Soon after dawn we left Houat behind and sailed for Etel, a town on the River Etel just north of Quiberon peninsula.
It was the best sail we have had yet, with a good breeze and dolphins on the bow once more.
Time for a reef in the main and oilies on when it freshened further and the skies turned grey.
To cross the Barre d'Etel, a sandbar that notoriously changes day by day, you have to get the tide right, have the wind in the right direction, have clear visibility and a working VHF radio to make contact with the Etel pilot. The pilot is stationed at Etel's semaphore station. With a combination of verbal directions and indications from the arrow on the semaphore tower if needed, you are guided in over the shallows.
It was great to hear the pilot's voice who gave us clear directions: steer for the tower.....now 10 degrees to starboard....now for the red post....and we flew in with the flood tide!
All peace and tranquility once in the estuary. Etel is a cheerful little town that once was a major tuna fishing port. Now it farms oysters, and is a perfect place for wing foiling, kite surfing and wind surfing.