42:20.879N 8:36.873E Thur 2nd Jun 2016 130nm 21hr35
We left Toulon just after 9am on our planned overnighter to cover the 130 nautical miles to our chosen landfall on Corsica. After motoring out of the Grande Rade which shelters the French navy, we hoisted sail and passed the attractive islands which make up the Iles d’Hyeres in increasingly rolly seas. As the wind climbed to over 20kts, we reefed the sails but still did a good speed. We did not want to arrive at our destination in the dark, so once again had to slow ourselves down a bit rather than letting things rip which is very frustrating. Still we had a great broad reach sail in quite rough seas (2.5m) until late evening when they flattened a bit. Later on, the wind went further south and we had to sail close to the wind for the rest of the passage. It was a very satisfying to sail all the way and first mate was happy to have a night watch under starry skies again.
Pink granite cliffs of Corsica:
Skipper coaxed us round the last point before the entrance to Girolata past the spectacular pink granite cliffs of this World Heritage coastline and we then motored into the sheltered cove which we last visited in “Red Panda” five years ago. We picked up a buoy just before 7am and admired the pretty setting with the old Genoese fort guarding the seaways to this small but useful harbour. After that, we had a quiet day catching up on sleep and making a brief visit ashore to pay our dues for the buoy and walk around the little community which is only accessible by sea or mountain paths.
Fort overlooking Girolata: