We’d been recommended Cameret by Jamie over the more popular Brest which turned out to be great advice. Cameret is a very pretty little seaside town (which I imagine gets crazy busy during high season). A main street looking over the harbour (which has it’s own fishing boat graveyard), a few bars and restaurants, good coastal walks and not a lot else (I mean this in a good way).
The aforementioned Brest is the more popular stopping off point before attempting to cross the Bay of Biscay for sailors heading south but we were told it was more industrial and grubby plus it’s another three hours East.
The plan was to stop over in Cameret and wait for a good weather window to cross. Now I love it when a plan comes together as much as the next guy but plans don’t always work out we were to find.
The weather just wasn’t playing nice, which I’ll go into in another post, so we had some time to kill. This ‘time’ turned out to be over a week.
Luckily it’s a darn good place to kill time and we actually had a chance to relax for once. Cameret has some amazing coastal hikes. Helen and I both love walking so it was great to stretch our legs taking in the scenic views, we just needed to watch our back for the ramblers who were very serious about their walks and seemed to have very pressing agendas and large sticks!
The town also had some good bars which we frequented to the smiles of the owners (I don’t think most people hang around that long).
It was in one such bar we met one of ‘The Germans’. We were hanging out with our Almanac doing some planning and he came over to chat. Turns out he was having a pretty bad time getting from Croatia back to Germany with the owner of the boat he’d agreed to help. Sounded like a storm cloud had been hanging over these poor souls since upping anchor. Everything had gone wrong. The owner wanted to push on in bad weather. The boat wasn’t ‘bluewater’ (whatever that means). It had rained every day. The wind was in the wrong direction. You name it, they had it. They had started off as a crew of three but one other nameless individual had already quit the expedition. Was great fun chatting to him actually. Made me feel loads better about just being stuck waiting for the weather.
He did scare us a little though with his tale of crossing Biscay. He’d headed North three days before and said it was an incredibly bad trip. Five meter high waves crashing over the boat, rolling around all over the place. He kept looking past us with dead eyes into the distance and saying “Never again.”
Humm… Just what we needed to hear as we were about to take on this 350 mile crossing on our own.
The very next night we met the same guy who was now out with the owner. They joined us for some drinks and (as only alcohol can) the moaning turned to laughter. Was a very funny, slightly messy night!
For some reason the next few days consisted mainly of us meeting people in bars or in the marina and having really fun random nights. We some how got invited to an impromptu beach party by some French people who were in Cameret for a wedding (none of them approved of the Groom). We helped a solo sailor (Andrew) dock who turned out to have just crossed Biscay north again and got invited on board for lunch and drinks. Stuff like that.. It’s such a lovely community in sailing world I’m finding. Everyone wants to share their story.
We met “The Germans’ again a few days later as they were pushing on North. The first guy didn’t think the weather was good enough. The owner did. The storm cloud was still hanging over them. They needed fuel. The fuel dock was out of order. They quickly headed over to Brest, but then missed the tidal window through the Channel du four and ended back in Cameret after a rough day at sea. From an outsiders viewpoint all funny stuff but I’m sure they weren’t laughing. Hopefully they get back to Germany safe and sound soon!
We also finally finished putting the name on poor Interlude, who has been sailing for weeks now with sticky tape on the back. The job was tricky and involved us hanging over the back of the swim platform for about an hour getting everything in place. The rush we got when it was done and stood up was amazing!
It was worth it though as she looked great. We christened her with a bottle of Champagne my parents had given us. A few splashes over the bow for her, a few glasses for us. While we’re not usually superstitious, Helen wanted to make sure she was Christened before heading out into the notorious Bay of Biscay.