Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A perfect shade of blue

Today we knew we'd arrived on the Cote d'Azur -  arrived, as in "look, that's our yacht anchored over there" (Enki is out of the frame, a bit to the right of those big mothers). Do I look sufficiently nonchalant? I'm not. I'm squeezing the pleasure out of each sunlit minute.

The company that we're keeping in Antibes is not what we're used to, which doesn't mean we couldn't get used to it, at a pinch. 

Actually, we're anchored at Anse de la Salis, around the corner from the town marina where the superyachts are lined up.  From Sunday afternoon until this morning, aside from one very wet foray in the dinghy, we stayed put on Enki, watching the barometer drop and the south-westerly wind gather speed and menace.

The only sailors brave enough to be out  on Sunday and Monday were a bunch of children in their Optimists - I'm fairly sure we must have been watching a training camp for France's finest juniors.

Last night, the bad weather finally moved on and we woke today to the stuff of your dreams - ours too. So, instead of pulling up anchor and heading across to Corsica, as we'd been planning to do, we decided to loiter in Antibes and check out the Picasso museum. It's got the best views in town, including this one of Enki at anchor (she's second from the left). 

Picasso spent only a few months working in Antibes in 1946, at the beginning of his Francoise Gilot period. He worked from a studio on the top floor of the former Grimaldi palace, and on the strength of that brief association, the town has converted the building into a(nother) Picasso museum.

Miro at the Picasso museum

Picasso produced so much that inevitably not everything of his that's hung in awe is going to stop you in your tracks. What did it for me was a wall of chunky glazed plates, a group of sweet and crazy ceramic vesesls and a sublime painting called Joie de Vivre. But nothing in the collection, to my mind, surpasses the austere beauty of the 14th century building with its commanding position, peering down through seven centuries on the loveliness below.

The plan is to leave Antibes tomorrow morning, and sail overnight to either the east coast of Corsica or Elba, off the coast of Italy, depending on what's happening out there. The weather - ah, the weather. I'd like to say we're starting to understand it, but that would be quite untrue. We don't have a clue, yet. Give us time, lots of time.

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