2019 Summer Cruise – Week 6

This leg of Quartette’s summer cruise was skippered by Robert Lewcock with first mate Tinu Cornish and crew Mary Lewcock, Hazel Wilcox and Paul Johnstone.

Robert, Mary, Tinu, Paul and Hazel

The week started in La Rochelle Minimes Harbour having glasses of local beer at a restaurant over-looking the beach and sunset.  We headed the next day for Saint Martin-de-Ré on the Ile de Re, under sails for most of the day.  We arrived well in time for the marina gates to open and were expecting to leave early the next day on the high tide. But the opening was cancelled due to dredging so we had an unplanned extra half day. Dredging involved 5 men and a large hoover wallowing in the mud like hippos at low tide- appearing to have a lot of fun.  With the extra morning Tinu, Hazel and Paul went cycling around the island leaving Robert and Mary to soak up the atmosphere in this most picturesque of harbours.  

Paul and Tinu with bikes
Mary and Robert with shopping

Our next leg was to Les Sables D’Olonne back on the mainland.  Rising pressure to the west meant northerly winds so whilst another beautiful day in the French Atlantic, for most of it the wind and tide was against us. The following day we headed for Isle D’Yeu.  Again we found ourselves motoring most of this journey.  On our departure we used a Dutch spring (or sprong) which worked superbly taking Quartette off the pontoon into the wind and without the need for changed the engine from reverse to forward.  Now with favourable wind and weather we were sailing for most of the day and at times with a SOG of 8 knots.  Into Noirmoutier with ease we stayed two nights with a day sightseeing on this pretty island.  This included taking free bus rides to the small main town.  The Chateau museum is a must with graphic details of the bloodiest days of the French Revolution.  We also walked along many of the Island’s beaches with Tinu trying a swim at the Plage De Fames. 

On Friday we headed onto Pornic for the handover but not before some boat handling and MOB practice under Robert’s excellent skippering and tutelage.  The last night was spent in Pornic –one of the most picturesque towns on the coast just inside Brittany, with a beautiful walk from the harbour. 

All in all, an excellent week sailing in this most delightful part of the French coastline.

Paul Johnstone

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