Log February 2017


The first bits and pieces were stowed into the car and there starts our ride from Bremgarten Switzerland to Herbignac in Brittany. Our car is full to the brim and we are glad when we arrived after a 12 hours’ drive at our new home place.


On Thursday evening February 2nd 2017 we would like to celebrate our move with a little “tète à tète” in Guerande but unfortunately all restaurants were closed, therefore the menu is limited to chips and Rosé at home. The whole town seems to be in winter sleep, since we two were the only figures roaming the dark and lonely alleys at seven clock in the evening …. ?!


Friday sees us driving back to Switzerland just to wave Nicolai goodbye to his annual military service, eventually it’s his second last one… Of course we have also to take along the second part of our load..


Back in Bremgarten a lot of different stuff is keeping us busy: taxes, yacht registration in Switzerland, . the search for suitable containers to stow food, tools and spare parts on board. We enjoy our dinner with Nicolai and two or three beers at the Hardy’s, our favourite pub in Bremgarten.


During the night of Tuesday, February 7th. We are back on the long road towards Herbignac in Brittany. We both get a strange feeling as now everything we have talked and imagined weeks and months before is now actually happening. Wat will the future bring for us?


We thought we would have less stuff and more space for us on our second ride – wrong, quite the contrary is the case, we have even less space than with the first time. We were both extremely glad once this extremely uncomfortable drive was over.


The house cat greets us with a French «Mioaw», the apartment is undercooled, warm water is missing and for some reason the Internet is also quirky…. All in all, a real success, but we do not get annoyed on contrary we enjoy our Spaghetti al pesto dinner very much.



8.2.2017 - Wednesday, we are heading to the shipyard at Arzal where our boat is waiting for us on the dry. Lots of Bags, boxes in big and in small are carried over a small leather and disappear down to the hull. At the same time, we clear out the boat from old stuff left over from the former owner. Today we get news from the Swiss registration authorities that our initially chosen name «Santana» unfortunately is already occupied. Pulling long faces – in a tavern at Arzal we are looking into a solution for the naming issue. After a few mental somersaults, we decided to go for «Santjana» which pleases us even better than the initial one.


9.2.2017 - Thursday, again on boad «Santjana», first activities, lights on in the technique compartment replace fire extinguisher, etc. It is cold, we are glad to have ordered a heating system as well….


Unfortunately, the weather throws a spanner in our plans hindering us on completing several tasks on the boat. The weather forecast for next week looks better and promises rising temperatures as well.


On Sunday, we go for a stroll from our place towards Herbignac but after an hour we both are very glad to be back in the snug living-room.




13.2.2017 - Monday drive to Le Croisic, we are visiting the local Ocèarium. Small but nice an interesting insight is given into domestic and exotic sea live. A bit hungry after the visit to the Océarium, no wonder, it is already two a clock in the afternoon, how fast time flies.
We enjoy Moules Marinières at «Chez Emile», and taste a bit of Cider, that’s how live can be in France.



14.2.2017 - Tuesday


In the morning, we search through Do-it-yourself store LeRoyMerlin, which is about the “Bauhaus” in Switzerland. In the afternoon, we continue to clear out the old remaining of the former owners in order to dispose them on the local «Dechetterie». Surprisingly this is free of charge in contrast to what we had to pay in Switzerland when we brought old stuff to the recycling stall.


In the evening the browse the Internet on the search for source of additional equipment we need on our boat. While looking for possible suppliers of life raft we come across an advert of a company about an hour drive away from us. As we already have intentions to make an excursion towards the peninsula Noirmoutier en -l’ Ile we decided to connect excursion and a visit to the supplier’s boot.





15.2.2017 – Wednesday


Passing St.Nazaire and further south across the big bridge spanning river Loire. In the distance, we see two big cruise- liners to be finalized in the shipyards of St. Nazaire.


The shop we selected for our life raft looks a bit meagre, the specialist for life raft should be in again during afternoon. We were promised to get a call back to discuss our needs and details….


Leaving Pornic we continued towards the peninsula, were we take «Passage de Gios». This road can only be passed at low water, since at high tide the road is covered with water over a meter deep.
Every few hundred meters there are poles with platforms on them which can be climbed on in case of rising waters. A car wreck in the distance a side of the track shows the hidden danger. One week later we saw a video on YouTube about the ten most dangerous roads in the world – “passage de Gios” was the first the presented there.
Noirmoutier is at present a village sleeping away and waiting for the tourist rush during summer time. But the many bars, bistros, crèperies and the huge parking lots indicate an upcoming stampede of visitors during high season. In the meantime life there is still unhurried and we are glad to find at least one of the few open restaurants.


The oysters and the crèpes afterwards were extremely delicious.
The way back leads us via marina in L’Herbaudière, checking in at the obligatory drop-in at the tourist souvenir shop and then taking the way back home. This time we keep our tires dry and leave “Passage de Gios” aside.



16.2.2017 – Thursday – 18.2.2017 Samedi


The temperature in the morning are still more winter than spring-like I make some trials with the local Internet. In the morning, it runs more or less smoothly, but degrades in the afternoon and dies in the evening. Again, visits at the do-it-yourself shop, continuing looking for parts and stuff needed. In The afternoon, we spend on “Santjana” continuing on our task list.


On Friday, we visit the local ship chandler, which show a surprisingly good and large assortment of goods and extremely helpful on top. We hand over the first order containing items like life raft parachute rockets etc. At the same time, he is willing to take back the storage of old and outdated rockets. The number of rockets would have been sufficient for a brilliant firework display.
We complete this successful day by a plate of Spaghetti al Arrabiata and a glas of Bordeaux.



19.2.2017 – Sunday


Excursion to La Baule, 30km away, a midsized city laying at the shore of a big bay with a large beach of fine sand. During summertime, this must be similar to the Côte d’Azur, maybe not that crowded as her famous sister in the south.


Still La Baule shows many boutiques, beach bars, restaurants and hotels. This corresponds to this bustling live on Sunday, perhaps forced by the weather as its currently clear blue sky is getting covered by Cirrus clouds, announcing another change of weather. The forecast predicts warmer temperatures in the morning, but overcast and rain showers.


Doris experimenting on Neocitran to get rid of a nasty cold, which gives me time to catch up on my logbook activities. Already six o’clock in the evening, why on earth is time over here flying in such speed?


Week of Monday20.2. – Samedi 25.2.2017


This week is passing by extremly fast. Especially on my side as Doris lies down with a heavy flew. This means for me in the morning shopping first, then preparing a meal for lunch and in the afternoon working on the boat. Every now and then visits at LeRoy – Doityourself….
I ‘m starting brushing up the cockpit table which looks worn from the many years in rain and sun. The sanding is the nasty bit, I’m glad our hosts are still in vacation so I can use their meadow beside the house for the dusty part….
Doris is back to live – more or less on Thursday and she could assist with the sanding and painting works.
Besides I try to push our radio licensing ahead, which performs not as estimated.
Maybe next week is a new week, and then….



With the very professional help of our local assistant Frédéric the table was refurbished in practical no time....

26.2.2017 - Sunday


A cloudy sky is greeting with drizzle but still comfortable 11 degrees. After breakfast consisting of baguette, boiled egg, fresh pressed orange jus and coffee I follow-up on our last week’s journal. Finally, we are even able to upload the photos to Facebook, which we promised to our Canadian friends long time ago.


The forecast predicts sunny spells which suits us for another small excursion to Vannes a small town about half an hour drive away from where we live.


Vannes turns out to be a lovely place with picturesque mediaeval part consisting of small alleys many very old timbered houses and a well-kept area around Port de Plaisance. It is already time for lunch and the many restaurants and crèperies seduce for a visit. Unfortunately, we are not the only ones with the same intention. After a while of hitting our noses we find a table in a lovely crèperie “Tour de Trompette”. The crèperie is obviously located in an ancient tower of the medieval fortification wall and is divided several platforms in the tower. The crèpes Coquille Saint Jacques taste extremely good in this rustic surrounding. Even the knight’s suit of armour isn’t missing behind Doris.



27.2.2017 - Monday


Actually, this Monday we were up to another excursion to Lorient provided the weather would be niche and different from what it actually shows today. Instead of sunny sky we have another ay with rain showers, strong wind and gusts of winds. Up to 40 knots. No wonder that we have absolutely no interests in any activities outside. Still we were able to complete some painting jobs on cockpit table and naviboard in the temporary absence of rain


28.2.2017 - Tuesday


Again, the morning presents as wet and windy, but it should improve in the afternoon. After all we were able to work again on our boat accompanied by strong winds and howling gusts in the rigs of the yachts around us. As soon the sun disappeared behind the yards house is getting uncomfortable cold and we were glad to return into the cosy warmth of our home place. We still miss the heating in our boat, but soon….