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A whole week at anchor!

June 17, 2011

Wednesday 15th June

Night 6 in a row at anchor…

The incredible flying man!

The weather seems to have finally broken and we are back to the typical South of France sunshine and calm winds. We spent the last 2 nights at St-Jean-Cap-Ferret as it was sheltered from the swell that was rolling from the Southwest. The marina there has an excellent chandlery (if not a bit expensive!) but it has everything we need and there’s even a Yanmar engine dealer there!

This is probably why it is so popular with the big boats, and by big I mean massive! Every evening we would go to bed accompanied by 4 or 5 super motor yachts anchored around the bay and every morning we would slowly gain more and more company. I think the most we counted was 21 at any one time!

Walking on water

Due to these boats, prices are high onshore, surprisingly not so much in the restaurants, but certainly when it comes to boat stuff. One advantage however is the entertainment that comes with them…

On Monday afternoon we were treated to ring-side seats of a display of a water jet-powered flying suit. The guy using it was extremely good, I think he thought he was Superman. But he did look rather better than the guests who tried to do it and landed flat on their faces!! Using controls on the arm supports you can go high, low, turn left and right, fly in circles, walk on water…

Wally 77

As if not wanting to be outdone, the next entertainment came along only minutes later in the shape of a Wally 77’. A beautiful specimen of a boat and she didn’t disappoint. With only a force 2, possibly 3, she was tacking in and out of the anchored boats at some speed and oh so gracefully, with only a crew of about 6 people.

Of course there’s always the obligatory jet skis from the super yachts to watch and on Monday there were all the toys from ‘Blind Date’ out and about. The guests onboard were from the energy drink company ‘Rockstar’ and they certainly had plenty of energy riding ringos, jet skis, super sofas, diving and waterskiing!

A private harbour

Yet again we have been treated to some excellent displays of French anchoring! Another Beneteau 50 decided to join us in our anchorage on Monday afternoon. As it was a public holiday it was already rather crowded and their first attempt to get hooked in in a suitable spacious spot was not to the skipper’s satisfaction. So up came the anchor and they came and tried a nice spot behind us. After letting out about 50 metres of chain and dragging it a long, long way, up it came again! A third attempt and up it came again, providing us with much amusement as the lady on the bow kept shouting out how much chain they were letting out and it wasn’t the usual French 10 metres covers everything!! On the 4thattempt the skipper was happy that he was dug in, however it meant that they were only about 6ft from us, instead of moving, out came the fenders!! As it was they were ok but when all the day-trippers left in the evening they moved to shallower waters and settled there for a couple of days!

St Hopice

On an exploratory walk around Cap Ferret we discovered the church of Saint Hopice at the top of the Cap. It is a simple church with a massive statue of the Madonna outside it (by massive I mean as tall as the church itself!). We walked past a lot of beautiful villas, but of course you can only catch glimpses of what lies behind the castle-style doors and 8ft fencing! You get a much better view from the water with the binoculars!! I think my favourite villa is a rather garish coloured orange villa, with gardens laid out symmetrically down to the water, and at the bottom is it’s own private walled swimming area in the sea, which doubles as a private dock! I can quite see myself taking up residency there! We also visited Paloma beach which has a private beach club on it available for sunbeds, lunch and dinner. All priced very reasonably and at night looks beautiful with the tables covered in crisp white linen lining the edge of the beach with the water gently lapping the shore…

And so to today. We upped anchor and sailed around the bay St Hopice at a leisurely 2 – 2.5 knots before the wind died and then we made our way 3 miles round Cap Ferret to Villefranche. It is much calmer than a few days ago, very quiet on the boat front, although there is a beautiful coloured Swan yacht anchored not too far from us, no cruise ships, and a quiet town. We have a gentle breeze drifting through the boat, a beautiful sunset about to appear below the few small evening clouds and a lovely dinner to look forward to.

A bientot…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kath permalink
    June 21, 2011 1:54 pm

    Just catching up on your recent blogs – great to read what you are up to. I’m off sailing with your dad for a couple of days next week and looking forward to it. Stay safe and happy. Kath

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