Cruising Logs: 2007 part 4.
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The  Minquiers

  That night I had to come clean to Lynda . Ever since reading ( and watching) “The Wreck of the Mary Deare” as a child I had  fancied  exploring the Minquiers . The gentle NW wind forecast for the next day was ideal; we would never have a better opportunity. But it was not to be a comfortable day. GPS and a chart plotter undoubtedly made it  easier – but feeling our way in through temporarily hidden rocks  , searching for a deep enough spot to anchor with a tidal range of 11 metres  , watching rocks emerge through the water uncomfortably close , and finally making our way out again near low water ; all this was pretty tense stuff.


The houses on Maitresse Isle had an abandoned air ( even though one was currently being worked on ) and the two boats that arrived at the same time as us left once the tide began to drop , which contributed to the general air of menace that hung about the place. Just outside the anchorage however , a single little French motor boat nosed busily in and out of the nooks and crannies , hunting voraciously all day long. They at least didn’t seem overawed by the place , although to be fair they drew a lot less and could take the ground if necessary.

  The kayak was launched once more and we took a gentle tour at low water  before going ashore to pay homage to the most southern building in the British isles ( a loo that doubles as a leading mark!). The view to the West over mile upon mile of rocky reefs did nothing to relax us and it was not until we were a full five miles south and clear of the last rock that we could breathe easily again, spinnakering slowly to St Malo to top on supplies


  A day ashore at St Malo was nice – but  enough , so we were soon on our way again to Brehat , beating into 12-15 knots of warm wind, and as it was now getting neapier , anchoring in the Kerpont in the lee of a large rock. Our first  full day was spent exploring the East coast by kayak , with a trip into Le Bourg the next day via La Corderie – the drying harbour on the West coast.

   This really is the most pleasant of places – lovely anchorages – peaceful vehicle free walks and the nicest of little village squares where you can reprovision , take a leisurely  coffee in the sun and for the second time in 15 years – come away with a painting from the artists exhibiting out in the open. Getting it all back to the boat in the  kayak was perhaps another matter – but we managed it.

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