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A Windy Day

May 1, 2011

1st May 2011

Some useful French words: ‘Avis de coup de vent’ = Gale warning

First Essential

The wind blows here and when it blows you  know about it! On Friday night in Bormes the wind was howling in the night. I was woken up at 3am by it and one look outside showed me that we were not going anywhere the next day. Although the wind was from behind us we were very close to the jetty and too close for my liking so I woke Phil up. He of course had no idea of the raging tempest outside and was dreaming of doughnuts and football no doubt! We managed to tighten our lazy line, add another one and then tighten our aft lines so we were nice and straight and about 3ft off the wall.

More sleep was achieved and in the morning we had to decide ‘what to do on a windy day?’ ”Cleaning” I hear you say?! No way!! There was no point doing the outside as the salt was being hurled over the marina by the sea and whipped through the air by the wind, sprinkling everything with a fine white coat. The inside of the boat is always clean so – what to do? Well we achieved a huge amount and not so much all at the same time. We did some washing, had some lunch, walked into Le Lavandou along a pretty boardwalk with tres chic lunch spots along the beach, saw some boats, had an ice cream, walked back, made a lemon cake, had some visitors who bought wine and chocolates – rude not to offer them a drink so we drank some wine, ate the lemon cake, and then went out for dinner. All in all a lot was achieved!!

Whose boat?!

And so to today. We woke to beautiful silence, no wind, no squeaky fenders, no creaky ropes – let’s go we said! So at 0900 we slipped our mooring, mainsail up, donkey on as always. We have discovered how we can make Bob talk toDonkey and they work together to keep us on track. So no more adjusting Bob’s steering whilst he daydreams – Donkey just gives him a kick!! The wind was forecast W/SW force 3 – 4 increasing 5 – 6 in the afternoon and decreasing in the evening. We had an East wind, yet again from where we were trying to go! It soon decided better and turned, and before long we were doing 6knots under mainsail alone, Donkey being given a rest.

We were aiming for Pampelonne Bay – the playground of the rich and famous. When we arrived there were 3 small motor boats, a little disappointing so we got the lunch out – homemade herb and chorizo Fougasse bread, French ham and cheese and, of course, salad. It was delicious as always but quite rudely interrupted by the arrival of not one, not two but 3 humungous motor yachts (I use the word ‘yacht’ lightly as they are clearly beasts!). They were closely followed by two beautiful classic sailing yachts and a number of other vessels of all shapes and sizes – one even had a dinky helicopter following it and filming the ‘French family’.


So a little while later we upped anchor and opted for the genoa as we were sailing down wind and it was blowing about 25knots. Not to be outdone by the mainsail, the genoa provided us with 8knots of boat speed at times – quite impressive! We rounded the corner and saw the most boats we have seen since leaving Canet. Boats everywhere. One with 4 masts and actual lifeboats on the side, sailing boats old and new, motor boats from the small to the ridiculous, ferries, trip boats – you name it, it was in the Golfe de Saint Tropez this afternoon!!

We radioed the  marina which I had called this morning, and they gave us the berth our friends had said was terrible!! So in we go, side wind at 25knots, and Donkey working over time with Thierry! We’re in, the boat has been scrubbed and the boats arriving just keep getting bigger!! It’s very bouncy but I’m sure the wind will die away as it’s been told to do by the Meteo.

Phil is cooking dinner, spaghetti bolognese I think, so white walls may not be white much longer…

A bientot

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sally Whitehead permalink
    May 3, 2011 1:51 pm

    Really jealous. Back in school and it’s just not the same as the South of France. Still knitting.
    Hope to see you later in the year.

    Love Mum

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