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Easterly Force 7

June 1, 2011

1st June 2011

Having enjoyed the sunshine for a couple of days and done lots of swimming at anchor in Villefranche, Phil decided he’d like to go to Menton for his birthday. So I did some cleaning, (bathrooms are now sparkly white again thanks to ‘Cif Extra White’!) and Phil went off to do man things like get some cream for his foot that is rapidly falling off and do the washing etc… We left Villefranche about 1100 on Monday morning, no wind, calm sea, sunny day! As we approached Monaco the radio started to get very busy and we, not wanting to be too nosy, only listened in to a few conversations!! All the boats that had visited the Grand Prix on Sunday were being chucked out and sure enough, every 10 minutes another massive motor boat came out of the harbour and powered off somewhere else. It has to be said that they have no regard for the effect their wake has on a sailing boat and I can only be glad that we are 50ft and not 30ft!!

We passed Roquebrune Cap Martin and anchored just to the East of it where we had a lovely lunch of hams and cheese and baguette, followed by a swim! Well actually – I only dipped my toes in as it wasn’t particularly warm, but Phil went in, and very quickly out again! We moved on to Menton and went into Port Garavan. We nosied in and met the harbour guy on the fuel berth. I radioed them and said ‘I’m in the harbour entrance’ in my best French and the reply came ‘Oui, tres bien’!!! We were given a lovely berth and plenty of direction and help onto it which was nice.

It got very hot in the marina but that was perfect for drying all the towels. We chilled out, had a snooze (some of us with books over our faces!!) and eventually showered and made it out to dinner. Phil chose a restaurant as it was his birthday. We went up into the old town and he chose a restaurant in a square called ‘La Piazzetta’. Everyhting is Menton is very Italian, being only a few hundred yards away from the border and you will commonly hear Italian not French being used. We had a delicious Parmigiano Aubergine starter, Phil even tried it and said how good it was! Then he had a (huge) pizza and I had homemade pasta with 3 rather large prawns and lots of tomatoes. Dessert was an ice cream on the way home from a lovely little Italian parlour.

We strolled through the private beaches and associated restaurants on the way back to the marina, eyeing up the dinghies for hire in the boat park. It didn’t take long before we were fast asleep and in fact we didn’t wake up until almost 9am when the boat next door was testing his noisy engine! We did some washing (it went round twice?!) and then we moved across to the old port. The forecast was not good so we decided to stay tied up rather than anchor somewhere. Sure enough we are now sitting on the quay, bouncing around in the remains of a very windy day! We woke up this morning about 7.30 as the wind started whistling through the rigging and very quickly we were up to an Easterly Force 5/6. This afternoon it increased to a Force 7 and has just started dropping down (we’re back to a 5). We’ve adjusted lines several times to try and stay off the other boats and the quay but we are bouncing around like Tigger!

Hopefully the sea will calm down as the wind does and there will be less of a swell overnight. Our plan tomorrow is to move back to Villefranche and then on to La Napoule to pick up post and our builders plate. After that we’re not sure. Maybe we’ll head down to Sainte Maxime or maybe we’ll stay up in Villefranche – wherever the wind takes us.

We’ll keep you posted!

A bientot…

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