Blue water bubble blower

Dolphins keep us company every day, sometimes very close, but mostly far in the distance. We sail about 50 NM south to Ile d´Yeu a relaxed and beautiful island with the most delicious galettes (salty crepes). The guest harbour is surprisingly big, but still busy due to the upcoming holiday on the 15th of August. We do a quick castling with two other boats. A clear trumpet tone carry the melody of “Sommertime” to our ears.

The winds are fair and we move and order the course to La Rochelle, where Ulf can fly back home. We get the chance to try the new jib stick for the genoa, which is quite tricky, but the result is satisfying and we speed up to 8 knots running and we even overtake a catamaran!

jib stick
pole out the genoa
wing out

We arrive at midnight to La Rochelle, where we carefully navigate in the dark through the narrow channel and wait for the opening of the little bridge to the ancient “Bassin the Chalutiers” marina. Its Friday night life in the rebel city of La Rochelle, quite a change to the calm day at sea. We enjoy the magnificent silhouette of the medieval towers, the gateway to the old harbour.

The Chain Tower and Saint Nicholas Tower of La Rochelle
The towers by day
Ydalir suddenly seems small, squeezed in-between giants

Ydalir gets a proper berth in the Bassin de Chalutiers in the centre of the city, surrounded by huge catamarans and a 98 feet new Swan, quite a difference to the smaller scale of the boats in the ports in Brittany.

The lighthouse on quai Valin, built in 1852, still very useful for sailors

La Rochelle is really a resplendent town and even if it is very crowded both day and night, the atmosphere is so calm, maybe because of the open spaces around the harbour and the old architecture. On Saturday evening we enter an open door tho the church of Eglise Saint Sauveur ( a sailors parish church from 1718) and find ourself in the middle of an evening concert with Aniana Malalaharisoa, vocal, and Jorris Sauquet, organ. We are absolutely thrilled by Anianas voice in Ave Maria, from the intermezzo of the opera Cavaliera rusticana (Mascagni). So warm and clear, with a timbre that carries the tones right in to the heart. The Organ has a very broad spectra of pitch and a voluminous character of tones. The La valse des anges (valse of the lambs) by Bret, 2016 is a light and playful peace, very unusual for organs. One can really see the lambs dance over a green field of fresh grass one of the first summer days. On the way back to the boat we hear music everywhere, solo artists or orchestras and the rhythm continues with natural flashes and thunder in the night.

For sailors, there is always something to maintain on the boat and on Monday we go out to search for a new belt for the 24V alternator. To find one is not easy, and to find two is even more difficult, which is good for the fitness. We walked many steps that day and in the end we had to get a little help of an Uber-friend. The power is back and we can get on track again.

The bridge opens again and we leave La Rochelle