Classic Boat

SEA SOLACE

It was late September before I could get away from work, and the weather in Britain had already broken. Happily I sail a cruising dinghy, so I could tow her south to the sun. After putting my car and trailer on the Roscoff ferry, I drove down to southwest Brittany.

There was an end-of-season air to the marina at Loctudy. The bar was closed, its canopies slatting mournfully in the autumnal wind. But a friendly woman in the capitainerie took just €5 off me to use the slipway and park my car and trailer for two weeks.

The afternoon was already over when I sculled Avel Dro away from the rows of white yachts, hoisted sail and slipped into the estuary. She lost her wind beside the high concrete breakwater of the Port de Pêche, but the strong ebb sucked me out through the narrows, past turreted villas perched heron-like on the opposite foreshore.

The local fishing fleet was coming home. Gaily painted craft plunged pugnaciously past, thickets of flags on the pot buoys racked in their sterns. An arm waved from the wheelhouse of the last fishing boat as it disappeared round the breakwater. Then I was alone.

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