The clouds are gathering this Tuesday, July 26th, but I don’t care. Because today I take the sea, or rather the river. I was indeed told about a so-called “sea scooter” that floats with complete impunity on Rancy. As a good journalist trying to resist the flat calm of summer, I couldn’t help but check it out.
The only one in Brittany
Wearing my prettiest blue bathing suit—just in case an unknown machine decides to treat me badly, you’ll understand—I drive to the port of La Hisse in Saint-Samson-sur-Rance, about ten minutes from Dinan. (Cote d’Armor). It is home to Balades sur Rance, which offers all kinds of devices for traveling on the river (electric boat, water bike, kayak, etc.), including the famous sea scooter, which has become the attraction of the season: Brittany, we only find it in Saint-Samson, and this since June The object comes from the south of France, where it is designed and assembled.
This is Jack Roussel-Jeanne, the manager, greeting me. Reading his name on the mailbox, I couldn’t help but imagine a sort of Breton Jack Sparrow, a pirate with a shiny earring and a tattoo of his mother, who stayed behind in Saint-Jacques-de-la-Mer or Erqui.
Her typical nautical look and her warm smile are enough to restore my confidence. And I need it: not even three minutes have passed since I arrived at the pontoon, when the uneven movements of the boats on the fresh water already caused me an imperceptible but all-consuming nausea. We got off to a bad start. Jack makes a reassuring maneuver: “You’ll see, the scooter is extremely stable! »
Then a strange car appears before my eyes. A large blue and white board with a metal bar in the center ending in a rounded rudder. Such an electric paddle, finally.
Drive at a speed of 7 km/h
I gain confidence and dry hop to the sea animal. Success. My feet close together, I activate a small lever that propels the scooter into adventure. This one surprises me with its maneuverability. “Be careful when you turn, you train the body well in the opposite direction. Some fall into the water. Fortunately, in the event of such a problem, I wear an orange bracelet that magnetically connects to the scooter and immediately shuts down the engine if there is a disconnect.
We leave for the bank of the river, in the direction of Dinan. The marine scooter and its manufacturer boast a “silent and emission-free” electric motor with an “extremely discreet wake.” And this is quite true. We are moving at a speed of 7 km/h, the limit of navigation on the Rancy, ideal for discovering its wildlife: a variety of birds, including an impressive cormorant rock, two shipwrecks that have become tourist attractions, or simply this estuary that usually enjoyed from the shore.
40 euros per hour
Also, the pedestrians on the towpath look at me, perhaps with envy, rather with confusion. “People are very curious, they are afraid of the scooter at first,” admits Jack. The more adventurous will quickly change their minds, especially since two or even three people can ride on this big board.
After an hour of walking, we are back at the port of La Gisse. The scooter convinced me: it is very easy to master, physically accessible, I floated on the water in the rhythm of the holiday. I may have even aligned all my chakras.
Walks in Rance, Chatelier Castle in Saint-Samson-sur-Rance. It is open from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00. Information and reservations by phone 06 70 80 24 17 or via [email protected] €25 for 30 minutes of scooter, €40 per hour.