What a contrast !
Being woken by flashes of lightning and cracks of thunder doesn’t tend to auger well for the day. When it is followed by torrential rain and semi darkness it suggests that, rather than being obsessed with wind strengths, I should have been examining precipitation as well !
It is in these conditions that the new rain shields pay dividends and after a hasty closing of the main hatches we could gaze at the gloom in the dry so it was with some surprise that we saw Stephen and Mary emerging in their waterproofs determined to venture to the Carrefour for provisions.
Spotting a break in the cloud, we made a hasty exit from Toulon forgetting to fill the water tank (singular…) intending to make a lunch time arrival at Port de Porquerolles to optimise the chances of a berth at this popular island. We didn’t even make the harbour entrance before being turned away by the staff in a rib patrolling outside. An exchange over the VHF with Port D’Hyeres confirmed that they too were full so we opted to anchor in the vast and shallow ‘Rade’. Avoiding the exclusion zone where the fire fighting aeroplanes pick up water, it was interesting to note that a motor yacht had anchored slap bang in the centre of the flight path – they may be in for a surprise!
Inflating the dinghy, for the first time in two years, it was a relief that the outboard fired after only a couple of pulls and we made our way into the tiny harbour at the end of a river outlet and ventured ashore. There was a busy beach and buzzing village so we decided to go for a walk until the restaurants opened at 1930. Unfortunately Paula took a tumble during the walk and badly sprained (maybe broke) her wrist. The poor girl was in agony and the pain diminished her appetite so she sat out while we hastily ate our meal, which must have disagreed with Stephen as he was sick in the night !
With the increased wind strength off the land, we had a wonderfully calm and pleasant night at anchor (apart from Stephen and Paula of course) and dawn broke to a cloudless sky and Stephen recovering the crab net, baited with half a frozen beef burger with the ‘stella’ catch of one small fish !
French fish seem very elusive at present and bar the small catch in the crab net (looked a bit like a baby monkfish) which I returned to the sea I have not had a single bite. We seem to be denied access to marinas on a regular basis so one feels that Nick`s reputation goes before us and the look of terror on the marina`s employee`s face as he told us to “bugger off” seemed to confirm this for me. Paula`s unfortunate tumble last evening has put her out of action but she seems to have a very high pain threshold and has declined an X ray as the prospect of wearing a cast on board is not great.