Douarnenez to St Evette

We left Douarnenez for the last time at around midday and were able to sail, tacking our way towards the Raz de Sein. The wind was blowing a gentle force 4 breeze and we were racing Bert and Theresa, who varied between a few hundred yards and a couple of miles away, as we weaved our way towards the channel. After a couple of hours of fun, we had to use the engine in order to reach the Raz for the safe window and passed that stretch of water with only a gentle swell and no dramas. The rest of the trip to St Evette was uneventful until we reached our mooring. St Evette is a shelter behind a breakwater with no pontoons only mooring buoys, most of those moorings being in shallow water for smaller boats. Having arrived before Kokopelli, we quickly found a buoy in deep enough water and with Jac on the helm, we were expecting an easy arrival. Not so! To the great amusement of a French couple on a power boat moored nearby, the fun started. At the first attempt to hook the buoy I found that it was the weight of a cannon ball with no easy way to connect the line. I nearly disappeared over the side of the boat in my determination to secure the warp. I quickly decided that holding the weight of a 39 foot sailing boat in one hand wasn’t feasible so I let go and lost the boat hook overboard. The hysterical cries of the French couple, “The problem is that it is a French boat” did not help matters as we were obviously providing their evening entertainment. Attempt number 2 with our spare boat hook proved no better but we did manage to retrieve boat hook number one which received a round of applause from Monsieur and Madam le France. At the third attempt with me at the helm and Jac on the boat hook we did manage to hook on, but Jac couldn’t lift the cannon ball more than a couple of inches out of the water. I deserted my post at the helm and between us, we were able to get a line through the loop on the buoy. This received a further round of applause from our neighbours, but we felt that they were disappointed that the fun was over. However, we were in no mood to give them an encore. Kokopelli then arrived and couldn’t find a buoy in deep enough water so tried to anchor. Their anchor wouldn’t hold and we directed them on the radio to a buoy near us that looked a suitable prospect. They had a “Jolly Hooker,” a clever device for securing a line through the loop and made fast at the first attempt, much to the disappointment of our French neighbours! We decided that every boat needs a Jolly Hooker and resolved to obtain one as soon as we could. Meanwhile, someone in trouble with engine failure had broadcast a pan pan call and the lifeboat moored next to us sped off to tow them back to a mooring half an hour later. Bert and Theresa had by this time paddled over to join us and Jac and Theresa applauded the lifeboat crew as they brought the limping vessel home. The Raz was supposed to be exciting but mooring up in St Evette proved to be much more so!

Author: chrisgowers

Retired pilot now sailing around the Mediterranean accompanied by my wife Jacquie.