Since you last heard from me we haven’t travelled terribly far in terms of distance, but we’ve been to some interesting places. From Les Calanques we headed to Les Porquerolles, a georgeous group of small islands just south of Toulon. The islands are a designated nature reserve, so relatively unspoilt, with lots of lovely walks and beautiful beaches. We arrived just in time for the Porquerolles Classique, a regatta where 40 classic yachts were racing, including the two Fife-designed “Moonbeam IV” (32m) and “Mariska” (27m), plus one of the other Moonbeams. Unfortunately it was a bit of a gloomy day with not much wind, but still a spectacle none the less. Acrospire would have held her own very well amongst such esteemed company. Sorry for the excess of boat shots, but I just couldn’t help myself.
The next stop was St Tropez. Made famous in the 50’s when they shot a film there starring Bridgette Bardot, but amazingly it has still managed to maintain a lovely small-town feel. No massive high-rise developments and a sense of maritime history of which they are very proud. In many ways it’s a bit of a dichotomy. Around the corner from the superyachts was a little bay with local boats bobbing about, whilst just along the coast were the serious French villas. Apparently an Iranian buyer recently purchased one based solely on drone footage, without visiting it first. And still, a popular pastime in the local square is petanque, played daily by young and old alike. The population increases ten-fold and prices triple in the high season so we were glad to be just ahead of the curve. Notwithstanding that there were some seriously big super yachts on the town quay, but alas no Paris Hilton table-top dancing at a beach bar. It was interesting at sundown watching all the passersby (us included) gawking at the punters having drinkies on the superyachts. To give you an idea of scale the second last image for this post has 3 yachts. The tiny yacht on the right is an Oyster 57′. God only knows how big the one on the left is!
From there we headed to Ile Ste Marguerite, part of Iles de Lerins group, just south of Cannes. We anchored overnight in a bay near the fort where the mysterious “man in the iron mask” was held prisoner in the 17thC. His identity has never been revealed and theories abound as to who he was: the illegitimate son of Louis XIV, Louis’s twin brother, a black sheep of the nobility and so on. We’ve been moving along the coast so will hopefully be able to do another update before we head off to Corsica. Hoping all is good with you & yours. Please send news!