42:31.53N 03:05.32E Collioure
42:31.53N 03:05.32E Collioure
11th May, 2010.
On Sunday with the sun shining we left Roses around 10 o’clock with a favourable breeze until we were about an hour and half out and we had just gone past Cabo Falco and heading towards Point de la Creu. The black clouds appeared and the wind come from nowhere and the wind was suddenly hitting 30 knots. We decided very quickly we would return to Roses. We did think we would try and anchor in the bay but after watching the five boats there being thrown around on their anchors we headed for the marina. Although, this was the safest option the wind was screaming through the marina and we had difficulty getting back on the pontoon. Unfortunately, with all the pulling of the front lines Jim managed to hurt his back. Therefore, on Monday he had to rest.
The day was beautiful again and no sign of the wind. We walked in the afternoon along the marina wall and into town for an ice-cream. On the way back I paddled in the water at the beach and to my shock the water was very warm, no wonder others were swimming.
Jim was much better on Tuesday so we decided to start making our way along the coast to France. A completely different day from Sunday. Little fishing boats were out around the headlands bobbing up and down. We enjoyed seeing the little coves and small beaches as we made our way past Cadaques and Port Lligat where Salvador Dali had had his summer home. It became very popular and well known among his followers who would flock to the area in the summer months during his life. This area offers sheltered anchorages in many of the bays in the right conditions.
The water temperature was 16.8 and we started to see several sun fish appearing to wave to us as we sailed past. We past Cabo Creus which is a very prominent headland and is located at the extreme E end of the Pyrenees and represents a major obstacle to be rounded. I am pleased to say for us it offered no threat as it was a beautiful day and it became bikini time as it was so warm. It is one of the most dangerous points on the whole of the East coast of Spain because it is on the centre of the path of the NW tramontana. This, can arise without warning in a very few minutes which we probably experienced on Sunday. The scenery is beautiful along this coast with big headlands, small coves with small communities, the Pyrenees in the back ground and one of the best cruising areas in good weather.
After passing the small Cala Portbou and Cabo Bear we passed the Spanish/French border and headed for the harbour of Collioure, the last on the Cote Vermeille before the long low coast of Languedoc-Roussillon.
We anchored in the shadow of the Chateau des Templiers, small beach and harbour wall with the Hotel Relais Des 3 Mas restaurant facing us. Very historical as Collioure dates back to Phocaean Greeks who established a colony here to trade. The Chateau was built by Kings of Aragon in the 13th century and held by the Kingdom of Mallorca for some time. In the 15th century, Louis XI took Collioure and so began a troubled period on the border of the French and Spanish kingdoms. It began to become prosperous when Matisse and his friends discovered it. We can only imagine in the summer months it would be very busy and we properly would not have been able to anchor.
We spent a very pleasant evening and quiet night at anchor.