The Nantes to Brest Canal A nicely sheltered paddle

The entire coast of Brittany was hit with high winds up to Bf 7 over the whole weekend. There were some moments of calm but not really allowing a good day trip. So we looked inland, our first choice were the canals on the Briere marshes, but we soon discovered that this National park restricts kayaking on most of the waterways. We then took a look at the Nantes to Brest Canal, we chose the port at Guenrouet to launch from.

It was well sheltered by the forest, very quiet and hardly a ripple on the surface. After leaving the shelter of the forest we enjoyed wonderful views across the country, completely unspoilt

At ground level we could barely feel the wind, but the clouds were flying overhead, a good indicator of what would be happening on the coast

We came across these floating traps baited with carrots, they are an attempt to control the Ragondin (Coypu)  which has become a huge pest here on the continent

They used to be ‘farmed’ in Norfolk for their fur, and quickly became a pest after escaping into the wild, and a long sustained program  was needed to eradicate them. They damage crops and cause enormous erosion damage to the river banks where they burrow relentlessly

One sure way of keeping the numbers down is to put it on the menu,  it appears that Paté de Ragondin au cognac is just the job to keep the hunters bringing them in.

We stopped at a small harbour at Le Morissais, with its small jetty and slip. We took our lunch on the picnic tables enjoying the sunshine, it was just 15° C

Back on the water we continued to explore this lovely waterway, the reflections on the water made it quite beautiful.

This trip was very different to our usual paddles, we both enjoyed this very tranquil day, and as well as the ragondins saw a few striking blue Kingfishers.

So when the wind is just battering the coast a little too hard we have another 300 Kms of this canal to visit.


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