August 20, 2011

st. quay portrieux, france

On Wednesday, August 17, we were blown away that we had been in France for exactly one month.  Raivo was now 11 months old.  I was a month older.  James and Tormentina were too.  Time was marching forward, time to keep our lives in motion.

There was a good forecast for wind, so we planned to leave Caen that afternoon with the Avocet 50/Citoyens du Monde.  We were en route with them to St. Quay Portrieux for the Multi50 races scheduled to start on Friday morning.

When it came time to depart the dock at 3 pm in time for the bridges to open, the Avocet only had one working engine, and no ability to maneuver in the canal.  JFL asked James if we could tow them.  I thought he was kidding, but realized he was completely serious.  Fortunately Laurent Meyer was there with us to tie and throw the lines to the Avocet, while James drove Anasazi Girl, and I managed the kids.

Anasazi Girl towed (a first for her), slowly but steadily, the 50' cat behind her down the canal.  The Pegasus Bridge opened a second time to let us through, repairs were made while underway, and by the time we arrived at the lock in Ouistreham around 6 pm, both engines for the Avocet were back in business.   JFL is one lucky guy.  Thanks to Laurent for the baked goods, good humor in the canal, and his skill with making the tow lines happen.

The lock opened at 10:30.  It was dark, I was nervous about tying into the wall, and missing our friendly calvadosed fishermen who were there when we went through the first time.  We managed the wires just fine while the water inside the lock was drained and we were lowered.  With two more fenders, plus one borrowed from the Avocet, the concrete walls did not get the better of us.

Once the lock was re-opened, we were off and bound for Brittany.  Very bumpy, but excellent wind for the first half of the trip, then no wind and current against us for the second half of the trip.  Not my favorite conditions, but luckily the kids slept through most of it.

We arrived in St. Quay at the Port d'Armor Marina just under 24 hours after leaving Ouistreham.  It was before dark, and we side-tied to the Avocet.  Nice to not have to think about docking, tired and late at night.  Even nicer to have friends while in a foreign country.

We have been watching the races the last two days.  Tormentina says she wants one of the "big" boats when we are done with Anasazi Girl.

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