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The French Riviera and all that…

May 11, 2011

Wednesday 11thMay

A pretty bridge

What a scorcher!! Today was a hot one!

We started off where we anchored last night (always a good sign!) and upped anchor at 0845. We got the main up and set the genoa, engine off, wind SW 2 – 3, lovely! Of course it wasn’t long before old windy changed his mind and disappeared and the engine was back on again, it was nice while it lasted! We sailed past some beautiful scenery, very red rock (older than the Alps I’m told, but wearing away in the sea), beautiful bridges, and some lovely coves that look tempting but on closer inspection (on the chart) are full of rocks!!

'Honeycomb' apartments

We got the weather forecast for a million different places, but I finally worked out which one was ours and sure enough the wind was forecast as usual for the afternoon – when we planned to be in a harbour somewhere! Well, this marina, La Napoule, have not replied to any emails from me so I decided to pay them a visit. 1200, up we rock onto the fuel berth, Phil pops in to the Capitainerie and asks for a space, he laughs and says ‘Non’, simple as that!!

So I sent Phil off to get a baguette for lunch whilst I rang every marina between there and Timbuktu! All with the same reply ‘Pas de Mouillage’, ‘Non’, ‘Bonne Journee, Au Revoir’!!

Red Rocks

Well, what to do. I looked for some anchorages, but with wind forecast in the East tonight there are not many places that are recommended. I chose a couple to suss out but gave Antibes, Port Vauban, a call on the off chance. I was told to call back in an hour (obviously lunch time!). We left La Napoule, put the sails up, the wind was W/SW 4 – 5 and off we went – like a rocket!! We had 1 reef in the mainsail, a tiny triangle up front and we were doing 8.5 – 9 knots just off the wind, and not even leaning that far over! Well, whether or not Antibes wanted us, we were having a cracking time!

Slowly the wind eased to a steady force 4 and we turned slightly downwind to go around the Iles de Lerins. We saw the monastery and lots of anchored super big yachts. This fortnight is Cannes Film Festival, which is probably why there are no moorings to be had, and the boats just keep getting bigger! By 1500 we were outside Antibes, who had confirmed a space for us, and in we went. Onto the fuel berth, a word with the Capitainerie, proved we’re legal and insured and a berth was given to us.

Monastery

The berth, 403, did not look wide, and the boats either side looked large and solid, but in we went, nice and gently, Thierry doing well and Donkey under control. Gently does it and we were in! So we are now stern to in Antibes, no guarantee of being able to stay tomorrow, 36 nautical miles under our belt, a reasonable forecast for tomorrow and another cracking sail to look forward to!!

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mum permalink
    May 12, 2011 9:31 am

    Still jealous. Off with deafness so could come and see you!!! Doc said get out and enjoy the sun! Glad you are on your way again. Throw waiting for instructions. Have fun. Mum xxxx

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