Friday, 15 December 2017


A gate beside the Marie (town hall) in Luc Sur Mer, leads to a little park and a whale museum with the preserved and complete skeleton of  a blue whale.

From what I can make out the whale washed up on the beach at Luc in January 1885 and was moved to it's current place in 1938.

In a great example of French community spirit the town has a celebration Les radeaux de la baleine (The Rafts of the Whale), there's also a local society called the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Whale of Luc - check out the pictures on the town site.

Photo courtesy of Temp Forts - Luc Sur Mer 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Pier pressure

Joseph pointed out that he's never been on a peir . Being an enthusiastic eight year old his comments were more than little influenced by the attractions of the bright lights, arcade machines and the fairground.

Call me Mr Miserable I just don't like fairgrounds, theme parks and especially arcades, but what can you do. Despite being bombarded with over loud electronic noise, flashing lights Joseph had a good time and I remain convinced that piers are much better from a distance.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Dartmouth Dinghies

Dartmouth is a busy harbour with mixed leisure and commercial activity, so not surprisingly there are more than a few working boats and dinghies to be seen. The boat on the left Salacia was seen on a previous visit and by the looks of thinks still actively worked.

Prawle Point is a headland 15 or so miles south of Dartmouth presumably after which this boat was named. She's very well kept and by the looks used often, making for a nice yacht tender or harbour launch.

If you're going to row get a boat like this, easily driven, stable and with good free-board, construction seemed to be fibreglass and based on a traditional hull shape.

For purely practical purposes you can do worse that a modern plastic dinghy, we had the use of one very similar to this a few years ago in Fowey, it was a bit heavy and slow, but stable and safe and of course easy to maintain.

Another traditional boat, at first sight it looked more like a Thames skiff and maybe it is, long and narrow it should be nice to row.

The way it was, this old clinker dinghy is sadly well past its working life, but looks right at home down on the old historic quay.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Tractor launching

Using a tractor to launch off the beach is a great idea and is quite popular along the Normandy coast, but I have to wonder about corrosion from the seawater and the associated maintenance required.

This old tractor was going strong and still in daily use at Arromanches, closer inspection revealed the extent of corrosion - which hopefully looks a lot worse than it is.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Dartmouth boats

Whenever we visit Dartmouth which is sadly all too rarely, there are always a few interesting boats to see and even at this late time in the year there were a few examples that caught my eye.

I know deep down that if I was going cruising then this ketch would be too big to handle and manage, but I really love this type of powerful offshore yacht.

Below may or may not be PAZIENZA, which if it is, was designed by Jack Laurent Giles and built at the Cantiere Navale V Beltrami in Genoa in 1956 - lovely.

Actually this was seen at Totnes, a deep keel and spade rudder isn't the traditional offshore cruising configuration, but time has proved the seaworthiness, speed and sailing capabilities of this configuration. I really like the purposeful look of this Hunter which I'm sure makes a great offshore boat with that hard dodger/doghouse, but I just think I'd like a bit more boat in the water.

My second favourite of the Cornish Crabber boats (my favourite being the Cornish Cormorant Tosh ) is the pilot cutter below looking every bit the west country boat.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Slipway holdup

I guess this would have been an ideal Slipway Saturday post, but it was actually a busy Thursday morning.

Check out all the boats waiting along the road, I counted 9. It was about mid morning on a very foggy and settled day, so I guess the combination of tide and settled seas brought everyone out for some fishing.

Friday, 24 November 2017

More Cool Rides

I've owned a few interesting/quirky French cars in my time including two Citroen 2CV's (one of which was a positively glacial 405cc version), a top of the range Renault 16 (don't ask, it was very cheap and frankly a very good car) and a Matra Bagherra, a cute little mid engined sports car with three seats side by side.

These days it's getting much harder to spot the really stand out cars but we saw a couple of interesting examples on our recent visit.

Appreciate this isn't a French car but come on, fastback Mustang, Steve McQueen in Bullitt, and it looks right at home outside this fantastic French country farm house -  tres chic.

You can't get more French than the Renault 4, clearly an automotive piece of art which is presumably why this cafe owner decided to stick it on the wall - the beer and burgers were very good as well as the decor.