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Friday, 8 August 2014

SAILING IN FRANCE

 
Once we had moved to France we started to find more places we could sail to in a day from Perros and where we could spend a few days relaxing and exploring new territory.  The river Jaudy is a few kilometres to the east and the entrance is protected by a lot of rocks making it quite challenging navigation but once in the river the sailing is lovely with attractive views on both sides.  This sketch is of Roche Jaune where we have anchored several times close to the oyster beds and where we now buy our oysters for Sunday lunch.
 
 
About an hour's sail from the entrance you come to the small town of Treguier with it's attractive cathedral looming over the ancient buildings.  It's essential to arrive at slack water between the tides as the currents here are very strong and it's difficult to moor the boat to the pontoons without doing damage.  The edge on the visitor's pontoon is painted red and nearly everybody who comes here has a red patch on the bow of their boat, having been caught by the current, us included.  I called it the Treguier kiss!
 
 
We used to take a berth on the downstream side of the visitor's pontoons as we enjoyed the view and had the evening sun to warm us as we took our aperitif.  This is a sketch of the gates of the city and some of the beautiful old timbered buildings.
 
 
To go up to the town we walked between the old gate towers and I always loved looking at the old houses along the street and taking photos to draw from later.  The town centre has a large square with interesting shops and cafes as well as the cathedral to visit and admire the stained glass windows and beautiful cloisters.
 
 
While at Treguier we used to pump up our dinghy and go exploring up the river and once we went ashore on the opposite side to try and follow a mysterious path we could see disappearing into the woods.  We came upon a fantastic garden full of enormous plants with a tropical feel to it and this little grotto and pool all decorated with seashells.  We bumped into the gardener who told us we were trespassing so we left in rather a hurry.
 
 
From the back of the boat we had a view of Plougiel church up on it's hill overlooking the bend in the river and I tried many times to capture it in all sorts of weather, calm like this and also with storm clouds passing and threatening rain.
 
 
The cathedral and town buildings were always a source of inspiration and I've probably got a dozen or more sketches all drawn from a slightly different angle depending on where we were moored.
 
 
The river Jaudy has a tributary called the Guindy and one of our favourite walks was to the old aqueduct that crossed it a couple of kilometres upstream. This is a painting I did for Bob's birthday a few years ago, still hanging in the lounge.
Treguier is only a half hour's drive from home but it always felt like another world when we visited it by boat because it took so much longer to get there by sea, somehow I think I prefer to keep it as a sweet sailing memory than go too often by car.