It was time to leave the pretty island ile d’yeu and head down to La Rochelle that we planned to use as our base for the “down to Spain”-jump as soon as the weather would allow us, but first we had to get there.
Log date: 18 sep. 2020
Route: ile d’yeu – Bourgenay – La Rochelle
Time: 2020-09-17 07.59 – 2020-09-18 16.42 ( 16h 59min )
Distance: 74,2 nm
Average speed: 4,4 knots
Wind: 16 knots
Weather: [ ] Rain, [ ] Fog, [X] Sunshine, [X] Cloudy
Visibility: Pretty good
Quite soon after we left ile d’yeu we realized that we had to spend the entire day and most likely the lion share of the night as well to reach La Rochelle and non of us was really up for that since we would reach La Rochelle during the darkest part of the night with low tide just around the corner so we aimed for Bourgenay the small marina just south-east of Les Sables-d’Olonne instead. Fortunate for us that was for once a good decision since we later heard that Les Sables-d’Olonne was filled to the brim with boats so we would have had to moor outside three or four other boats to fit in there (not so fun).
The sailing from the island to Bourgenay was more than great, we had about 15 knots of wind from the north-east (in this case that means no waves what so ever) and it was close to +30°C and a lot of sun. Cocktail sailing at its best!
The little harbour of Bourgenay had very good protection from swell and wind the only “bad” thing was that the entrance wasn’t very deep so if you plan to go there make sure to check the tides very very well.
We met two new friends in the marina, Anja and Manfred with their two dogs from the boat AnMa a lovely Bavaria 32, they also aimed south just like us and just like us they had no rush whatsoever. We really begin to like the concept. In true “Trull style” we grabbed dinner together at one of the local restaurans and talked for hours and decided that we should head for La Rochelle together the day after.
The journey to La Rochelle was as smooth as the day before, unfortunately the wind decided to head off elsewhere so we had to motor quite a bit to make it with the tide. Once there Anja and Manfred already arranged a spot next to their boat for us to moore, a guy from the marina even met us at the entrance of the marina and showed us to our pontoon. That was probably a pretty good idea since the marina hosted more than 5000 boats…
We spent a few days in La Rochelle that is a quite small city with about 75.000 inhabitants, we spent a few days just strolling around in the city and found some nice places to eat (of course) we also visited the WW2 bunker museum. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to visit the the massive submarine pens in the harbor since the port authority considers the structure derelict and unsafe, hence they are not open to the public. The pens are a concrete behemoth built to sustain crazy bombardment while protecting the Germans most precious weapon and it’s not only crazy well built (the roof is made of about 4 meters of concrete with an insane amount of steel in it) it’s also huge as in HUGE. Back in the days it could fit 13 submarines at the same time and contained several locks to allow the boats to enter the building and be put on the dry for the technicians to do their maintenance.
Beside the little sightseeing we also got invited to the Swedish boat Tai-Pan and our friends Alf and Jessica for “a” sundowner one of the evenings. It was more than one… It was hard to get out of bed the day after without having to reveal too much.
We are not only enjoying our days with a lavish amount of food and drinks, every now and then we also do some maintenance work on the boat to keep it neat and clean. This time it was our new heater that was supposed to get a set of attachment points in one of the cockpit cabinets. We came up with the brilliant idea to cut a piece of stainless steal into two small hooks and attach them to the hull with some polyester.
After the cabinet had been prepared with the sander to allow the polyester to attach properly it was time to use the angel grinder to cut the steel plates. Everything went well till the little cutting disk broke (bastard) and got hold of the perfectly cut steel plate and threw it in the sea with the speed of light. Unfortunately Tonys leg was right between the sea and the machine (the machine do about 11000 rpm) so the lovely cut steel plate took a small part of the leg with it into the sea. The result? Tony climbing onboard holding his leg telling Mia “Mia, I’ve hurt myself again…. While something red finds its way down his leg from underneath his hand.”
A cut 12 mm wide and about half of it deep in the leg with a slice of now fish food gone. It was good that we brought quite a lot of first aid stuff and sutur tape with us. Tony still believes that it was some kind of kryptonite in the metal since it didn’t bounce right off his leg. He’ll wake up some day…
At least the angle grinder survived and didn’t end up on the bottom of the sea even if the attachment hooks for the heater have to wait.
The last evening (the Tony cut himself in the leg day) before we planned to sail to Spain we spent with our german friends at their favorite restaurant just next to the marina. What a rumpsteak they had and what a sunset.
Did I say they had a great rumpsteak, it was perfekt…