Crews over

The approach to Calvi provides a stunning view of the impressive Citadel
Approaching Calvi marina with the Citadel to starboard.

Having booked a berth in advance, the Calvi marina staff saw fit to place us on the premium ‘A’ dock right next to the ‘action’.

Paula getting ready with the telescopic pick up hook. Girls briefed and ready.

This was all very well but the loud music went on until 2am and rather took the gilt off the convenience.

Too close to the ‘action’ and the  loud music until 2am.

The visit ticked all the boxes for the ladies and a turn around the Citadel was followed by a swim off the beach.

The entrance to the Citadel with much of the old crumbling masonry now rendered, rather compromising the charm.

Since my last visit, the Citadel has had something of a makeover with many of the crumbling buildings and ramparts having been rendered thus losing much of the charm and character but presumably preventing further deterioration.

More steps in the Citadel. I let the girls explore while I nursed a glass of cold rosé
Calvi marina viewed from the Citadel before the marina filled to capacity. The swimming beach is just beyond the marina.

The ladies particularly enjoyed the ‘people watching’ from their vantage point on deck with all the coming and going from the large vessels surrounding us – it must be a girl thing.

Having to leave our berth by noon, the 100 mile overnight passage to the temporary berth in Saint Laurent du Var marina required little more than a ‘bimble’ under an idling engine over the mirror like surface of the windless sea.

Hitch Hiker. It had at least half a dozen friends.

This was very much to the liking of the crew and in the late afternoon we stopped the engine and put a polypropylene floating line over the stern with a fender tied on the end and we all had a swim.

Mid passage swim. They didn’t appreciate the ‘Jaws’ theme music playing in the background!

With the girls reluctant to sleep in their cabins, the saloon was transformed into a double bed and they dozed while watching a succession of DVDs through the night.

DVD Fest.

It is always interesting to eavesdrop on the VHF radio exchanges of the authorities and the superyachts. We marvelled at the disclosure that ‘Ocean Victory’, on passage from Portofino in Italy to Monaco had 51 crew and 11 passengers on board. We have looked it up and it is the tenth largest in the world at 140m long. It has six pools and its tender is larger than Hejira! Needless to say, it is owned by a Russian oligarch.

Timing our arrival for just after 9am, we hoped that the marina office would be open and able to instruct the staff of our reservation and berth allocation.

This is the final blog of my 3000 mile (far, far too many!) summer adventure and I have a long list of jobs, repairs and additions to undertake over the winter which will keep me busy and justify regular trips to Nice. After leaving Baie des Anges on the 1st of June, I have visited the following destinations: Ostia (Rome), Vieste, Venice, Rovinj-Croatia, Pula, Cres, Punat, Simuni, Dalmacija, Vodice, Trogir, Milna, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Otranto-Italy, Gouvia-Corfu, Lakka-Paxos, Gaios, Mongonisi, Marzamemi-Sicily, Valetta-Malta, Blue Lagoon-Camino, Kelibia-Tunisia, Villasimius-Sardinia, Santa Maria Navaresse, Costa Smerelda, Bonifacio-Corsica, Porto Pollo, Ajaccio, Girolata, Calvi and finally Saint Laurent Du Var back in France.

I am leaving the girls on board for a week while I return to the UK. They will no doubt find a favourite beach bar and enjoy a relaxing dose of sun and sea.


Paula, Marie and Kate write:-

After the euphoria of the previous days badge collection for knot tying we were unfortunately stripped of this accolade due to poor fender attachments and warp rope coiling which left us feeling in the doldrums!

However, our tank emptying and pumping prowess was tested once again and we gained level 3 with commendation for accurate and skilful release.  In the galley, badges were awarded for the variety of skills involved in preparing meals, snacks and drinks throughout the 20 hour crossing.

Captain Underpants was very grateful for his restful crossing and therefore promoted us from Level 1 Watch Team skills to Level 2.  A thrilling evening enjoyed by all, with beautiful sunsets and sunrises, following a few wonderful days visiting picturesque harbours and gorgeous beaches.

All round the experience of sailing our floating hotel has been a very positive one and one that we look forward to repeating and gaining more badges in the future.

5 thoughts on “Crews over

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  1. Thanks for sharing your adventures ,has made good reading ..Sometime envy inducing though skilful wording of the near catastrophes, sleeplessness battery sagas etc has reduced any risk of jealousy.Is there a final figuring up of diesel used and chillies consumed that you can share?

    1. Good to hear from you John.
      Some very basic statistics:-
      Total miles approx 3000.
      Hours under engine 486 – far too many but much of it as a supplement to the sails which is reasonably efficient with the Bruntons Autoprop.
      Diesel used 1282 litres.
      Average 2.6 litres per hour.
      Chillies used – more than some found comfortable !!

  2. Nick,
    One more comment.
    I once got into trouble with the Yachting Monthly editors for calling a ‘spinnaker pole’ a ‘spinnaker boom’. It should of course be a ‘pole’, not a ‘boom’.

    You insist in calling your ‘genoa’ (140% overlap) a ‘jib’. I call mine a ‘genoa’ notwithstanding that a ‘jib’ is always the furthest forward of the two.

    You insist on calling your (inner) foresail, a ‘staysail’.

    Problem is that apart from ‘genoa’ all these terms are GENERIC referring to any sail set on a stay forward of the mainmast.

    Of course, it doesn’t matter what term the captain chooses to use as long as ‘bloody crew’ understand what he’s talking about. But personally I dislike a magnificent proud sail such as a ‘genoa’ (named after that renowned Italian city I believe?) being simply referred to as a ‘jib’
    Here is what Wikipedia says:

    ‘A genoa sail is a type of large jib or staysail that extends past the mast and so overlaps the main sail when viewed from the side, sometimes eliminating it. It was originally called an “overlapping jib” and later a Genoa jib. It is used on single-masted sloops and twin-masted boats such as yawls and ketches. Its larger surface area increases the speed of the craft in light to moderate winds; in high wind, a smaller jib is usually substituted, and downwind a spinnaker may be used.’

    And while on the subject, if you sail your yacht with 2 headsails at the same time then as we all know, she becomes a ‘cutter’. In that case what you really need is a high cut ‘Yankee’ with the sheet carried right aft. Carrying a 140% ‘genoa’ in these circumstances risks backwinding the ‘inner staysail’.

    On the other hand you could refer to your headsails as ‘No.1’ (the largest) and ‘No.2’ (the smaller one)

    Well, I had to have my few pennyworth of comments on your blog, didn’t I?


    1. Thanks for your inputs John.
      Unfortunately, your comments about sail plan are pretty irrelevant with regard to my adventure as I so rarely used the sails.
      I can add to the old adage that ‘ the wind in the Med blows too little or too much’ with ‘and invariably on the nose’ !
      Let’s convene the ‘135 club’ over a pint before too long.

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