Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

28 th of June to 1 st of July 2017 - Pornic

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Pornic and Nante.
Distance : 69 miles

The weather forecast was for strong winds for the whole of Biscay. From the GRIB files and synoptic charts it looked like the worst of the wind and swell was going to be on Thursday and Friday. The coastal forecast indicated that the winds would be Force 3 on Wednesday morning increasing to 4-5 in the afternoon and 6 by evening. We decided to leave at first light and looked forward to a great sail along the coast to Pornic which looked like a good place to sit out the weather. We woke to the alarm at 0500. It was still pitch dark and cold, so we got ready slowly and slipped our berth at 0600 just as it started to get light. There was no wind. Where was it? We motored and hoped for the wind to arrive. It didn't so we had a rather tedious journey. On arrival at Pornic we radioed the harbour master and were directed to a berth tucked well in from the entrance. We were alongside by 1800 having made a good average speed under the engine.


Pornic is a lovely old fishing town. On the first day we had a long walk along the coast passing a number of fishing platforms. It was very windy that night and the waves were breaking over the harbour wall just behind us. I had hoped for a swim but it was grey and cold. Just like Ireland in fact. I knew I shouldn't have packed away my winter clothes.

On the second day we took a train to Nante, an hour away. Nante was a very interesting town with lots of public art. On the island where the old ship docks had been they had made use of the space building some large machines, including a huge metal elephant and two working carousels. It was no surprise that Jules Verne hailed from here. On the way back there was a large memorial to the slave trade and all the ships that left from Nante carrying slaves. Still London, Liverpool and Bristol sent the largest number of slave ships compared to any other European nation. The last country to outlaw slavery was Pakistan in 1992. However, the memorial reminded us that many forms of illegal slavery still exist all over the world. (Including UK and Europe).

We walked from the station following the green line walking tour as instructed, occasionally taking our own short cut. Someone had a lot of fun with this we think. There were cafes and restaurants of all sorts and sizes, and a nice cake shop that we sheltered from the rain in.

Here are several photos taken on our visit to Nante.



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