At anchor . Rad de Villefranche

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Sun 5 May 2019 09:18

So first night at anchor was good and we had a good nights sleep. Tad chilly but I went for a swim first thing yesterday morning 4th May. 6 times round the boat 17.1 degrees the same as the River Percuil in Cornwall at its best in summer. The sea was pretty glassy so quite inviting however the sun wasn’t out. It did take several hours for my feet to warm up in spite of having a hot shower!!

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This anchorage is a favourite we were here a few times last October and we spent the day on the boat doing jobs and for me reading. David dived to check the hull and the propellor the latter he cleaned and as we realised this morning ‘Read on” he didn’t check the anchor!!

Yesterday Saturday 4th May quite a few boats came into the anchorage there was also a huge cruise liner anchored further out in the bay with the usual boats running from it throughout the day taking passengers into the town which we had already decided not to visit. We also realised that we were anchored in the middle of the course for a paddle board festival/race. There must have been around a hundred of them taking off from the beach round the corner and heading out to Cap Ferrat following the coastline and back again - quite some distance fortunately the sea state quite calm.

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A sunny day but a chilly wind and by the evening the sea wasn’t quite as glassy!! We managed to see some of the fireworks going off over the headland in Beaulieu-sur-Mer which were quite spectacular. We had seen them previously on a Saturday night in March and then daughter Alex and friends saw them when they stayed on the boat later in March. It seems - according to the tourist information office that there is someone who just likes fireworks and it’s a regular occurrence and not necessarily for a celebration!

Things then just got worse the boat rolled very badly not expected! Very reminiscent of crossing the Atlantic and our trip to the Antarctic. We both kept getting out of bed to put things away or fasten things down or to check outside as the ladder was down and banging hard so that had to be hauled up and also to make sure we had not moved. Neither of us could sleep but eventually I believe both fell asleep around 5.00am. I was fast asleep at 7 to be woken by David saying ‘we had gone aground ‘ he’d woken up with a start to realise that there were trees outside the window!! Fortunately we were still upright and not rolling anymore as presumably stuck. So all hands on deck he started the engine whilst I very blearily got into my wet weather gear . It was very cold outside and grey and yes we were some distance from where we had anchored two nights ago - close in to shore fortunately sand not rocks . David managed to get the engine going and some movement with the bow thruster and I went up front to lift the anchor which came up with a huge pile of sea grass on it . We then managed to motor out back into the bay we can’t have been stuck that fast or even there for that long but the anchor had dragged big time.


David has just returned from talking to a German yacht which was anchored not far from us yesterday and when we woke at 7 was motoring around the far side of the bay. Apparently he had seen us drag our anchor just after 5 and had flashed lights, sounded a horn but to no avail ‘we were out for the count’! Apparently a big squall had come through and he dragged his anchor just before 7 hence his motoring round the bay. We were lucky could have all been a lot worse but disappointing.

After we had reanchored we had several cups of tea to calm down and finally had breakfast. It’s a lot calmer now but still a slight roll, the storm seems to have passed through, some blue sky showing but certainly not warm. In an hour we are heading over to Villefranche to meet up with our next lot of friends arriving Steph and Andy Goddard who have joined us many times before - the last time in Italy at the end of last year’s sailing.

Our plan is to start sailing west and tomorrow night we might spend in the harbour at Cannes - goodness knows how much that will cost. I’ll let you know. fingers crossed tonight is calmer and no more excitement?!

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