1-4 July - La Rochelle/Isle d'Oleron - N46 02.154 W01 22.229

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Thu 4 Jul 2013 17:48
Sunday 30 June - Arrived in La Rochelle around 4p.m. A beautiful warm sunny day, unfortunately we had to motor as we had no wind! Finally it feels like summer has finally arrived, here's hoping it will last. Arriving at La Rochelle marina, it was like Picadilly Circus, boats dashing here, there and everywhere. Clearly everyone has made the most of this first really good day of weather, it is very busy indeed.

We would have liked to go into the town harbour but the harbour master won't let you in unless you guarantee staying for 3 nights, so unfortunately we are in what is probably one of the biggest marinas in the area. Some 3,000+ boats and more catamarans than we can count. As there are no ideal anchorages close buy, we'll just have to bite the bullet but will only stay for 2 nights here. The marina is truly cxxp and the most expensive at Euro 44/night. Internet not included nor is there any hot water in the showers and the power supply on the pontoons trips at 3amps. For choice miss this place - lots of executive HM's in uniforms and old braid but totally useless and not much else. Firing range info is for last February and the weather forecast machine is broken!!

Decided it was time to remove the cockpit tent and put it away and erect the bimini. It's up but it's not brilliant, so at some point we've decided we'll have to invest in a new one, but it'll do for now.

Monday 1 July - Glorious sunny morning. Caught the water taxi into the old town and had a lovely time wandering around. Had lunch in a pleasant little restaurant and Charlie and Ann were able to indulge in one of their favourite dishes, i.e. Moules et Frites. Superb food market here and we couldn't resist some of the home made produce even though everything is rather expensive, the quality is excellent and after consuming some of the foods this evening, we have no complaints at all, delicious.

Arrived back around 4pm and decided we'd do some cleaning jobs, so the decks got a good scrubbing, christened our very special washing machine and got the laundry done, sorted out lockers and now after a general tidy up of things on deck, we look really smart.

I'm teaching Ann how to play backgammon, she's getting much better at it now, so we play best of three games at G & T o'clock, prior to having our evening meal.

The sun has just set (10.45 p.m.) and it's nice and peaceful, unlike this time yesterday evening when every boat in the marina seemed to be on the move. Sitting in such a large marina holds no appeal for us so we're pushing off in the morning and going to find somewhere nice and sheltered to anchor for a day or so. After that, we're going to Ile D'Oleron for a few days which will be our last port of call in France. The 48 hour passage across the Bay of Biscay taking us across to Spain beckons.


It turned out to be a rough night at anchor after the wind shifted to the SW as a front went through and our sheltered anchorage became a little exposed. We were all pleased to move on the following morning in a brisk F4 west wind heading the 8 miles across to St Denis d'Oleron. This place is heaven after La Rochelle with cheaper berths and a 3 for 2 offer, plus peace and quiet with hot clean showers, laundry and beaches adjacent to marina etc. All went well until Maggie fell off her bike on Wednesday after failing to tighten one of those little screw thingies! Now we have two sprained wrists between us.

A little BB work for Charlie on Thursday while Maggie and Ann made the rounds of the doctor, X-ray clinic and chemist etc., all located in different towns just to make life interesting and a little more challenging - the taxi driver was happy. No permanent damage done thankfully, but we're both now sporting velcro wrist supports! For her part, Ann has been feeding the local insect life so she's a happy bunny too.

Many thanks to friends who have written to us, it's been lovely to hear your news. Please forgive us for not replying to you personally but getting wifi is still challenging and very intermittent, but please keep them coming.

The weather looks reasonable for Spain at the weekend although the winds forecast look a little bit flukey (light). We hope to have sunshine tomorrow and squeeze in a beach visit at some point before we leave either Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Watch this space ...