Oops, something has happened to this entry…it’s somehow gone missing. So I will rewrite it and put it back. Sorry for the lack of order but this was way back in France.
Well, enough of marinas. Time to see a French Atlantic island. Ile d’Aix seemed like a likely candidate – 8nm away with an interesting fort sticking out of the open sea out the back of the island.
It was quite calm as we turned south west towards our destination.
We decided to visit Fort Boyard on the way. This fort was built between the islands of Aix and Oberon to protect the harbours of rochefort and aix. It was built in the 1850’s and is now the site of a somewhat famous French tv show.
It was quite eerie with fog all around and little breeze as we glided past it. Very unusual to find a fort out in the middle of nowhere.
Sightseeing over, we headed for aix, where we dropped anchor and then managed to move onto a public mooring.
We negotiated the tide and pulled the dingy a long way up the beach. We all decided we needed rubber boots to avoid getting our toes cold in the freezing water after watching what the locals do, so the local store now has three less pairs for sale.
Then it off to explore the island by foot. We were soon out into the countryside with ponies and big draught houses in stone paddocks. The island was splatters with little villages and fortifications dating back to the 1800’s.
It was the last piece of French soil that Napoleon set foot on before being shipped out to the south Atlantic, never to see France again. So of course, there was the obligatory Napoleon pub.
After a couple of hours walking, we desperately needed to check out one of the local establishments. Which we did.
Then back to the boat for a rather rocky nights sleep. We had tide against wind and the mooring ball kept disappearing between the hulls, making it reasonably uncomfortable.