By early September we were due back for some final boat work where our adventure began at the boat yard, in Tréguier. As a bonus, there were several other Boréal owners at the marina (doing the same thing) and we were excited to meet them in person. A sort of non-Facebook reunion on the docks. It was “high season” for the yard – after their August vacations, with boat launches as well as scheduled repairs and maintenance for its small fleet. Europeans needing maintenance took time off work and made a vacation out of it, returning like a flock of birds to their nesting place, while owners from farther shores tried to get everything done that they could in one go – knowing that we are far less likely to return. (sniff)

We began our second overnight English Channel crossing from Falmouth on the 2nd of Sept, in strong winds ahead of the beam as always. We held as tight a course as we could and settled in for the ride. We were really appreciating the enclosed doghouse and hard dodger on Randonnée. See the video below for an exhibit as to why.

As always on passages, the schedule forces at least one of us to be awake for a lovely sunset or sunrise, which is one of the more enjoyable aspects of cruising.

English Channel Sunset

The next morning, we made our approach into the now-familiar long and winding Jaudy river. It felt like a homecoming as we turned the last bend to see the steep cathedral spire spring into view while making last minute preparations of fenders and lines.

On the final approach to the docks, with a less intimidating mild flood current, Randy was on the helm but distracted by something (surely unimportant). He managed to plow directly into the second to last green channel buoy. Not-so-pro tip: if you cannot see an object you are trying to avoid, it is because you are already so close that it is hidden from view below the bow. Fortunately we were moving slowly by that point, fortunately also that the aluminum stem of this boat is formidable, so little damage done. But it left our first noticeable small dent. Sigh.

It went down something like this:

Kathunk! (Boat shudders)

Randy: “What the hell was that?”

Diana (nonchalantly): “You just hit the green buoy”

Randy (not so nonchalantly): “Oh Shit!”

…Subsequent little thunks as the metal buoy bounces down the left side of the hull.

Randy: “Shit, Shit, Shit!”

And now, in the face of this humiliating pilotage failure, please bring your boat alongside the pontoon with a gathering of new friends presently watching (everyone in boating knows that docking maneuvers are a spectator sport). So, painful, but no further drama. Our friends politely pretended to have not just witnessed this major gaffe.

A reunion on s/v Bravo. It was so much fun to finally meet people we had been communicating with online for quite some time, reconnect with others we had already met, and make new friends too.

This time, during our stay in Tréguier, we were fortunate to be able to explore the town and surrounding area quite a bit more than we had previously. We were asked to be off the boat during working hours (starting as early as 8am) so the crews could rip things apart, which led to numerous walks, bike rides, and explorations on our part. Rain or shine. We were really enjoying our little folding bicycles inherited from Diana’s parents…

In the Fall, the Brittany coast of France is a special treat. Although the height of tourist season was behind us, there still seems to be plenty of visitors to these areas, but they are mostly older folks more native to this country. It makes sense that when the families go home and kids go back to school, retirees come out to explore in the temperate weather, sit around in the cafes along the central court next to the cathedral watching the world go by. For a week we were able to join them and realized that being retired must be so cool! 😉 Our routine became escape the boat before the plumbers showed up, cafe for tea/coffee, then take a day long hike or bike ride through the neighborhood.

We also spent many hours sitting in parks trying to work through a phone replacement for Randy. His Google Pixel died in July and, being in Europe (where they aren’t sold yet) proved to be a major problem in getting a replacement. We will spare you the details for now (might write a whole post on this), but it was certainly top of mind for most of our stay. It took us nearly 3 months for Randy to get a phone back in his hands and (spoiler alert) it’s not a Pixel. Instead, we offer you some images from this quiet, beautiful, corner of Brittany.