Saturday, 9 June 2012

Dinner in St Tropez

Alex finally got to play with his new toy yesterday. Here's Enki on her way to St Tropez, her sails reefed, trucking along at about 7 knots, often more, in a fresh south-westerly breeze. Her skipper couldn't sit still. So much to figure out. Everything to enjoy. Like Alex, Melinda has dreamed of sailing in the Med since  - well, since forever. She probably didn't expect to be wearing wet weather gear on her first day under canvas on the wine-dark sea. More like a pair of crisp white shorts and a cheeky little striped top. Ah well, that'll come. Yesterday she, like the rest of us, was ecstatic to be riding the swell.

The day began a little shakily. Alex had made driving into the pontoon stern-to look so easy the previous evening, but driving out frontwards in the morning against a fresh cross-breeze was another matter. Let's just say that ropes got where they shouldn't have got, and there was some concern about the prop. No need, as it turned out, but Alex motored out of Toulon harbour looking grimmer than the the prospect of a fine day's sailing called for.

Enki galloped the 55 miles from Toulon to St Tropez like the proven distance runner she is. She's a big boat, however, and all those extra electric aids (winches, the in-mast furler) are going to make sailing her so much more manageable. More on this later, from the skipper. Enough to say, on her first day out she behaved impeccably.

We'd imagined that Saturday night would be busy in this part of the world, but the Baie des Canoubiers, tucked around the corner from where the big boys tie up in the old port of St Tropez proper, was so empty when we arrived we could have been on the Queensland coast.

Dave dived on the prop (it hadn't folded back in, as it is meant to do), and quite apart from the joy of discovering a chewed-up plastic bag tangled around the mechanism, he splashed around like a puppy on his first Med dip. So many firsts. First splash in the Med for our new Rocna anchor too - it bit strong and hard into the weedy bottom.

It's not too hard, really. We might get used to this. The food on board is not bad either.