BONJOUR FROM LA GRANDE MOTTE
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We returned to France in mid June for our summer visit which is almost over. We have sailed to Corsica (twice), Menorca, Mallorca and Sardinia covering about 1800 nautical miles or over 3300 kilometres.
On our first trip we set sail with 7 friends and family and returned with 5. Our second trip we left with 3 and came back with 2! Each time it was sad to say goodbye in Corsica.
Recently we spent 9 days with Australian friends Bruce and Sue who met us in Bonifacio, Corsica on their Outremer 45 called Sojourn 1. From there we sailed together around the northeast and along the north coast of Sardinia spending 2 nights in a marina on the pink granite Maddalena Island and anchoring in beautiful bays on the Smeralda coast. We were there to assist one morning when Sojourn’s anchor was caught in a huge piece of old mooring chain and they had not followed us out. We went back and Saul went on board to help while I kept ‘Tall Cotton’ out of danger for nearly 2 hours until they managed to free it.
The water traffic was phenomenal and we saw unimaginable numbers of super yachts in the area which we learned has attracted luxury tourism since the 1960’s. One evening we went ashore in our tender at Cala di Volpe to a hotel bar. The big tenders with crews in uniform were back and forth all day and all night! We were served expensive drinks by 2 waiters, one to hold the tray and the other to place everything on the table including small plates of delicious Italian tapas so we didn’t need to have dinner! We were entertained by a pianist and vocalist. Not far away there was a jewellery shop with 2 armed guards still open after midnight with clients. All the glamorous guests wore amazing fashions which were mostly simple, very stylish and beautiful.
The water in Sardinia was perfect for swimming and we didn’t see the stinging jellyfish that Bruce experienced in Corsica.
Along the way we were lucky to see one Mediterranean whale, some pods of dolphins which swam with Tall Cotton, lots of fish and some tiny turtles as well as bird life, horses of the Camargue, Corsica and Balearic Islands, a wild hog in Sardinia and pink flamingos in the Camargue.
The French and Italians love any excuse to have stunning fireworks displays at this time of year; weekly on Wednesdays throughout July and most of August in La Grande Motte with more this Sunday to celebrate the end of the holidays. We also saw fireworks in Bonifacio, Porto Vecchio on Bastille day, Maddalena and Cala di Volpe on August 15th Italian holiday, Assumption of Mary (Ferragosto).
We’ve had many delicious foods and drinks. The produce in France is excellent and we’ve shared superb meals on board boats, especially with the other Outremer owners discussing and comparing every aspect of these boats.
We had a road trip to Barcelona to meet Toni and went to a jazz bar that features live artists. Fantastic and great to be in Spain again.
I will be home quite soon for five and a half weeks while Saul goes to work in the Netherlands.