Wednesday 15 June 2011

Water, wind, wood and oysters

Of the 70 photos I took at least half were shot from the hip and just show the gunwale, an oar and some water. I quite like them but the Semaine du Golfe was more than that. Here’s a selection of the better pics with brief commentary.

The voile-aviron fleet pulled up on the beach at the Ille d’Arz.
There were many interesting boats but I didn’t get to do much chatting to owners so please forgive the lack of info.

Onawind Blue running down on the fleet.

As well as more talking about boats, I could have done with more time sitting on the quay eating oysters. I’d barely got to the bit about the butter being spread too thick before it was time to move on again.

In the dawn light, on the high tide mark after a night sleeping under the mizzen sail near Saint Armel. A woman stopped by and gave me some biscuits and an apple then announced she was going home to get coffee. But before she could return the tide had risen and I was following the fleet out of the bay.

Between islands there were often traffic jams and bottlenecks. At other times the current was so strong that we all whizzed through like so many bath toys but in those spectacular moments I couldn’t stop and get the camera out.

This is Bob, homemade in Sweden.

A couple in a Tideway dinghy.

A singlehander in a honey-varnished clinker pram.

This man, Bart I think his name was, did it in a currach, which he was painting on the first day with a viscous black mixture. You could always tell when you were sailing downwind of him by the fumes.

Boats in the tide between Locmariaquer and Port-Navalo.

The Parade on Saturday: 1300 craft all crowding up the golf towards Vannes on a rising tide with a light headwind. It was madness. I’d missed the skipper’s meeting but I got shouted instructions from another boat, ‘Just stay in the main current and make short tacks.’ That sounded simple enough but with all the other traffic tacks were often no more than a couple of boat lengths. The whole mess of sailing boats was exacerbated by tourists in motor yachts, snapping like crazy and not necessarily looking where they were going.


Bursledon Blogger said...

You're making us jealous with those pictures - looks like a great event.

The black hull with blue interior looks like one of François Vivier's Ilur design - one of my favourites

doryman said...

I have no French, but apparently Francois was there and left us this video:

(I snagged this from Gavin)

The tide race is the best part.

Ben said...

Yes, François was about and so were his boats as Bursledon Blogger points out. It's a good video and I recognise many of my sailing partners.

The tide race was definitely the best part, I would have done it again and again.

Dhiego said...

Hi Ben,
First of all, forgive me about my low-medium english.
Second, Ive beem reading your blog for a long time, and I like it so much.
Specially the OB things.
Ive been looking for a stich and glue, row-sail light boat plans for some time. The light trow design is the one I liked since the begining of the searching.
My plan is to have the boat ready for next spring (2012).

I was wondering if you could help with some quick answers about the construction and posible improves in the boat.

Not sure if you would like to see a boat like yours around.
Im in Barcelona.

From a big fan of your blog,


Hakan Ericsson said...

Hello Ben,

Bob home made from Sweden looks very like the type of boats we talked about when Itold you about the crazy Postmen that rowed, sailed and dragged their boats over the ice from Oland to Gotland and vice versa. These boats vere traditionally made for 1,2 or 3 pair of oars and corresponding masts with sprit rigs.
I can see you had a vaery good time, you deserve it.


bowsprite said...

i love the swedish boat!
and I love the comment on the whiff downwind of the --tar and pitch?