Luckily some friends showed up to pull us out of it and help us “fly the nest.” Ian came down from the UK by ferry for some “adventure sailing” instruction and Rene, a Dutch friend and former neighbor who now lives in Belgium, drove more than 8 hours to provide his services as deckhand and wheels. Both were incredibly patient with us. I wouldn’t say we were the most fun to be around; our attention spans were short as we jumped from one thing needing to be done to another. I don’t think we were even stringing together full and complete sentences… but they cared for us like friends helping new parents – feeding us and handling small chores without even asking how they could help.
With Ian and Rene, we finally bounced from Tréguier on the 25th of July after nearly 10 days of schlepping and stowing, with only one day out on the water in that time. It felt so good to finally poke out of the Jaudy River. We were ready to learn – and learn we did. Ian put us through our paces. We practiced several drills, including crew overboard, ferry gliding, heaving-to, reefing, and several docking maneuvers. We ultimately ended up anchored at Les Sept Îles, a bird sanctuary.
Later we headed toward Lézardrieux and practiced more maneuvers on the pontoon, dried out, and anchored again for the night in high winds. Everything performed well. The main gripe we have is our staysail isn’t the right size. This will be fixed in September on a visit back to the yard. The other slightly dramatic event was when Diana inadvertently smashed two of her fingers when the fridge lid came crashing down on her hand. (It’s better now, don’t worry)
A few days later we returned to Treguier, hearts full and ready for more. We reunited with Simon back at the docks (Rory unfortunately had headed home). Simon had arranged for a bit of a “field trip” to the boat yard. So the four of us piled into Rene’s car and headed to what would likely be our last tour in the yard. This naturally ended with beers at the marina with several of the yard workers. We’ll let the photos do the talking here.
The clock was ticking. Ian set off with Simon back to the UK. Rene headed back to Belgium. And just like that, it was just the two of us with Randonnée again.
Here are some more photos from the first couple of weeks, for those who might be interested in more snaps of Tréguier and our first forays into the Brittany coast.