42:16.415N 3:30.467E Sun 17th Apr 2016
As I write this we are sitting in port on the day before we return to the UK, being buffeted by the Tramontane; cold winds gusting to nearly 40kts which are bashing the boat against the pontoon and making us heel at up to 8° (which may not sound much, but it certainly feels it and is sending stuff sliding about). I guess I didn’t think enough about wind direction when berthing here as these winds can reach over 50kts, so I think we’ll have to move berths before leaving tomorrow.
The eagle-eyed might spot that the last entry ended with the forecast that we’d wait for perfect winds before doing the next leg, but the lure of visiting our family in Toulouse (only 2 hours drive from here) proved too much, so we headed out last Sunday despite an imperfect forecast. We spent just over half the10hr passage sailing hard on the wind for the first time since we don’t remember when. Cruising is all about making easy sailing decisions, so “hard on the wind” isn’t ever our first choice. Nonetheless everything worked well, or at least it did when I remembered to tighten the halyards to allow the boat to go faster closer to the wind. Half way there the wind died and we had to motor; so with foresight we could have had an easier morning.
Cap d’Agde is an unprepossessing place, a huge 4,100 berth marina surrounded by a tacky holiday village. It has a few redeeming features; a rather nice coastal walk around the edge of the ancient volcano it is built on, proximity to very cheap car hire & flights back to Bristol from Beziers, plus its crowning glory - the best collection of ancient bronzes in France. The finest of these is a Greek statue, probably of Alexander the Great, dating back to the 2nd century B.C. and found by a diver in 1964. It is truly stunning and it’s worthwhile being here for this alone.
The Éphébe Bronze: