June 2006 – Drying Out in St Helier - Lezardrieux - Kayaks and New Tents
After a hard week or so packing up and moving out of our house, we arrived back in St Helier towards the end of June. The first job was to dry out to scrub the bottom and clean the propeller. St Helier marina has an excellent drying pad that is free if you are in paying for the days mooring. It is also close to the marina laundrette, so we could hang out the washing to dry while waiting for the water to rise! What a difference a clean bottom has made to her performance under both engine and sail.
While we were away we collected our new cockpit tent from Mitchell Sails in Fowey. One of the mornings in the marina we took advantage of the shore power and fitted the poppers around the bottom edge. Mitchells have done an excellent job, it is a perfect fit and much admired by our neighbours in the marina. It roughly doubles our dry living space and will be a God send in the wet weather.
From St Helier we sailed to Lezardrieux which is part way up the river Trieux. The navigation marks are so much more dramatic in France - but not all sides are necessarily painted! We dragged the fishing line for part of the way, but gave up after removing the tenth piece of seaweed from the hook. There were no fishing boats or sea birds in the area so it was not very promising in the first place.
We had a few days at Lezardrieux marina, and found the town's excellent bakery 10 min walk away, which opened at 7am so we had fresh bread every day for breakfast. One of the usual expeditions from Lezardrieux is a trip up river to Pontrieux. This is well worth the effort as the scenary is beautiful. We were slightly unconventional as we did the journey in our 14ft Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak. High water was around midday, so it was a paddle up in the morning, a picnic lunch on the river bank, and then a paddle back to take full advantage of the tidal streams. There was quite a strong notherly wind blowing up the river, so coming back with wind over tide it was rather lumpy from the level of the kayak - probably hardly noticable in a yacht. A special treat was a steam train chuffing passed while we munched our sandwiches. It was "that sounds like a steam engine - it IS a steam engine - quick where's the camera". So not surprisingly the photos were nothing to shout about.