In May of this year [I wrote in 2003], following a small refit and a hull repaint occasioned by the Loch Ness beaching, Mike and I were back again at this superb cruising ground with Bunny to participate in a week-long rally involving some 800 boats from tall ships down to cockleshells, most with some claim or pretension to tradition. To attempt a catalogue would be impossible and unnecessary – you name it, it was there; however the local ‘sinagot’ fishing boats, alarmingly lofty luggers with up to three masts, each carrying a passing imitation of a Roman imperial banner, are worth singling out. The fleet was divided into seven flotillas according to size and type, each starting out from a different one of the many small ports in the gulf, and spending each night at another, so criss-crossing the entire body of water. At each stop we would find entertainment in the form of local bands and singers, with freshly-prepared seafood on shore or at a variety of restaurants. Mike and I were camping at a fairly central location near Port Blanc, and ferried between boat and camp at the ends of each day by a special bus service. Throughout the week order was to be maintained by a large fleet of RIBs manned, unnecessarily as it turned out, by the CRS – the French riot police.

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