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Tramontane and Mistral altogether!!

August 12, 2011

Monday 8th August

Tramontane and Mistral winds altogether!

'First Essential's' first 1000 nautical miles

The honeymooners departed, off to Chateau d’Eza for 2 nights and then on to Portugal to finish their honeymoon, we departed too and headed in the opposite direction to St Tropez. We had a fast motor, with no wind, so a steady 7 knots was managed and we arrived in the bay just before St Tropez shortly after 8pm on Friday. The anchorage was not so busy and we found a shallow spot in the corner and had one of the quietest nights at anchor ever!

The following morning we moved up to St Tropez to sit and wait outside for a berth. We tried at 10am, 11am, midday, 1pm … Just so busy and market day as well so no boats moved! We took Terry ashore and did some laundry and shopping. At around 4.30pm we picked up our 3 guests in Terry. We left the busy traffic of St Tropez and headed back round the corner to the bay.

Sunset from St Tropez

We had spaghetti bolognese or salmon with saffron potato and julienne vegetables and lemon tart for dinner, played some rummy whilst drinking hot chocolate and watching the fireworks. A peaceful night was had but we were rudely awoken by a massive clap of thunder at 6am accompanied by plenty of lightning and tons of water! Luckily it didn’t last long and the day was soon in full swing with banana pancakes for breakfast and trip up to Port Grimaud.

There wasn’t much wind so we used Donkey, anchored up, had a swim, went to build sandcastles, had some lunch and then had a wander through the maze of a town that is Port Grimaud. The wind finally picked up and so we went off for a sail round the Golfe du St Tropez and made it across to Ste Maxime. One member of the crew tried surfing in Terry whilst we were sailing – the waves providing much amusement! We made back up to Port Grimaud and at 7pm we went onto the end of the fuel berth for the night. Very still and comfortable and accompanied by some Maltese 40metre motor yacht ‘Ability’. Unfortunately for them some of their crew were definitely lacking in ‘ability’ and their parking caused much entertainment!

Port Grimaud

So the forecast for today was pretty hairy and being on the fuel berth we had to leave Port Grimaud so at 8.30 this morning we were ringing round the marinas. St Raphael (which is where we wanted to go) had two spaces and we had to get there quick! So on went Donkey and off we went. We motored out of the bay as the wind was behind us and only up to a force 2, occasionally 3. As we turned the corner round the rock ‘Le Seche de l’Huile’ we pulled the jib out and turned the engine off. We were still making 6.6 knots occasionally 7 and the wind had increased to force 4. As we came across the bay we reached 8 knots with just jib and a force 5.

A beautiful flower in Port Grimaud

Luckily the space we’d asked for was still available and we arrived into Port Santa Lucia at 11.15am. By midday we had a steady force 6 and as I’m writing this at 5.30 we have a constant force 8 blowing through the boat. The windsurfers are loving it – there’s hundreds of them out, the beaches are packed, the sailing school kids have been out on Hobie Cats and come back looking none-the-worse, and we’re feeling pretty smug because we had a fantastic sail this morning, beat the wind and now we’re safe and tucked up in a very comfortable berth!

A bientot…

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