It’s going to be a colourful day ! From the Trieux to Bréhat, the Eulalie operates as a fully manual sailing boat, and Dominique invites us to help with the manoeuvres. Once the course has been set, the focus switches from sail canvas to paper, and Isabelle shows us how to apply delicate tints of watercolour. Between the art of sailing and the art of watercolour, the archipelago is a playground full of inspiration !
Welcome aboard !
The black-hulled Eulalie is waiting for us in the harbour at Lézardrieux. A smile lights up Dominique’s bearded face as he welcomes us on board. The generous width of the sardine boat promises a really comfortable voyage. Once all the baskets, bags and watercolours have been stowed away, we’re ready to cast off ! We start off slowly, under engine power. The wooded banks of the Trieux, dotted with charming stone houses, show us the way.
Ready for manoeuvres !
The skipper is already handing over the helm to Françoise. In spite of its 7 tonnes, the oak and exotic wood sailing boat is surprisingly easy to handle. The deckhands for the day attend to hoisting the sails. We’re ready! Muscles flexed, we all pitch in together and the mainsail flies up the mast, quickly followed by the foresail spreading its ochre tint from the sea to the horizon. Dominique shows us some sailors’ knots to hold the sails in place. A few knots later, and Eulalie is gliding gracefully over the waves. Tranquility descends !
Under the spell of a traditional sailing boat
Dominique tells us the story of his boat. With a smile, and some photos of its wild and wonderful restoration. He’s quite proud to show us the original state of the bow. The long hours spent bending the timbers, the 3000 screws he used, the annual repainting of the hull, hard work which demands our respect. The captain brings out of the hold the pine-tar plaited hemp which is used for caulking. What a lovely fragrance to accompany our coffee break !
- A day on board the sailing boat Eulalie in the Bréhat archipelago
- An introduction to sailing and boat handling with Dominique
- The creation of a travel journal with watercolourist Isabelle
A magnificent setting for working with water colours
With the elegant phare de la Croix lighthouse on our port side, Isabelle grabs a sheet of paper. Before our astonished eyes, she shows us how to draw a boat with one sweep of the pencil - or almost. Tracing an 8, she creates a fishing boat, a bark, a sturdy Breton rowing boat. We all take turns to have a go. The results are amazing. As we pass between the yellow and black beacons that signal the entry to the Bréhat archipelago our paintbrushes get busy. The changing landscapes are perfect subjects for watercolours. The emerald of the water and the pink-hued rocks provide inspiration to our - more or less - expert palettes. Our teacher explains the different techniques simply: “We’re here to have a go”. With childish glee we throw ourselves into the water... on paper. Natural scenery and details of the boat colour our sketchbooks, drawing on all the shades of the colour wheel.
Lunch with a sea view
After all this water, it’s time for a nice aperitif ! Eulalie slips into the Trou de la Souris channel to reach her mooring. Everyone helps with the ropes to furl the sails. We rummage in our bags for our picnics. Fishermen and kayaking friends come alongside to enjoy a chat. The conversations become lively. Dominique tells stories of some of the celebrities who stop off on Bréhat. Getting back to seafaring matters, he unfolds the nautical chart to help us better understand the effects of the tides. And by the bye, it’s time to leave.
A lovely return to port !
Feeling more and more confident with the halyards, we raise the sails. Eulalie weaves through some of the 96 small islands of the archipelago. With the bow heading to open sea, the sails resemble an elegant butterfly above the deep blue waters. We sail past the lovely Men Joliguet beacon, a favourite with artists. Back in the estuary of the Trieux, Brigitte proudly takes the helm. The boat is transformed into a floating open-air atelier. Perfect for studying the clouds ! Just before we reach the harbour, a lovely surprise is waiting for us. The pot that we put out this morning is raised, to reveal a lobster with his blue livery ! It’s with this extra passenger, sketchbooks full of drawings and our heads full of glittering memories that we set foot on land again. A wonderful day, signed Isabelle, Dom’ and Eulalie !