Cassis to Ile de Porquerolles 2-10-2006 to 9-10-2006

Lady Drake
Peter Drake
Mon 9 Oct 2006 22:23

Well, the title is not strictly true, after Marseille I first stopped at a place called Port Pin.   Port Pin is what is called a Calanque, which is a natural inlet carved into the limestone by a stream coming off the hills.  This inlet was very well sheltered and although not large I was able to take a rope from the stern of Lady Drake and around a tree on the land, I knew that long rope that I have had on board for the last three years would come in useful at some point.


A view to the beach after just arriving in Port Pin


A view looking out of the inlet at Port Pin


The small beach at Port Pin


I do not know why these roses were left on the rocks


After enjoying a swim in the crystal clear water and a stroll on the beach I stayed the night in Port Pin.  The following day I decided to take a walk, there were well marked routes, but I should have paid attention to the distance.  I took the green route which eventually came back around to Port Pin with very sore feet.


The walking routes marked on a rock


So off I went into the wilderness


A view back to Port Pin from the hills


Another view during the long walk


I think that this is the entrance to Port Miou, another calanque which has been turned into a harbour.


Finally back at Port Pin, a view of Lady Drake from the beach



After my expedition I decided to leave Port Pin as the wind had got up and the forecast looked worse.  I went to the next Calanque which is the harbour I meantioned called ‘Port Miou’, but found that this was full and I was turned away by the harbour master when he saw me trying to squeeze into a small gap (with plenty of fenders out).  I finally went to Port Cassis which was about a mile further.  Not only is Cassis where the famous Cassis wine comes from, it is a really nice town with a great feel to it,  Apparently the novelist Virginia Woolf spent some of her happiest times in Cassis.


Cassis the evening I arrived


It is a castle on top of the hill and the moon above


There were strong winds for a few days so I stayed in Cassis until 6th October when the forecast promised better weather.   When I left Cassis there was very little wind (about 1-2 knots) so I had to motor for some time and was thankful that I bought diesel in Cassis.  Eventually the wind picked up to 7-8 knots and before long I had the cruising chute up and was making good progress. 


This interesting building was on enroot


A castle on the hill while on enroot


While still sailing I watched the sun set


And the moon rise


The next stop was Toulon, this is where the French have a large Navy base so there are a lot of sailors in town.  There was quite good shopping and the harbour had a lot of bars and restaurants around.


Taken in the centre of Toulon


There were quite a few interesting boats,  I liked this one.


Entertainment on the key


I visited the Navel Museum, there were some impressive models of old warships here.


The Museum


One of the impressive models


A torpedo capable of 30 knots for 10km,  most of this unit is made up of batteries to power the powerful electric motor to propel it


The first departure was aborted when I found that the batteries were not charging from the engine, there was no power in the marina so I had drained my battery reserves.  A broken cable was soon fixed and I was on my way again, but with a two hour delay.  As there was not enough time to get me to my original destination of St. Raphael I decided to re-route and went to the Island of Porquerolles which is also a nature reserve.


I had a really great sail out of the Rade of Toulon, there were many boats sailing and it was about a force 4.  It seems that this is a popular area for sailing; there is also a massive regatta on in St. Tropez so maybe some of them were returning from there.


Some of the sailing boats coming from the opposite direction


The Island of Porquerolles turned out to be a really beautiful place.  The calm weather would of allowed me to anchor outside,  but I was glad to have the luxury of the marina and with power!


The church in Porquerolles


They have really big grasshoppers here!


I decided to get the bicycle out and explore one of the four routes shown at the tourist information desk.


The beach of Notre Dame,  I swam here


I assume that this was the remains of the lighthouse built in 1837


A view from the lighthouse


During the last part of the bicycle trip I managed to get a bit lost and ended up going up to Mont des Salins which was 127 metres above sea level.  It was not possible to cycle the last part and I had to carry my bicycle.  Call me a navigator!


The last part of the path to Mont des Salins, it never looks as steep on camera!


A welcoming view on the way back to the Port.


The moon coming up this evening