FW: Iles d'Hyeres to Le Lavandou

Tue 10 Jun 2014 12:52
We woke on Sunday morning to a cloudless blue sky, the day already warm,
enjoying fresh brewed coffee and large triangles of sweet, eggy flan for our
breakfast we heard a tap, tap, tap on the hull and call of "Pamarzi!"
Looking over the side deck I saw a couple in a small engineless dinghy,
"Sorry to intrude the bearded fellow" said (for his wife was clean shaven!)
"but we think we know you." And looking through the beard I did recognise
his face. We last met back in 2012 when we gave Steve and Jan a lift in the
dinghy of our charter boat to a restaurant at the head of a bay we were both
moored in Turkey. We had dined together and apparently we had told them that
we had an Oyster in build and they seeing a new Oyster with just two people
on board took an educated guess. Small world to be sure and that fact was to
become even more evident later in the week. We invited them on board and had
a very pleasant couple of hours catching up, sharing sailing stories and
showing them round Pamarzi.

After waving them au revoir it was back to work hosing down the boat with
fresh water, such a luxury we were able to indulge in even though at anchor
for I had topped up our water tanks using the water maker on the way over to
the islands. The delights of a clean boat free of salt! Most of the local
boats left before nightfall on Sunday and as we were staying another couple
of days and stronger winds were forecast we moved to slightly deeper water
to give ourselves more swinging room dropping the hook in a clear patch of
sand amongst the posidonia grass and laying out 40 metres of chain, six
times the depth we were swimming in.

The tender was launched the following day and we motored round to
Porquerolles town, Lynn practising her driving. Pretty little place although
busy that morning as a boat load of twitchers had just landed, the island
being famed for its flora and fauna and especially the variety of avian
life. We purchased baguettes, croissant, quiches and flan as well as fruit
and vegetables before Lynn motored us back across the bay to Pamarzi.
Another wonderful evening during which we were joined us as neighbours, blue
hulled 85 ft. Gof and racy claret hulled, carbon black sailed 98ft Nomad IV.
What a sight we three must have been from shore as the water dappled light
of the setting sun reflected on our respectively red, white and blue hulls
riding on the gently rippling sea. Lynn commenting that this was quite a
nice neighbourhood!

We weighed anchor earlyish next morning to sail to Ile Port-Cros arriving
around noon where we anchored in a deep calanque known as Port Man on the
eastern side of the island. Strong westerly's had been forecast for the next
24 hours. We veered out 50 metres of chain and the hook was well set, which
was just as well for late afternoon brought the forecast winds and even in
our sheltered spot we and the other boats danced and bounced around our
mooring. We kept watch as others dragged their anchors, some trying to re
anchor others giving up and leaving. The winds forecast to blow all night
dropped to a gentle breeze later that evening and we had a peaceful night. I
don't understand it but many yachtsmen over here seem to think 10 metres of
water means they only need to put of 20 metres of chain and then they are
surprised when they drag!

Anyhow we had a lovely broad reach the next day back to the mainland
reaching double figures and berthed at the marina in Le Lavandou for a four
night stay. We were allocated a berth between two motor yachts, a pretty
tight squeeze, but once in and fenders adjusted we were fine. Happy with our
berth, sheets and mooring lines tidied we were about to have a drink in the
cockpit when we recognised that a couple on the quayside admiring Pamarzi
were English. We fell into conversation with them and discovered that they
had a house nearby and a yacht in the marina. We inquired as to where abouts
in England they were from and they replied Cheshire. Where in Cheshire we
enquired, as we live in that county too? Turns out that we are almost
neighbours, as they live in Nether Alderley, little more than a stones throw
from us. Needless to say we invited them aboard and had a pleasant hour or
so over gin and tonics getting to know them. John and Jill kindly invited us
to supper at their home the following day.

Friday was devoted to boat washing and cleaning and domestic chores. John
collected us at 19.00 for the six mile or so drive to their lovely house
clinging to the wooded slopes rising from the shore line of a charming bay
with spectacular views over to the Iles d'Hyers. A most enjoyable evening
and we look forward to getting together again when we are back in Alderley.
Saturday we provisioned the boat in preparation for the arrival of Rob and
Liliane on Sunday.

Roger & Lynn