Cote D’Azur, Darling! August 2020

The Travel Tapes, Erin’s You Tube Channel has a great video about our crossing and our time in Monaco.

We set off for an overnight sail to make landfall at Cap Ferat.  We arrived early in the morning and as soon as we were anchored we grabbed some rest and recovered from the straightforward crossing.  In the afternoon we caught a bus and train to go into Monaco.  We wandered round and walked to the casino and around the Formula 1 track and sea front.  It was quite stunning.

After a trip to the supermarket on the way home we made our way back to Linea.

The next morning we were up early to do the coastal walk around the headland of the ‘Cap’.  What a picturesque spot with bejewelled villas and lush gardens descending the hillsides of the cape.  Ian and I then walked to Villa Rothschild Effrussi.  Wow!  We now have ambitious ideas for our garden back home!

The next few days we spent at an anchorage just west of Antibes.  By the weekend we headed into the marina of Golfe Juan Vielle Port and awaited Keira and Sam’s arrival from Serre Chevalier.

We had a fantastic weekend with them on board.  We shoehorned them into the bunk cabin having managed to clear out all the detritus that accumulates is the equivalent of a garden shed for us!)

Having only a few days with them we decided not to sail too far.  We visited Ile Honorat and had a lovely walk around the whole island, stopped overnight in Agay bay, and then anchored off Antibes before heading ashore to explore the old town and enjoy a wander round the old market place.  The final sail was back to Golfe Juan where we had a delicious lunch of all our market produce and then Keira and Sam had to set off back up the mountains to their temporary residence.

We had a marvellous time all of us together.

Next, we have a few days land based to explore the villages inland by car.

On course, en Corse, of course! July 2020

Well, we managed to walk but in rather a roundabout, hot and sweaty way.  We arrived dripping and desperate for liquid refreshment without the energy to walk all the way round the bay to Porto Cervo proper!  On the way back we tried again and discovered a route back that only  took 15mins! Although Erin did have to swim across a narrow bay to retrieve the dinghy.  All was well and we arrived back to Linea just as the last light was disappearing from the sky and all had a refreshing dip to cool off.

We were excited to be visiting the National Marine Park of the Maddelena Archipelago for the first time.  We paid our fees for two nights online with no hassle (40% discount for sail boats) and then we were good to go. We enjoyed an almost deserted anchorage in Cala Stagnali on Isola Caprera which we had to enter using transit markers as there are rocks and hazards in the very narrow entrance.  Once in, we went ashore and were lucky enough to enjoy an informative talk from Luca of the Dolphin Research Centre

finding out all about the Whales and dolphins in the marine park. 

Next stop was Isola Santa Maria, which was a beautiful bay with crystal clear waters.  However, there were so many boats anchored there that it rather spoilt the ideal we had in mind and in the morning the trip boats arrived, disgorging hundreds of people on to the strip of beach.

Our first night on Corsica was in Rondinara bay          which had over 50 boats anchored in it.  It was quite a blowy night and other ‘No Foreign Land’ friends had an incident in the night when the anchor of a neighbouring boat caught their chain as it dragged in the wind.  All was well for us.

We continued to hop north and en route met up with Nic and Sandra on Seulle.  They have exactly the same model of yacht as us.  We spent a happy time comparing notes and boats! 

Erin with sail assisted motor Yacht A in the background.

On the way to Bastia we saw Yacht A again.

A view of the coast of Corsica where Erin and Josh worked in a hotel a couple of years ago.
Bastia from just outside the harbour.
Bastia harbour is an intriguing jumble of old and new, boats and cars, shops and restaurants.
Statue in a Bastia square.
Old billboards painted on to buildings.

We had an uncomfortable beat into the wind and waves. Although the anchorage was very swelly, it was free of charge, handy for town, spacious and had good holding.  

We enjoyed Bastia very much.  We did the laundry and collected more water.  It was very quiet in town and the temperature was perfect.  The mistral wind was blowing hard out to the northwest and cooling everything nicely so we were able to explore in relative comfort.  We liked Bastia very much.

Leaving Bastia, we stopped en route for coffee and croissants in Erbalunga and then again for a swim and lunch in Pietracorbara.  The final few miles took us to a beautiful, wild anchorage in the north of Cap Corse.  Iles Finnochiarola.  The string of islands offered good protection from the swell and we had our first decent nights’ sleep for days! 

There are some lovely coastal walks here and it is very peaceful and unspoilt.

From here we headed west, visiting St Florant, Iles Rouses and Calvi.

Looking out to the anchorage from Calvi.
Interesting doorway in Calvi.

All beautiful places tucked in under the imposing backdrop of the Monte Grosso Mountains which loom above.

Already we are loving the French supermarkets, the organisation of the anchorages and moorings, and the friendliness and helpfulness of the marineros. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful France.  On course, en Corse, of course!

Next stop, mainland France where we meet up with Keira and Sam!!!!