal. It still felt iconic to me.