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Thursday, September 6, 2012

[Balade gourmande] Brittany by sail: Unforgettable day on a traditional boat in Cancale

I had called the "Ecole des Voiles" (School of Sails) in Cancale, Bretagne, France in July, to secure four spots on the  "Balade Gourmande"(Culinary ride?), 4-hour-sails on the traditional boat named L'An Durzunel.
I love the sea and the boat, which I only realized in 2001 when I was on a yacht trip for 10 days in Mediterranean sea.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to learn sailing, but I hope we can give an opportunity to our kids, to learn sailing & navigation.
Think of sitting back and relaxing while you take in views of the Mont-Saint-Michel and the beautiful coast of the Saint-Malo. And, of course, don't forget a glass of chilled white wine with seafood. Doesn't this thought make you happy? :)
That was exactly what we did on a sunny day of August.
To prevent seasickness, we had kids take benadryl. We only got to know that even kids rarely have seasick in these kind of mild ride.
I know I don't hardly get any seasickness since I had none during 10 days of yacht trip. Oh, and also, I don't have any problem reading books and newspaper in the bus or car.
We were asked to arrive at la Pointe du Grouin by ten thirty, for the sails leaving at eleven.
We were very lucky to have a beautiful weather, even though wind was not very strong.
A shuttle run by the city of Cancale, came to pick us up.
As the people cannot anchor their boats when because of the low tide, the city runs shuttle boats between the boats and the land.
On our way to L'An Duzurnel, the sailboat.
 View of the Pointe du Grouin from the sea.
 We have have a view of our neighbor's house with their beautiful frontyard. That is not bad either.

  It would be even nicer to have an ocean view from my house.
Remi was as excited as I was.
This is L'an Duzurnel.
We were swapping the boats with the kids who went out for sailing lessons early in the morning.
When we are on board,
Jérôme, our captain, raised the third sail.
As there was not much wind, we needed some help of the motor for the first part of the balade.
Once we had enough wind, Pablo was cold!!! It was a warm day in August.
Come on kiddo, you are tougher than this.
 Remi was content with the wind and sailing.
The boat was a full boat as it took the maximum capacity, with six guests including us and two marines.
Remi and François.
 François was a very nice gentleman who joined the ride.

As I said, it was a beautiful day.
L'an Duzurnel was built over 30 years ago.
It was originally used a crab boat.
Under the deck, there was a stack of rocks. Fishermen filled the boat with rocks of 500kg.
As they catched crabs, they threw rocks into the sea to keep the weight of 500kg.
Since the boat is not used as crab boat, the rocks are now fixtures.
 We sailed to the Rock of Cancale nesting seagulls and cormorants on the right side,
and l’île des Rimains(Island of Rimains) on the left.
There was a sea fort on L’île des Rimains that had been built in the late eighteenth century plans to defend the pass of Cancale and ensure the safety of the bay of Mont Saint-Michel. It's now a private island owned by the Poilane family, the famous baker in Paris.

I think it was my first time to see cormorants.
What a hidden(?) beauty of the Rock of Cancale.
Sight of the Mont-Saint-Michel made me even happier during the sail.
Honestly, I find Mont-Saint-Michel much more beautiful from outside than inside.
Herpin lighthouse marks the entrance of the bay of Mont Saint-Michel.
Your vision is fine if you see the Mont-Saint-Michel in the middle. :D
The hidden beauties of the bay were before us.
Marine map of Cancale and Saint Malo coasts.
Remi enjoyed every moment of the balade while Pablo got bored sometimes.
 We dropped anchor to picnic on board near  L’île des Rimains.
Regional products delight our taste!! I've longed for this picnic time!
We started with oysters.
Jérôme ground special peppercorn mix of Roellinger, famous spice specialty shop in Cancale.
Oysters were very top grade oysters of the town.
These were the seasonings to taste oysters.
First, with cumbava oil (left) and fresh ground pepper.
It was AMAZING!!
Second seasoning was Muscadée oil with lime zest.
The captain zested lime right there.
The third dégustation(tasting) was with Huile et Agrumes and grapefruit zest.
This was Mr. D's favorite.
Of course, grapefruit was zested on site, too.
Grapefruit and Oil & Agrumes was Remi's favorite too.
I am so proud of him. How many 8-year-old kid would volunteer to eat oyster (I'm sure there are not many in Canada :))
Everything was served with a nice fresh Muscadet ... No doubt, happiness is in the bay!
Butter tasting~
The butter was Bordier butter from the "Maison du beurre" of Saint-Malo.
We had visited the Maison du beurre the day before as this was known as the most delicious butter in Bretagne (Brittany).
Then, Mackerel rillettes.
I love any kind of rillettes. But, mackerel rillettes was very sepcial.
I really liked it.
Now, it was time to taste the achard de legumes("vegetable achard") specially made for the Balade Gourmande by the chef at a famous culinary school in Brittany.
Top each slice of bread with a spoonful of achards.
Then roof the top with smoked mackerel.
I just loved it!
It was a heavenly match between achard and smoked mackerel.
I'll make achard very soon.
I'll post the recipe in a near future.
As soon as Jérôme threw skin of smoked mackerel, it was snapped by a seagull within a couple of seconds.
Each time, a seagull arrived with a remarkable speed.
Meanwhile, we had our dessert.
Mini Kouign Amann.
Bretagne's most famous dessert, made with ample butter.
I personally think that Kouign Amann is especially tasty in Brittany because it is made with the most delicious butter of Bretagne.
Relaxed brothers
Fortunately we had more wind after lunch.
It was time to sail back to the coast.
Water was cold and very salty~ (how surprising~)
When we were near the spot to stop the boat and wait for the shuttle,
Jérôme climbed up the mast to take down the main sail.
Sail boat without sail for now.
 Soon the shuttle boat came to pick us up and we were getting closer to the beach. 
Balade Gourmande - Cancale, Bretagne


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