Before I forget this story, I have to tell you about our arrival in Bonifacio. We had pre-booked and were allocated a good berth on the ‘active’ side of the harbour next to a nice but old Halberg Rassey. The very tanned and clearly seasoned Italian owner ran around deploying fenders as we came in but we made not even the remotest contact with his pride and joy. Once we had moored, he beckoned me to him in a conspiratorial way to hear what he had to say. He said behind his hand “I am so pleased you are not a French boat”. I shook his hand!
Carl and Tom were ‘made up’ with the destination as I knew they would be. We were not made up however with the price of our ‘dirty beers’ at a monstrous €10 each – we had run up a bill of over €60 before realising.
Having been thus ‘stung’ Carl, with a ‘bee in his bonnet’ refused to stop for a beer when we climbed up to the citadel and I failed to find any bars with substantially cheaper beer. Strange chap, Carl!
Ahoy there, Shipmates! Move over, Marbella. Au revoir, Port Grimaud. Sayonara, St Tropez. Push-off, Puerto Banus. The new-kid-on-the-block, beautiful Bonifacio, certainly lived-up to Captain Nemo’s billing and proved to be as ‘bonny’ as a harbour could be. With its entrance miraculously hidden until you’re right on top of it, the most-natural of marinas opens up to be the Koh-i-Noor of the Corsican coastline.
We had arrived following a relatively short and energetic, enjoyable sail and Nick skilfully guided us into a tight, narrow berth with n’er a fender touched. Sadly, he then less-skilfully guided us to the aforementioned quay bar where we experienced piracy of the highest order – ten pieces of eight for each proverbial tot of rum. I was only disappointed the maitre d’i wasn’t tottering about on a wooden leg with a parrot perched on her shoulder.
A very tasty vessel-cooked chorizo & vegetable risotto saved the day, not to mention our rapidly-dwindling ‘whip’ and a lovely inexpensive evening was enjoyed by all. You can take the boy out of the north…
Wee Tom writes:-
The last 48 hours have been the ‘days of the supers’. Since leaving the Sardinian coastline we have seen a vast array of floating hardware that looks more P&O than personal transport. These floating behemoths loom out of the seas, all chrome, no conscience and one can’t help but wonder about the owners of said ships. From my very limited experience, seafaring sailing is a bit of an old boys’ club, and a well off boys’ club at that – but these floating hotels take all that to a different level.
Take our sighting of what we now know to be ‘Yacht A’ (see previous blog). A cursory nosey on the internet informed us that the boat itself was bought for an estimated £360 million, thus making it the most expensive, sail assisted motorboat in history. Along with this you were talking about a crew of 54 men and women, significantly more than most small/medium businesses in the UK. Given that a superyacht is very rarely lived on full time by the owners and how high the ongoing costs, it must be purely pocket money for these tycoons – an outlet for people who literally have no idea what else to spend their obscene assets on.
But fear not, the owner of Yacht A, a Mr. Andrey Melnichenko is described online as an ‘industrialist and philanthropist’, so I’m sure that the world’s poor are over the moon at his little treat to himself. He would really have had to graft as it’s well known that the Russian economy is open and honest and not dominated by ex-KGB and soviet elites that don’t operate in a completely corrupt and croney-esque manner, dangling the baubles of prosperity in the form of lucrative government contracts to those most in favour. Probably.
I can almost hear those metaphorical corks popping in Oxfam’s HQ as we speak!