Skip to content

Essential Sailing New Blog Address

October 6, 2013

To all our faithful followers – our new blog is now up and running.

All our posts will be on there from now on. Please follow the link and fill in your email address to keep receiving Essential Sailing blogs.

www.essentialsailing.com/blog

See you soon!

Kate

Advertisements

The Blog Has Moved!

July 26, 2013

Just a quick note to say that the blog address has moved to: http://www.essentialsailing.com/blog

Please keep following our adventures at this address. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Kate and Phil

Family Sailing Holidays: A New Toy

July 7, 2013

We’ve had a fab couple of nights at anchor but last night we got hit with a surprise bit of wind! Talk about zero to hero – we got Force 0 – 7 in 10 minutes! Not to worry though, we tootled over, albeit at a rather odd angle, to some shelter but decided the port looked quite inviting on the way and popped into Beaulieu for the night. Typically, it turned out to just be a bit of a blow and by 11pm all was quiet again!

A new addition has joined the fleet – we now have First Essential (the yacht), Terry (the tender) and Kay (the inflatable kayak).

Introducing Kay the Kayak

Introducing Kay the Kayak

She is particularly good for exploring the coastline up close and for popping in to beaches for an ice cream where engines are not allowed! And when you’re done with her, she deflates and rolls up into a back pack!

Ready to go

Ready to go

We’re back off out to anchor now until Thursday hopefully, so Kay will be getting lots of use!

A bientot!

 

Bulghar, Date and Clemetine Salad with Chilli and Garlic Chicken

June 30, 2013

Perfect for a summer lunch or dinner. The flavours hint at Morocco and the salad could be served without the chicken as an accompaniment to a bbq! You can even make it the day before it’s needed. Yum!

Delicious!

Delicious!

Ingredients for 2

  • 140g bulghar wheat, prepared as per the packet and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 6 stoned dates, chopped
  • Small handful parsley, chopped
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 100g baby spinach/watercress
  • 2 clementines, peel removed and sliced

For the Dressing

  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened

How to

  • Put bulghar wheat, spices and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add dates, parsley, chickpeas, and almonds.
  • Pour dressing ingredients into a jam jar. Put the lid on and shake well.
  • Pour over the bulghar wheat and mix well.
  • Set to one side.
  • Season the chicken breasts.
  • Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat.
  • Add a drop of oil.
  • Cook the chicken breasts, turning regularly until cooked.
  • Whilst the chicken is cooking, chop the chilli and add it to the butter with the crushed garlic.
  • Once the chicken is cooked turn off the heat and stir in the butter.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Just before serving, mix the spinach through the wheat.
  • Divide between two plates, sprinkle with a few flaked almonds and decorate with clementine slices.
  • Slice the chicken breasts, place on top and drizzle with the melted butter.

 

Luxury Sailing: Inside First Essential

June 28, 2013

So I just thought I’d share a quick little video I made today so that you can all share in the joys of my wonderful floating home.

Click on the beautiful picture below to enjoy your short First Essential experience.

And don’t forget to subscribe/like us!

Thank you x

The bookshelf

The bookshelf

Weekend Sailing and the Summer Sailstice

June 25, 2013

This week we popped into Cannes Port to shelter from some wind and rough seas as well as topping up the battery charge and filling the tanks with water. We quickly discovered it was Cannes Lions week – a week where all the top advertising and media guys, some 15,000 of them, come together and have ‘meetings’, drinks on nice boats, and a lot of parties! We were extremely lucky to be invited to one boat reception as one of our guests for the weekend was in Cannes for the Lions and had a problem with a hotel and ended up arriving to us a few days early! So off we went to Bojangles, a 100 footer, met some very nice people and drank champagne with a view from the bow to our little boat – at least it had the tallest mast on it’s pontoon!

Bojangles in action

Bojangles in action

Whilst Skype, Google, Spotify, Facebook and all the other advertising and media companies entertained, we cleaned and primped and cooked getting ready for our weekend guests. We were treated to Will.I.Am one night but we didn’t even need to leave our beds to enjoy that party as it was so loud we could hear it from our cabin!

Our lovely guests

Our lovely guests

The rest of our lovely guests joined us on Friday afternoon and we quickly whisked them out to the Iles de Lerins to a quiet spot under the fort on Sainte Margherite for lunch – salmon with a fennel, olive and tomato salad and lemon tarts all washed down with some delicious Rose wine from St Tropez.

As there was a fabulous breeze blowing, a perfect 8 – 10 knots from the Northeast, we hoisted the sails and cruised around the bay to the Cap d’Antibes, turned the corner and made a whopping 9 knots towards Port Vauban in Antibes! We tied up here for the night and after a drink with lots of live music in the old town (it was the Fete de la Musique), dinner was served on board First Essential – mixed canapé plates, duck breast with a balsamic glaze and honey sauce and poached saffron pears and homemade vanilla ice cream.

Canapés

Canapés

Saturday morning saw us leaving Antibes and parking up in La Garoupe bay for the morning. We were the first ones there but it quickly filled with day boats and dinghies all making the most of the weekend sunshine. After lunch – local hams and cheeses with a green salad and coconut pannacotta – we headed across the Baie des Anges, briefly joining in the sail for the Summer Sailstice, to arrive outside Paloma Beach for a dinner reservation. Once back on board, we cut through the dark under a full moon to our berth in Port Beaulieu. However, it wasn’t long before we were back outside Paloma beach for a swim before breakfast on Sunday morning!

A new way to be served ice cream!

A new way to be served ice cream!

We had a brief sail around Cap Ferret but the wind had other places to be and left us for a while so we anchored up in Villefranche bay. We deployed our stern anchor as well as the normal anchor as there was a rather large swell running and we’re not keen on the rocking! We were watched by every boat around but we felt very smug when they were all rolling from side to side and we were very comfily sitting into the waves! After lunch – bulghar wheat, date and clementine salad with garlic and chilli chicken and a date and amaretto tiramisu, we did some swimming, sleeping and chilling before heading into the lovely little port of Villefranche. After a walk around the town, dinner was served on board – hummus and crudités, blackened cod, and a very light, flourless, chocolate and pear tart.

Villefranche

Villefranche

Monday morning came all too quickly and after a quick swim in Beaulieu, the clouds came in and threatened us with a lot of rain and wind. We moved into Port Beaulieu, enjoyed a last lunch – bacon, onion and cheese quiche with mixed salad and a sour cherry pavlova – before waving goodbye to our lovely guests. We’ve had a fabulous weekend, the guests have left feeling relaxed and are a little bit more tanned than when they arrived.

Here’s what they had to say about their holiday:

‘Kate and Phil, Having sailed with other firms in previous years as you know, perhaps our standards or expectations were pre-set or we at least had a benchmark from which to begin. However, as we have expressed to you throughout this lovely weekend, you guys have not only met or surpassed those expectations but truly smashed them on every level. The sailing/yachtsmanship, the cleanliness, the service and the wonderful, wonderful food! As we have all agreed, the output from the tiny galley has been quite remarkable by the standards of any kitchen and every single meal has been outstanding. We’ve had a truly lovely time and 3 nights of doing this equates to a 7-10 day holiday of relaxation by any measure. Very many thanks to you both and see you next year. Gareth and Anita.”

‘There are kitchens in London, New York or Paris – well equipped and staffed by the finest chefs – which still could not create a meringue quite so crisp, fluffy and delicate. How can such a small and swaying cabin produce a blackened cod to rival Nobu or an eggs benedict that would even satisfy the late Michael Winner? Not only can this girl cook, she can also sail a boat!? We have left feeling relaxed (albeit slightly inadequate). Thanks Phil and Kate for a lovely few days on your boat. May your holiday empire grow quickly and flourish. Love, Charlie and Saskia.’

Family Sailing: Cool Anchorages

June 18, 2013

Well, I would say it’s nice to be tied up in Cannes but the sun is blazing down and the wind we’re trying to shelter from is very effectively being blocked by the Palais des Festivals  so there’s no breeze at all! I guess you can’t have it all!

Sunset over Beaulieu

Sunset over Beaulieu

We’ve spent the last few days at anchor and we’ve been treated to exceptionally calm seas and cooling light breezes – I’ve even managed a swim every day!

Our first few nights were at Beaulieu, outside a little port, Port Fourmis, that we can’t get into due to our depth and generally being way too big! We were treated to fireworks one night, various light displays from the super yachts and a collection of France’s reality TV superstars singing and dancing in St Jean another night!

No worries on the islands

No worries on the islands

We then decided to make a move to the Iles de Lerins for the weekend. Having chosen our spot in crystal clear, blue water we had lunch – steak frites – and then had a swim round the yacht. We had one of the calmest nights we’ve ever had there and slept incredibly well. I had a run round the larger island the following morning. Being Sunday it was incredibly quiet and not hard to imagine myself being the first person ever to land and explore! It’s so difficult to describe the peace and tranquility that these islands afford and even with the hundreds of boats that flock there it really is a true escape from all the hustle and bustle that is Cannes and the surrounding coast.

Monastery on Saint Honorat

Monastery on Saint Honorat

From there we sailed across to Juan les Pins and decided, once the anchor was in, that we’d take a stroll to Antibes. It’s only a mile across the Cap so we took a picnic tea and had a wander around the mega yachts on billionaire’s row!

Today we sailed across the bay to Theoule to get fuel (it’s cheaper here than Cannes and the guy is also friendly!). We anchored up, had roast chicken for lunch (we had to have it as the freezer has gone into protest over the heat and has defrosted itself and it’s contents!), and then filled up with fuel. Once full we motored across to Cannes and have pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon trying to avoid getting too hot!

Theoule-sur-Mer

Theoule-sur-Mer

We’re looking forward to our weekend charter and are busy planning stops although there’s always a lot of last minute decisions due to the weather! So, until next week, I will mostly be found swimming somewhere in the Cote d’Azur or in the freezer aisle of any Supermarket!