Searching for the Quenouille de St Brigitte

During conversation with a friend we learnt of a menhir  that had been adopted and modified by Christians during the early 16thC.

The conversation was  however some time ago, and we only had a rough idea where it was. We decided to launch from the car park at Pont Lorois, there’s great access to the water and plenty of parking.COL_0001

and use the tide up into the upper reaches of the Ria (On a previous trip we expored the Western side of the Ria at Nostang)


There was very little to pack, and we were soon on the water, but at low tide it means wading for the first one hundred meters to have enough water.P1010773

We made our way up the estuary heading for St Cado.  Passing the small Oyster Watchman’s house.   We could already feel the increase of the wind which was predicted to increase Bf5 +P1010784

St Cado is one of those places you will never tire of seeing.  This small island with its connecting harbour wall draws hundreds of tourists during the summer season, without doubt the best way to visit is by kayakP1010785

At higher levels of tide it can be fun paddling through the arched gates of the harbour wall against the flow of the tide, the tunnel is around one kayak length and needs a determined sprint to glide through…..  those who don’t have the speed or find the current faster than anticipated usually try to paddle only to find their paddles don’t fit under the arch ! P1010786There are always plenty of birds on the Estuary, this Egret was very happy to come quite close to us as we slowly moved through the mud banks


there are a good number of islands that are linked at low tide by rocky causeways. Here we needed to wait just a few minutes for the tide to rise a little higher in order to allow us to crossP1010808

Along came a party of people making their way back to the mainland, they had been using one of several small fishermen’s cottages on this small chain of islandsP1010811

It was another few minutes before they arrived at the causeway and the level of water was now thigh deep with a good flow of water crossing it. I offered a hand and carried a large bag on my deck  and hung around ‘just in case’  someone needed a bit more help. All was well with everyone across, however any further delay would have needed a boat or a 12hr wait till the next low tide.


Now we moved out into the open reaches of the Ria, we could feel the strength of the wind, the waves were mostly flattened by the wind, but every once in a while larger waves would form giving a chance to surf a little.

P1010793The weather had changed significantly in just a couple of hours, we now found ourselves paddling in a good force 5 on this open stretch, but it was easy to see the shelter offered much closer inland.


This is the Quenouille de Sainte Brigitte, It’s located on the Isthmus of the Ile Verdun peninsular. It’s a little over 3 meters tall and has three parts, a long cylindrical block of Granite carrying a smaller block which has a cross carved out, and these a finished with a conical cap.
I am always amazed at how these very ancient stones have survived so long. Of course now these historical relics are all recorded and looked after, but this is really something quite new in their history. It leads me to believe that there were probably many more that have just been lost or innocently reused before their historical value was realised.

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Back at Pont Lorois, our starting point, the bay was filling nicely and the tidal flow into the bay gave Michelle an opportunity to practice her moving water skills.

So, probably time to ‘explain’ the word “Quenouille”

the translation I found in the dictionary is ‘Distaff’ it took me several searches to discover that this is the long spindle that ‘spinners’ use to hold the unspun fibres



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