July 27, 2011
A day we had been looking forward to finally arrived with a forecast of wind rain and cold seas (again!!). It was the 27th July and you may remember that Michel and Suzanne were returning with 2 friends (Paulo and Valentine) for a days sailing. As 3 of them were hardened sailors we decided to try a sail to Porquorolles anchorage for a change and after a chat and cup of tea set off with the first of several rain showers slowing our departure. We had a nice sail to begin with but, as forecast, heavy rain set in and associatd heavy squalls (F7) so we altered course towards Port Cros anchorage and dropped the hook for a swim and lunch.
We were all soaked and enjoyed a restful lunch and time to dry out a little and chat about the day. Valentine suggested we sail around the Isle de Port Cros as she had not seen the “back” of the island before. So off we went with a main and the engine and enjoyed an hour of fantastic scenery and views on the very much untouched side of the island – lovely.
Just passing PORT Man we hoisted the Genoa and set off on a pleasnt fetch towards Bormes making 3-5 knots depending on winds strength and helmsmans concentration ( well done Paulo). About half way back the sky turned completely black the wind blew up and rain again set in for the return to port (Suzanne had offered up a prayr to the wind gods that nearly worked but just a few drops got us on the way in!)
Safely moored we all joined in a cocktail made and supplied by Michel (Caribean Agricole Rhum and lime mainly – I was on the rose- and a fruity one for the others too). A great end to a mixed day thoroughly enjoyed by all and we hope to see them again next year hopefully.
July 25, 2011
Since my last blog we have been sheltering in Bormes from storms, rain, cold weather and mistrals. In all the time we have been coming here neither of us can remember such a sustained period of bad weather and low temperatures. The sea temperature is now down to 15 degrees and the beaches are deserted. We have had a continuous 9 days of winds above force 5 (peaking at 9 on many an occasion) and have had to cancel and defer bookings and dissuade people from making further bookings at this time. Consequently we have 3 bookings on hold and an empty diary going forward. The seas look awful from the coastal roads and in contrast to the normal attractive looking boat sailing by there is just white horses and gloomy skies. Anyway onto the next stage of this years adventures!
Monday 25th July and off to sea at last
Monsieur Babeau and his family had been one of our clients waiting a week for the weather to improve sufficiently for a trip out. The forecast was good, the skies clear and we all set off with smiles on our faces at 10 o’clock in the direction of Port Cros. Even the sea temperature had risen to 17 degrees so a swim was also looking possible. We motor sailed over there with an increasing but manageable wind as forecast and were pleased to have a selection of mooring buoys to choose from. Once moored up we fed the fish and chatted; Michel and his family said that they would like to go ashore after lunch to explore. We got the tender and outboard motor ready whilst Alexandra accelerated lunch. After a fabulous lunch (prawns, salad etc) I took the family ashore in two boatloads and returned to await their return at a planned 15:45 on the quay. Looking out to sea a different scenario was starting to unfold with both wind and wave heights increasing rapidly. We listened to the weather forecast on channel 63 (Meteo France) and found that (unannounced) they had revised the weather to an imminent Force 7 in our area and that the rest of the afternoon was without improvement. Typical! Our clients were off the boat, uncontactable and not due back for nearly 2 hours and we had yet another storm on its way. We had a hot drink and set about preparing Kinsale for the return journey to minimise time when the clients returned.
On time they were on the dock and I explained to Michel that the passage may prove a little uncomfortable on the way back but we would make all speed and to make the most of the experience. A short while later we were off, with a tiny main to act as a stay sail and engine running well. With an mixture of autopilot and hand steering we managed to minimise the number of waves coming into the cockpit but the planned Force 7 and a 2 metre swell was enough to worry and excite the parents and children respectively. Leopold took a small trip across the cockpit on one wave, Mum looked terrified and Alexandra and I smiled broadly and kept everybody as jolly as possible. Frequent announcements of “hold tight” were heard and we managed to cross the worst part of the open sea in good time whilst avoiding the usual plague of fishing floats. In the lee of Cap Benat we all relaxed a little and readied Kinsale for berthing. As luck would have it we had a pleasant onshore wind (for the first time!) and berthed smoothly and without incident. The clients were off like a shot to get their feet on Terra firma but we managed to get a few photos and cheer them a little as they departed. What a shame that, once again, the weather had turned a fabulous day out into a less favourable experience for some of the family. Both of the children had a great time and insisted that they would love to come again but both Mum and Dad felt otherwise. It’s a pity that the weather hadn’t been a little kinder to them.
The weather carried on into the night and we were once again trying to sleep with banging halyards (not ours) sloshing waves and the general turmoil that comes with a storm. We have woken to a lovely day but are not at present booked to go out. More clients on Wednesday and Thursday but the weather is again predicting thunder storms and a further unsettled period. Not long now and we will be back into the other bookings and our day trip period will be over – unless we get some in the last remaining days of September! At least with clients on board for a week or more it’s possible to move away from bad weather areas, so lets hope that’s the case for those excursions. Fingers crossed.
July 17, 2011
5th July – a short sail with Angie
We popped along to St Clair (just past L Lavandou) for an afternoon anchor and to get Angie into the flow of things aboard again. We all had a nice swim, lunch and a baptism of fire for Angie with the alongside berthing at our place in Bormes. We managed it but with a strong offshore breeze and the total lack of cleats ashore she came up to speed rapidly. No damages and we settled for the night and what had become our evening stroll for an ice-cream ashore; lovely.
6th July – an evening cruise test
We decided that we would try to attract some clients for the two “artifice” (fireworks) days at Bormes and Le Lavandou on the 13th and 14th July. With the help of Viviane we prepared flyers and other advertising and set off along the beach bars etc in the area. There was sufficient interest and we therefore decided to do a test run that evening to ascertain the prime position for firework spotting, a safe anchorage and a quick nip back if needed. We set off and got 2 good marks on the chart for future occasions (waypoints stored) and had a nice trip out and back with no hiccups on the berthing – a well trained Angie by now! Let’s hope the real thing has the same successes in a week or so’s time
8th July – Olivia, Lisa and Lea
We were booked for the day by Olivia and his family via Viviane and set off for Port Cros with the girls loving the experience whilst Dad was feeling a little sick. Lisa also needed a pill but nobody in the end was too bad. It was good mix of sailing and motor sailing as the weather changed and we zoomed back on a small Genoa at about 6 knots. Berthing as always was fun but we managed with Olivia’s help and the girls posed for photos near the boats to end a great day out.
The weather deteriorated for the next few days so bookings were deferred and our next outing was a few days later; still we managed as always to get some jobs done.
Monday 11th July and a surprise baby!
We were booked for “5 people and a baby”, (our 8 person maximum) and duly went to meet them at Cap 120; the club just down the mooring from us. We passed two groups of people that we disregarded as they weren’t together and one of which had a small dog. We continued to Point Amour (the Kiriacoulis office) for a chat and met up with Sandrine to talk about the weather etc (yes it’s even done in France!). To our surprise the guy with the dog came towards us, introduced himself as the client and also introduced Sophie the bebe/dog. A total misunderstanding but we decided to give it a go as Sophie looked so docile and was clearly looking forward to her day out. Thijs, and Andrea were holidaying with her brother Alfonds and his two children ran and Simon. They all arrived complete with snorkeling gear and settled very well. Clearly there was some sailing expertise existing and we motor – sailed at speed to Port Cros for a swim, snorkel and lunch.
The return sail was brilliant, Force 3 on the beam with speeds to 8 knots, and we even fitted in a short swim at anchor at the bay of Gau just before our return to Bormes. A great day was had by all, we exchanged e-mail addresses and hope to meet again for another session in the future. A brilliant day all round and excellent help from the “crew” on the mooring at Bormes. Sophie had a very nice day and was taken ashore for a stroll (pee) at Port Cros and joined us for a quick dip to cool down during our time there. A very “special” baby!!
11th and 12th July and friends arrive again
Andy (Douglas) and his lovely partner Jane arrived on Monday evening after our other guests had just left and we settled them aboard in readiness for their charter tomorrow. We dined out on pizza, drank a little and chatted easily about recent times, adventures, ill
health, politics, religion etc etc etc. The usual brilliant time that old friends have after a prolonged separation. We made plans for the next days sail (weather permitting) and all enjoyed a small lay-in the following morning. The following day and the weather was not good with a forecast for both strong winds and big seas. After a lot of discussion, several weather forecasts and a look over the sea wall, we deferred the sail until after lunch to minimise errors in the equation. We set off at about 15:30 and introduced Jane into the world of safe sailing with tiny sails in a rising wind. Great fun for a couple of hours and we got back to Bormes for an early cup of tea at just before 17:45.We knocked up soup de poisson aboard with some excellent Bordeaux supplied by Jane and Andy and again talked into the night as friend do. However, we were booked for the next day so called it a day at a sensible hour and waited to see what the weather would bring.
It was a very lumpy night and we had to cancel the next days booking until Thursday and had time to cook poached eggs and say a fond farewell to Andy and Jane before they set off on their up-country drive to Calais (stopping once for a break). We settled back down aboard, readied the laundry for our surprise day off and did all those things that you never get around to unless an unexpected day off pops up.
Unfortunately the weather got worse and worse so we ended up watching the Bormes fireworks on the 13th July from the boat with a hot mug of water. Not looking too good for tomorrow either (Bastille Day).
14th July 2011 – Bastille Day
We were booked for Bastille Day by Dominique, Andree, Celine and Thomas Butterlin, a great family from the Alsace region. As it was still blowing hard from the West and Northwest we abandoned a trip to Port Cros and headed for the sheltered end of Cavilière, a short hop of 3 miles away after a good sail in the bay (Rade de Bormes). Lunch was a little lumpy with a reasonable swell but we were all happy for the shelter and enjoyed a good lunch and swim/snorkel. After lunch the wind freshened further (F4/5 gusting 6) and we headed off to try and get berthed at Bormes. It was a very lively event but with some help from our willing crew we managed to arrive without any problems.
The day was excellent for us all but again the weather beat us for the artifice and we had to cancel night sailing plans and settle on the pontoon for an excellent view of the fireworks opposite in Le Lavandou. This may be a better plan for next year as it would be hard to beat the view and there was a whole gaggle of people on the pontoon that I feel sure would pay for the joy of sitting aboard with a drink or two!
15th July and still a bit windy!!
We were booked for the day by an excellent family of Belgian people and friends who were in caravans nearby. Michel and Suzanne were seasoned sailors (420 dinghies and a lot more) 2 great children (Loick and Quentin) and their mum and dad Fabien and Dorothee – a full house again with 8 on board. The weather was lively and we were soon pleased to have the excellent crew aboard to keep Kinsale well reefed whilst steaming along at great speeds. A brilliant day, cut a little short by the weather and we offered a small rebate of a 1 person free passage if they wanted to rebook to make up for the slightly curtailed event. This was immediately snapped up by Michel and Suzanne who will be with us again on the 27th.
We had help from the Capitainerie (Nicko) with berthing; he behaving like a bow thruster with a sideways push from a small RIB to overcome a F4 breeze determined to blow us off the hammerhead. I’d got Alexandra ashore already so between his efforts, Alexandra’s line management and fendering we were once again successfully berthed on pontoon K. Yippee, a small drink and a boat wash and off to the shops to ready ourselves for tomorrow.
16th July and still windy!!
Family Courselle; Jean- Paul (JP), Fabienne, Synthia and Alexandre arrived with their snorkeling gear and big smiles ready for the days sailing. We had a reasonable forecast but the weather “break” was at the island so we decided to stay to the East and head for the anchorage at Cavaliere. We did a little Westing first and enjoyed some lively sailing and hen headed to the anchorage for lunch. Compared to a few days before the swell was enormous and Fabienne was really not feeling too good. We got her settled and pilled up but she was unfortunately ready for an early return. They discussed it as a family and we all set off for an early return to Bormes – just in time really as the winds were building all the time. Safely back at our berth and we all settled over a small drink (even Fabienne managed a small Coke!) and chatted over the day, their plans for the rest of the vacation and much more – a lovely family. We offered a free sail to the 2 children if they contacted us on a suitable day when we had spaces free and they set off with at least one person happy to be back on solid ground again. Hopefully we will see Alexandre and Synthia again before their holiday ends.
17th July and a cancelled booking
Unfortunately the 17th brought even worse weather and a forecast of more to come. We had to cancel today’s clients, who unfortunately will not be around to re-book in the near future but left them with all the information for a possible re-booking in September before we close the season for the year.
There looks to be a full blown Mistral on the way but we have taken bookings so far and re-jig as we go along. Its extremely hard work with this weather and we are today once again repairing the headsail after a small parting of the stitching – something Alexandra has been doing for the entire time that I have been writing this blog, making lunch and doing paperwork – about 4 hours – and she has about another 2 hours left to go. However, with the weather the way it is we will not be going anywhere tomorrow (forecast NW 6-8 plus gusts!!) so we have some time to complete the sail repair, we just need some calm winds to hoist it!!
More blogs another day, I must get back to the day job. Happy reading!!
July 05, 2011
We have had bookings and have been blessed with lovely people and good although varied weather. A lot has happened since the last blog; a visit to BigSis, bilge tests, day trips and the arrival of extra crew in the shape of Angie. In chronological order, here we go.
28/29 June 2011
Following the water leaks of last month and the need to check fully our bilge alarm and pumping facilities in readiness for survey later this year, we decided to go for a “full flood” test and see how we got on. All went well but we did identify a small air leak in the system resulting in a number of little upgrades and refits (it all worked but was improved enormously after the tweaks!). This was achieved over 2 days to ensure that we had removed all traces from the bilge and the myriad of stringers etc that hold water for a long time. Anyway, it was a total success and we are now both happy that at least that part of the survey test will go well.
The following day we were not booked so we decided to visit Linda whilst she was in France and whilst we had time. It was a long (3.5 hour) drive each way but we had a great time chatting swimming and finally meeting up with her friend Gay. We really enjoyed the time with them and even more so because it constituted a mini holiday before the summer madness. We had bookings to get back o so only stayed the one night but felt like we had really had a break from the boat for a while – thanks Sis and Gay for fantastic hospitaity
1st July 2011
We were booked by the fantastic Mosbach family – a family of 4 from Germany. Andre, Doris, Anna and Tatjanna were an absolute joy to have aboard. They were all keen snorkel and swimming folk and loved the time aboard, the swim/lunch at Port Cros and the “lively” sail back in a 5 gusting 7. We all had a great time, talked about future possible sailing exploits and exchanged e-mails for future discourse. Brilliant, thanks guys we loved having you aboard and would love to see you again. I’ll keep practising my German just in case!
2nd July 2011
The following day we had acouple who had seen our advertisement on Leboncoin and requested a day trip and a little sail training if possible. Alain and Valerie were great company and Alain proved his skills as a recently qulaified “permis bateaux” throughout the day. Coming into Bormes proved particularly challenging and they both helped enormously with fending off as we manouevered into position! They also only spoke French so both Alexandra and I had to concentrate a bit harder and ended the day with a much improved vocabulary – thanks both. Also a special thanks to Alain for the carbon fibre sample which we hope to get made into a sign for Kinsale.
3rd July 2011
My old Dads birthday so we raised a glass and also went to the airport to meet our new extra crew for the week – Angie from Rochester. Brilliant seeing her and as we had the day off we got straight into cathching up with our post, my pill delivery and general gossip from home. Heres hoping the weather is good for Angies week and that she gets to enjoy crewing with our clients and gets to test her French skills! Great to see you Ange.
June 24, 2011
Day trips have begun and we had a family of four (Adriano, Tattyana, Oscar and Charis) join us for a days sailing from Bormes to Cavaliere, Le lavandou, Port Cros and back to Bormes. We went to Le Lavandou to hopefully collect 2 friends of theirs but they ended up as a no-show so we continued without them. They had found us by seeing the board outside the boat and telephoning so our advertising worked well!
The following day (23rd) we were booked by a friend of Viviannes who wanted a treat for her visiting long term friend from Paris. They duly arrived (Evelyn, Kathy and Viv) and we had a nice sail to Cavaliere, a swim some lunch and a waft back to St Claire for a second swim and melon. We had to put back into Bormes mid afternoon on the threat of bad weather and managed to beat it there for coffee and chats alongside our berth on the end of pontoon K. A lovely day again and some good pictures to share
The weather has duly arrived (F4/5 gusting 7) precluding any bookings today. Our advertising board keeps getting blown away so we are looking at different ways of nailing it down! The forecast is for this to again blow through in the next 24 hours so we are expecting a pleasant wekend. More in the next blog no doubt.
June 21, 2011
Alexandra has done a fabulous job on the advertising board, the boat is clean and polished and the fender sox are being repaired as I type! – Yep we are ready for the clients to invade. Just one more day off would be lovely though, just to do nothing for a little while…
June 20, 2011
Unbelievably we have been in Bormes for a week now, the time has flown by. It has been nice spending some quality time with Viv and friends and we wrre lucky enough today to be witness to the naming ceremony and general soiree for a little motor boat on the pontoon opposite us. I took a few pictures and we had a couple printed and gave them to the proud owner this evening – he was really chuffed to bits!
We are getting along nicely with the Capitainerie and they have been kind enough to allow us to stay at one of two berths depending on whether or not we are collecting clients. So we “live” at the end of a pontoon where there is a reasonable passing public presence (advertising boards out etc..) and collect punters from a stern to mooring in the public port so that we can arrange a finite meeting point – works really well.
On Thursday we have been booked by one of Viviannes’ friends to take out a visiting lady from Paris; take them to anchor, have a swim, lunch and a drink and return to port for early evening. Assuming the weather holds we will take a shot hop to the stunning bay of Cavaliere just short of the villa frequented by President Sarkozy as his mother in law owns it!! Always a good spot for visitors to get closer to their leaders.
Apart from that we have been busy with publicity and smiling at passers by whilst polishing and trying to look as chilled as possible. Its early in the season yet but the crowds are starting to build and the weather has finally settled for the better. We are on the second day of winds less than storm force and the sun has made a welcome return. We have another short term interruption currently scheduled for Friday (F4/5 gusting 7/8) but hopefully that will bear off towards Corsica and skirt past us for most of its cycle. Time will tell.
June 17, 2011
We managed to get away from Cannes on a second attempt but only made it to Frejus due to continuing high seas that hadn’t settled down yet. As we approached Frejus the wind also puffed up and we had an exciting berthing in a 4 gusting 6 (as always on the beam for a stern to mooring!). Anyway we were tucked up at last and settled for a while.
Friday 10th June Frejus to Cavaliere Sur Mer
A nice trip down with some sailing, some motoring and the usual mixture of both. We saw the Capitaine who remembered Alexandra from last year and we got the best berth in the corner, all secure on every side until a German boat called Maverick (!) came alongside. The name was suitable but with help we got them tied up and settled down again. Rose had been a fabulous crew member and at this point was also a very useful extra fender. We had cocktails in the Rhumerie and Crepes (Savoury and sweet) ashore as a very pleasant change and a well deserved return into the southern French waters.
Saturday 11th June CSM to Le Lavandou
A nice short hop to Le Lav after a change of plan. We had intended to nip to Port Cros for a swim but once again the weather blew up and neither the crossing or the swim seemed attractive any more. Anyway, Le Lav slotted us in on the sea wall as it was their annual regatta and the port was virtually full. Great watching the racing in very testing conditions especially for 9-10 metre J class yachts.
Sunday 12th June .. and so to Bormes
We hopped across to Bormes to settle for the forthcoming promotions and day trips. The Capitaineriehave been very helpful and with the assistance of our French freind Vivianne we have hopefully negotiated a spot for the coming 6 weeks. They cannot guarantee the same spot each day but will do their utmost to accommodate us – we couldn’task for more than that. We have also set up our advertising in various places, visited hotels and are waiting for the bookings. There has already been good interest and we have some potential clients already. Fingers crossed for the coming days, as the weather is about to turn again with the dreaded “Mistral” being discussed.
p.s. Changed the cable between the Chartplotter and Autopilot as predicted to get the system working again. Also did few little jobs and got Kinsale ready for her day trips. We shopped, cleaned and polished so she is looking ready. Had to mover her today to a temporary berth at the hammerhead of pontoon K whilst Kiriacoulis use our semi-temporary berth (910) for their change-over. So far so good with the Capitainerie though. We said farewell to Rose at Bormes, dropped her at the airport and raised a glas to our newly qualified competent crew (a royal gesture by queen Alexandra!). Come back any time Rose and we will finish the course with you, and thanks for all of your help.
June 08, 2011
We set off today in the direction of Cavalier sur Mer with a mediocre weather forecast and reasonable confidence. Just outside the harbour we found the conditions to be far in excess of the forecast (F5-7 and a sea state of 1.5 – 2 metres) and re-managed our expectations. After 2 hours of motor sailing into the wind and waves at a poor speed we contacted Cannes again and enquired about another night. Yippee we could get in, just the transit back to manage. The 2 hours outbound journey was reduced to just under an hour on the way back with surfing speeds in excess of 9 knots!
Fun and games with the mooring but with some assistance from the shore crew we safely returned to our berth and settled for a well deserved lunch. We will look at the weather forecasts in geat detail over the next 24 hours and see if we have a chance of exit. Currently its banging with thunderstorms and the wind is beating the harbour wall defences and rocking us moderately. Hopefully it will improve over the coming days, but unfortunately there are already storm and mistral warnings in the direction we are trying to go! Fingers crossed
p.s. VHF to chartplotter connection intermittently failing and traced to main NMEA cable. Will monitor for a day or 2 and see how we go – I have a spare if needed.
June 07, 2011
27th May 2011 and Rose, Nigel, Tom and Emma arrived for a trip up to Genoa (Rose staying on afterwards for crew training)
After a drink or three, the safety brief and getting everybody settled organised and bedded down before midnight and ready for tomorrows departure.
28th May Nice to Menton
All up for a lateish start after pain au chocolate, croissants etc for brekky and a top up on the safety brief, issue of life jackets etc and ready the yacht for departure to Menton. Unluckily the old port of Menton was full so we reserved a place at Menton Garavan (next door) and set off. The weather was kind and everybody had a pleasant sail/ motor sail up the French cost to the last port in France; Italy is 300 metres past the port! A nice arrival, champagne as usual and the guests departed for exploring and dinner ashore.
29th May Menton to Imperia
Crossed into Italian waters, changed courtesy flag and headed for the port of Imperia, one of the havens of the super yachts for the Italian Riveria.
All sunbathing heavily and Tom starting to learn some logging and steer the boat. All well aboard and again the weather kind to us for the trip. Kinsale spreading her wings and enjoying a fresh motor sail at 8 knots up the coast. Imperia is a fairly modern port with nice facilities and the town is much older and well worth a visit. Guests cooked aboard and we all enjoyed a truly Italian seafood “Pasta al Mare” cooked by Emma and Tom – lovely. Unfortunately I had the job of cleaning the galley but it was worth it for the lovely food we all enjoyed. Crew still happy and no problems aboard.
30th May 2011 Imperia to Allasio
We had a lovely sail up the coast to Allassio via a short anchorage for lunch with everyone swimming off of the yacht. The berth at Allasio was challenging with an almost impossible turn into the berth without a bow thruster! Fortunately my crew stepped in and fended well and with a little luck we arrived on their pontoon unscathed and wondering only how we would get out tomorrow. We all walked to town stopping for a short drink 9n a bar – a lucky stop as they kept providing free tapas and pizza nibbles which eventually constituted our evening meal. A short drink aboard afterwards and off to bed fully refreshed after the days challenges.
31st May 2011 Allasio to Savona
Distinctly cold and wet start to the day and an early start for the trek to Savona. An uneventful trip but a mixture of showers and wind gusts made even motor sailing a little tricky but we had good speed in the gusts ensuring a timely arrival. We made one of the scheduled bridge lifts and entered port to be welcomed by our old friend and harbour master Andreas.
Did the usual paperwork and champagne and met up with some yacht friends from Menton Pauli and Melitta off of a B32 “Troll”. They drank well and chatted long and ended up being aboard until late evening, by which time we knew their life histories, their forthcoming itinerary and most of the work history of Pauli!! Went ashore for a meal that night, minus Alexandra as she was over tired and had some nice seafood dishes in what is really the only restaurant in the port. Good nosh all round and a return to Kinsale and the decision to stay for a second night due to expected bad weather. Boy did it rain!! and blow a bit. A good decision to stay on for the extra day but an eternal rationale that we had to get away at some stage to ensure the planned arrival for flights at Genoa.
2nd June 2011 Savona to Varazze
A short hop to Varazze with no unexpected problems but fairly breezy and overcast. Crew all happy and plenty of time for a leisurely arrival with plenty of assistance from the local guys (you can’t stop them, they just insist on helping with every, rope, knot etc).
3rd June 2011 Varazze to Genova Marina Aeroporto
A nice trip up with one hilarious feature – the dunking of Nigel on the foredeck. Emma was helming (very well) and we went through some wash, I shouted the usual “wash” alert and through we went. The bow was submerged as was Nigel who was sunbathing on the foredeck. His face was a picture and he was totally drenched and suffering from the shock of the cold water. We welcomed him back to the cockpit and helped to quell any concerns that he may have whilst trying to keep straight faces. He took it well and returned to the bow for more sunbathing/showers!!
A safe arrival in Genoa after a long pilotage around the runway and a berth on the most distant pontoon from the services – we will look for another marina in the future as it was expensive and really not too enjoyable. However it fulfilled its purpose and Tom, Emma and Nigel were ready for their departure the following day. All guests took the pportunity to explore Genova whilst Alexandra and I cleaned up and made passage plans for the return to France in the forthcoming days. Rose was joining us as crew for this venture so we had some company and help for the trip back.
4th June 2011 Genova to Savona
Tom Emma and Nigel taxied away to their plane and we set off to Savona. The weather was reported as unstable but predicted to be well within our capabilities. We had some horrible rain, thunderstorms and winds up to F7 with accompanying seas and poor visibility – it was nasty. Anyway we managed to get there and Rose was already becoming a useful member of the crew and helping greatly with jobs above and below decks.
Our arrival in Savona was marred by the fact that Andreas had some bad news about his mother in law (very ill with multiple cancers) and his wife had left to the UK to help out. Poor Andreas was looking after his two children and the port! and obviously worried bout his wife and her family. Our arrival in Savona was also a little tricky with the winds and a very helpful Andreas (2) pushed us into a berth with los of help from the ladies.Still we were safely in and had nice showers and other facilities to get our strength back.
5th June 2011 Savona to Degli Aregai
The weather turned out to be as bad again and approaching the port our visibility was down to just a few hundred yards with high winds and lashing rain. On a brighter note we had averaged over 6.5 knots with top speeds of 8 knots motor sailing. However on arrival we were allocated a berth that was too small and also had a sunken line across the berth from the boat next door – you guessed it straight around the propeller! We got in and
were told a diver would sort it out in the morning – Alexandra was furious! Anyway we managed to get ashore via the boat next door and sorted out the electricity and water and lines for the night. The following morning following payment etc at the Capitainerie we were joined by a couple of divers who sorted the rope problem in a trice. When they asked for payment we politely informed them that the port would be paying and that the berth was not available for further vessels – they seemed disappointed but agreed and left us to it as we were trying to get away for the long haul back to Cannes.
6th June D/Aregai to Menton old port
We telephoned ahead and got a berth at Menton and left DA as a poor memory. Alexandra settled slightly and we enjoyed some good motor sailing en route with a good average speed and an early arrival at Menton. So we dropped the hook and had a swim just off of the port, a spot of lunch and then into Menton with the astern maneuver picking up a buoy on the bow and fitting nicely between a couple of yachts on either side. There was a new moon an the minimal tide was set to be a little higher than normal and we set the boarding ladder accordingly requiring some concentration to get ashore.
All went well until Alexandra took the rubbish and some bottles ashore at about 11pm when the ladder twisted, she slipped and the result was a wet and bruised Alexandra in the dock with French and English onlookers assisting with her recovery. Pride took the biggest bashing but she was lucky to avoid serious injury from either the harbour wall or the boat – a bonus she was slow to take up on. Alls well that ends well and we cuddled her, applied bruise cream etc and headed for an early pain killer induced nights sleep!
7th June 2011 Menton to Cannes
The weather forecast was ghastly and we waited until morning to decide our fate and direction of travel. Cannes was booked so we had a berth but it was nearly 30 miles away and the forecast was for rain and winds up to force 6/7.
As luck would have it the revised forecast in the morning was for less wind but more rain so we decided to go for it with an abundance of bolt holes if required. The actual trip was quite smooth and fast although wet and cold so I stood in foulies whilst the crew huddled under the spray hood and helped to keep a lookout in the poor visibility. Anyway, as always, lunch was brilliant on the hoof, our passage was uneventful and with a shortcut
through the Isle de L’Erins we made it to Cannes by 1530. So here I am with occasional wifi access and happy in one of my favourite ports. We nipped up the Irish pub to see if Rose could get Nigel a Toucan Guinness glass to no avail but thoroughly enjoyed the Guinness anyway. Our berth is on the corner where the cats park (one alongside makes us look tiny!) but is giving us a great view of the old port and town – fabulous.
We plan to head for Cavaliere sur Mere tomorrow, get some fuel and then continue to our summer playground in the Isle d’Hyeres for day trips and hotel bookings. More on that in the next blog,