Week Two – St. Tropez, Crew and Departure to Corsica

Beautiful St. Tropez!

St. Tropez Bell Tower

Ken at his “portable” office. Printer, scanner, computer, internet…what else would he want?…maybe a rum and coke!

May 6, 2011

Today is a new day and it is wonderful out. The Monaco Marine is busy putting boats in the water and preparing others for the season, so it is already noisy. Yesterday, we worked most of the day; I rode the bike to the Geant, the local big Super Market. Again hoping that I will have a working refrig by Friday. In the afternoon, Jean Paul came to measure the boat for ORC rating. Ken had to help move the boat into the wind and doing so, Jean Paul allowed the boat stern to hit the concrete wall resulting in the first “boo-boo” of the season. Ken just wanted to cry. I believe that I can touch it up with reasonable success and I told Ken most people will look at it and think it is bird poop!

Evening at Guy & Renee’s.

When we were done with the measuring, we were picked up at the shipyard by Guy to go to his house for dinner. Guy and Renee have been wonderful friends this past year and are coming to sail with us next year. They spent 4 years in the Caribbean with their first sailboat. Guy now has a Sly 42 racing boat. Very expensive, all carbon fiber, made in Italy. Cachou is the name of the boat. He does very well around here with the regattas. Dinner was wonderful and very filling. Renee practiced her English and I practiced my French. It seems more and more I understand what is being said, but still cannot reply correctly. Oh, well….Ken and I slept very sound last night after the great dinner served with plenty of wine.

My plans today are to finally have a working refrigerator, one load of laundry, touchup the “nick”, more sealant around the mast, last bit of stowing in the Transom, get the Volvo engine working again, and then motor to St. Tropez where we will stay until Mike, Page and Alan arrive Monday. Some of the best made plans work, and others do not. We expected quiet sea’s in the morning which is typical, but instead, it was windy straight-off.

St. Tropez from the Golfe

We were still experiencing some “hiccups” with the refrig but knew that we still had to program the set-points, so we pushed on with our plans. Around 10am we started the motor and let it run for about ½ hour. All seemed good. We wanted to arrive to St. Tropez before noon and get our slip. Patrick was there and was “on-call” if we had any motor issues leaving the jetty. We spent one hour out in the Golfe de St. Tropez, motoring about to make sure all was well. Our arrival at St. Tropez was clean, with one stop at the diesel dock, and then finally in our appointed spot. Ken has me doing the driving now and he does the lines. A bit unnerving, but after a full season of the canals (I did most of the driving); I think I can handle this.

Dinner Saturday night was on Dolce Vita, Boris and Valerie’s motor yacht. They are our previous landlords of our St. Tropez Apartment. We have become good friends and look forward to many visits with them in the future. Boris teased me on my French and Valerie worked on her English. It was a good time with entirely too much food. By the second course we thought we were done and yet we had at least 3 more to go! Boris and Valerie bought our boat bikes from us. We did not want to haul them around this summer and most definitely did not want to take them across the Atlantic. We still have our bikes in Key West if we needed them.

Sunday, (Happy Mothers Day). Great sunny day with small projects to do. My first was to see Zou Zou at the Fish Market. He helped us with our fish needs for the party last year

Monday we are expecting Mike O’Connor to arrive around 4pm. He is a friend of Niki’s and has sailed with us in Chicago and Key West. This was a last minute opportunity for him to join us. When he arrived in Key West to sail, he skate-boarded from the airport to our rented house there. We did not know how he would arrive in St. Tropez, but found he conformed to the normal, bus from the Nice Airport. Ken and I had been out on the Golfe du St. Tropez calibrating some instruments and when we came in to dock we found Mike waiting for us. Next to arrive would be Page and Alan Spain. Page is a lifelong friend of mine. Through the years after our families early days at Devils lake where both families had cottages for many summers, we had maintained communication. Page and I had not seen each other with the exception of 3 years ago in California wine country. This meant a sailing trip with countless memories and stories of when we were children and all the mischief we got into. Ken and the guys would just have to put up with our “filling” in the lost years on this trip. Page was 5 and I was 10 at our last memories of Devils Lake.

Page and Alan arrived later than expected, but after our “reunion” everyone settled into their prospective areas in the boat. I fixed a light meal for everyone as it was late and we retired after a bit of wine and relaxation.

Tuesday morning, Ken, Mike and Alan motored the boat back to Monaco marine for another attempt at the refrig problem. Page and I went to St. Tropez famous market. We thought we would have to find something to do for only a few short hours and the market can certainly entertain you for that long. We soon found that the boys were in for a long repair day and would not return until late afternoon, early evening. So, Page and I took off for the sights and sounds of St. Tropez.

Cemeteries in France are amazing and I have many times said that to be buried in St. Tropez Cemetery that has the citadel above and the Golfe below would be the way to go! We hiked around the Citadel, wandered the old towne streets, had coffee’s, wine, beer, a sandwich, and finally, the boat returned.

We had dinner plans that night to eat at the Strand with everyone including Guy and Renee. It is still a bit early in the season for tourists, so we had the entire restaurant to ourselves for most of the night. It is an enchanting restaurant that had large canopy trees granting shade and atmosphere. It was a fun night and everyone soon fell into light conversation of sailing adventures and life stories.

Mike took this picture, but he is here with us!

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