Brest, 29th June

Well, after the long trips over the past three weeks, it was good to be able to rest, slow down and get a feel for a place. Brest is kind of like Cork, a large natural harbour with miles of cruising in sheltered waters. Since I was to be alone or three nights, I decided to anchor somewhere and get started on the list of jobs Derrick had set for me. After the long journeys, there were some things to fix, fibreglassing to finish, lines for the cruising chute to reorganise, and lots of "pottering" to do. With the forecast in mind, I decided to head up the Elorn river and found an anchorage off the main channel near the suburban village of Kerhoun. There were some lovely houses but the town itself had little charm. But from there I was not too far from the main marina, where there were chandlers for supplies. So each day I was up at a reasonable hour for some work and usually headed ashore a couple of times a day. The bike came in very handy and allowed me lots of freedom to explore further afield.

I was looking at the long range forecast as I was due to head home to Anne for a few days and had to consider what to do with Suckin' Diesel. I was considering leaving her at anchor as it would save me 150, but this is something I had never done before. As it turned out, the forecast was for light winds. So on the appointed day, I rowed ashore, carried the dinghy up the beach to a boat park, cycled (uphill) to the airport 5 miles away, flew home, then bussed to Malahide to collect the motorbike and drove to Naas. It must be love! I had a great few days but they were over too fast and then I had to repeat the trip to get back to SD. There were no problems getting back onboard and soon enough I was off again for Camaret. This is where I have stocked up on wine in previous years and this year would be no different. To cut a long story short, I spent 814 on 240 bottles of wine and got them all stored away onboard. It is tiring work trolleying them from the supermarket to the dinghy, driving back to the boat, and offloading but it does save you a fortune over the next winter.

Then, in light winds I headed back into the harbour of Brest to anchor in another spot, Le Fret which is a small spot with just a shop and a few bars servicing tourists. It is overlooked by one of the naval bases which dot the harbour. I had to be careful not to approach the base on the way in as the waters around it are restricted. The folowing morning, I motored back to Brest, into the marina to await Richie and Alan's arrival the following day. Sunday is market day so once I got my laundry stewing in its bucket, I headed up to get supplies. The city doesn't have much ambience but a good street market always has its charm. The cleaning was put off fo as long as possible but evantually it was done and SD was ready once again for the next off......