Le Croisic to Hoëdic - Tuesday, 19 August 2003, 16 miles

Off-topic vignette - We shopped in a mini-market near the yacht basin. The couple ahead of us in the checkout queue had a little girl seated in their trolley. As the mother loaded up the conveyer, the little girl took a melon, which she held onto as she was wheeled past the till. Whereupon, the slightly harassed mother took it from her and put it in her bag. Idle questions that occurred to me: did the little girl make a habit of this; did the mother know what she was up to; did the cashier notice, and decide that a quiet life was what mattered.

We were now back in territory familiar to us, and also wanting to get home in 3 or 4 weeks, so we'd have to be a bit selective about the ports we'd visit. We decided to call in places we hadn't been in before, and only revisit when we needed a port to complete a passage in comfort.

We'd not visited Hoëdic, the outermost island of the chain spreading South West from the presqu'Ile de Quiberon, so set sail for it at 11:00. Initially the wind was behind, and we set Mr Andrews; then it dropped, and I had a swim; then, at about 13:00, the wind came in North Westerly F3. We had a fine beat all the way to Hoëdic, where we dropped anchor in the tiny Port de l'Argol on the North side of the island at 16:00, having caught 2 juicy mackerel.

Anchored in Port de l'Argol

Actually, I thought we were rather lucky to find space in the harbour, obviously because we were quite early. There are 2 big buoys for sharing, one of which only had a couple of boats attached. But we didn't think a cat would be very welcome if and when it got crowded. We anchored right close to the beach on a fairly short scope, and had adequate swinging room.

When we returned from a stroll across the island to inspect the drying harbour on the South side, we found our harbour was getting crowded. Our nearest - too near - neighbour was a Wharram cat. One little yacht decided that the way to deal with the crowding was to anchor between 2 boats where there clearly wasn't room, and then to use 2 anchors, fore and aft, when everyone else was swinging on one.

In the evening we rowed round the harbour, and saw a couple who looked familiar. I waved to the husband, both of us trying to remember where we'd met. Then I remembered - in the checkout queue at the supermarket in le Croisic. Maybe he thought we were chasing him!

During the night, the wind veered North East and strengthened, as was forecast and typical for this coast in summer, and there was much bumping and boring, with (good natured) shouting and moving of boats. Luckily our Wharram neighbour was tending his warp with skill. But the yacht with 2 anchors remained dark, with its crew out to the world, despite the fact that it was repeatedly crashing into another yacht which had been left unattended. Next morning, the chat was that they'd eventually fled around 04:00.