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The French are on holiday!!

July 5, 2011

Sunday 3rd July

The French are on holiday!

Off St Tropez

We left St Tropez on Tuesday morning with a beautiful wind, (needless to say the exit was not so much like being on the M25), and the plan of sailing round to Pampelonne bay, the playground of the rich and famous, for lunch. The wind had other ideas! We had a fabulous sail tacking out of the bay for an hour and eventually managed to clear the final cardinal mark and ease away when the wind stopped. Literally, just stopped! It was a very strange feeling as boats 100m away were sailing well and boats out on the sea were doing the same, there was no land to block the wind, it just stopped!! Donkey pushed us on a few yards and then it was back, but rather than being a Force 4 NE it was SW force 5! We braved it for a few minutes and then decided the direction was not good for anchoring for lunch and turned around back into the Golfe de St Tropez. Again the wind stopped in the same place and turned back to NE! The forecasts down that end often forecast one wind one side of a headland and another the other side and I guess they really do mean it!!

Our guests

Anyway, we made it to a bay near St Tropez and a swim around the boat was had, a new experience for the guests and one they never thought they would do! Lunch was enjoyed and as the wind had picked up we edged back out into the bay with just a handkerchief up at the front and made 4 – 5 knots across the bay to Ste Maxime for the night. We ‘bounced’ onto the small motor boat that was in the place next to us and tied ourselves up with a lot of fenders between us and him.

It was X-Factor final that night and I’m very proud to report that the English guy Matthew Raymond-Barker won it! It was touch and go whether or not I’d see it as the signal was atrocious but I turned off the HD and got it on terrestrial and all was ok again! The wind was still blowing but as soon as the winner was announced it stopped, just like that, and a peaceful night was had.

Hanging around

The next morning we welcomed 2 more guests on board and just before 11 sailed off to Frejus. We had a lovely sail tacking out of the bay and then eased off towards Frejus. We arrived for a late lunch and then went exploring around.

The next couple of days the wind was not so kind to us and was rather elusive but we spent a night at anchor (another first for the guests), swam some more in bays, tootled along under sail at a rate of 2 knots, visited the monastery on St Honorat and made it back to Cannes on Friday evening.

41 Whidby Island

This morning, we left Cannes to anchor for a few nights, and saw an American warship, number 41. Not sure why it’s in Cannes but there were plenty of boats buzzing around it! We moved over to between the Iles de Lerins and chose an anchor spot. I have never seen so many boats in one place other than in Antigua Race Week at the Dickinson Bay Party. You think you’ve done well to squeeze 50ft into a tiny space and then 6 more small French motor boats come and park around you!! Craziness!! They’ll all be gone by 7pm, back to their marinas and the peace will be restored. I have to say that really the only one that really distracts me is the ice cream, drinks and coffee boat. She has a hooter she blows to announce her presence and it gets me thinking about ice cream, and how much I’d like one, but it’s not good for you, but it’s so hot… Luckily we have a freezer and Phil has sneaked a box of mini-magnums into it!!

French are on holiday!!

So for now we’re left boat watching, anchor watching wandering the islands and dreaming of ice cream!!

A bientot…

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