Saving a damsel in distress in Brittany

Kitesurfing is a very popular sport in Northern Brittany.

We love to watch the kiteboarders who usually are accomplished athletes. As soon as the wind gets strong enough - almost everyday in Brittany, young people come down to the beach, carrying their board and kite. And then as soon as they hit the water, they do fly away. Most of them, that is.

That day, the sea was choppy. Too rough to go wakeboarding. A few kitesurfers were having a ball not very far from Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer, the village close to Les Ebihens.

I don’t remember who noticed that one kiteboarder was hovering around a kite that was floating on the water, exactly what a kite should never do... A motorboat is not exactly very environmentally friendly but it gets you where you want to go in a few minutes.

We wanted to check whether someone needed help... This is quite a rule of conduct when you are at sea. Trying to be on the look-out for danger because the sea is treacherous even this close to an island.

When we got to the spot where the kite was bobbing on the waves, there was a girl clinging on to the buoy nearby because her flying lines had somehow gotten tangled up in the upper part of the buoy. This was an incredible plight because there was no way she could free her line on her own and of course, she did not want to abandon her kite...

The kitesurfer who was hovering round her kept shouting: “Do you need help? Do you need help?” She looked really upset and never answered. She kept trying to untangle her lines. And the guy kept hovering and asking her the same question over and over. It could have been very funny but the girl looked exhausted and besides our boat, there was only one small sailboat there with only one guy aboard.

A kite is a huge thing to manage when the wind is blowing.

On board, we had two young men, ready to lend a helping hand to a damsel in distress. Oh, I am sure they would have helped a guy too. We were at sea, remember.

They handed our boat hook on to the girl so that she’d have a better chance at untangling the lines.

Then they managed to grab her kite which they hauled up on board, very carefully. Then they had to find a way to stop it from flying away. It was putting quite a fight, I remember.

Once the kite was secured, Popeye maneuvered the boat around the buoy so that it’d be easier for the girl to untangle her line. He had to be extra careful since this buoy means danger... hidden rocks all around.

The girl was tough. The pilot was bright and the boys very helpful.

The lines finally got untangled and pulled aboard the boat. We then picked up the girl who was seriously exhausted.

In the meantime, the sailboard was making tacks around us. 

We soon understood why. He had saved the girl’s board and was probably hoping to bring her and her equipment back to the nearest harbor.

For a short while, we navigated edge to edge while she was explaining to him that her kite would be too cumbersome for his boat. He finally gave up and handed her board to our boys.

People who go sailing usually don’t like motorboats. This guy looked like he hated us! And then he sailed away...

We offered some really hot tea and cookies to the girl while we were wondering what to do next. It took a lot of thinking. No kidding. The tide was low. The beach she kitesurfed from was inaccessible.

She was a really tough girl because she made a decision our guys were not happy about. She packed the kite and lines on her board and she decided to swim to the nearest sandbar. From there, she’d walk back to the beach. It would take her one good hour but she said she’d manage.

I almost forgot to mention that the other kitesurfer was still hanging about our boat, saying again and again: “Do you need help? Do you need help?” And then he’d take off and come back again.

The girl did not even deign to answer him. Not once.

To us, she said: “He is my cousin and he’s a moron.”

So off she went. We kept checking on her just in case but Popeye had dropped her as close to the sandbar as he could which was fine. She made it and started to walk back towards the beach.

Her cousin was still hovering about: “Do you need help? Do you need help?”

Once she was safe, we had a good laugh just imagining their family dinner that very night.

On board, the guys were happy. This could have been such a boring outing. No wakeboard, just imagine!

But we have yet to see them riding a kitesurf!

*Good Luck, and Good Night*

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