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Saint Honorat

May 29, 2011

Sunday 29th May

Saint Honorat

The old monastery

With a forecast of not very much wind, plenty of sun, and high temperatures, a group decision was made to not go very far and just swap one island for it’s smaller brother: about 3 miles sailing/motoring. As luck would have it, we had such a leisurely breakfast that by the time we were ready for the off, the morning breeze (probably the sea breeze we were that slow) had started to pick up. We managed to sail into the bay towards Juan-les-Pins and out round the end

A blue sky

of Sainte Marguerite at a rate of about 3 – 4 knots. Once Saint Honorat and the monastery were in view the wind picked up to a steady force 3 and we took advantage and sailed up and down before heading into the gap between the islands to anchor, swim, and have lunch.

The gap between the islands is particularly popular and places have to be fought for. The French motor vessels set their sights on a spot and there’s not much that will stop them getting there! One such boat tried to push his way in on us but once he realised we were not going for his spot ‘as close in as you can get, surrounded by 10 other boats’ he chilled out and let us carry on. We anchored in about 6metres of water and had a lovely refreshing swim. After lunch we ventured onto the island and explored the beautiful grounds of the monks’ monastery.

The church

The coolest (as in coldest) place on the island is inside the beautiful, big, simple monastery church. It is very bare, just a simple cross with a white drape. No pictures on the walls, no idols, no busts, no writing, no distractions. I also ventured into the shop that sells products the monks have made. The wine is apparently very good but at 345 Euros for a big bottle we decided to give it a miss this time but I got a tiny bottle of ‘Lerincello’, supposedly like ‘Limoncello’ but actually very similar to paint stripper! The chocolate, however, got ten out of ten!

Lavendar fields

After a lovely afternoon and early evening on the island the decision was made, by some sort of random boat vote, to move to another bay for the night. We headed off to La Figueirette, a beautiful red-rock bay. Unfortunately the wind chose that moment to pick up to a Southerly force 4, blowing straight into the bay we’d chosen. There is, however, a small marina where the largest berth is 17m long but only 2m deep. As we’re 2m deep it was a bit risky but having studied the chart plotter that said in actual fact there were 3m on the fuel berth we decided to take our chances and edge our way in! We did it slowly, oh so slowly!! And very gently landed on the fuel berth with 0.7m under the keel! A lovely little marina and no one around to pay!

An arch

A lovely night was had and a very windy day followed…

A bientot
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