Having replaced the prop anode in Ibiza and tightened the screws with as much force as I could muster, imagine my disappointment when having a dip, to see that the anode was missing again ! So, the mission was to replace it with one of my spares before the prolonged period in Baie des Anges. So anchoring between the islands of Sainte Marguerite and Sainte Hororat off Cannes seemed a good opportunity using my ‘Heath Robinson’ diving gear. The idea was good and late morning there was still space but it soon filled with literally hundreds of boats playing dodgems so, as soon as our mission was completed, we weighed and made our way out of the ‘mad house’ towards our final 2018 wintering destination.

I had taken my old Jeanneau into Baie des Anges 6 years ago from where Andrew very kindly sold it for me. Andrew once again ‘came up trumps’ organising a berth for the winter which is no mean feat on this popular coast where places are coveted and very difficult to come by. Initially mooring on the fuel berth as directed, we were ushered into a superb position between two large power boats.

Snug berth in Baie des Anges

Unfortunately, we touched the bottom at extremely low speed in the fairway so another lesson learned; always lift the keel when entering a new marina for the first time. Hopefully there will be no harm done and we are ‘chuffed’ with the location with sufficient depth on the berth to fully lower the keel and thus ‘relax’ the systems and with room each side for no fender contact. Being here for some time, we fitted our heavy duty sprung mooring warps together with stern spring lines.

Sprung warps and stern spring lines

The beach here is less than 200m away from the mooring and with the adjacent beach bar; Paula is all set to stay on for the next ten days with her friends arriving for a holiday.

Marina Baie des Anges

Since leaving Port Solent in Portsmouth Harbour on the 21st of May, Hejira has logged 2157 miles and I have returned home twice, leaving Hejira in Vilamoura for a couple of weeks and Marseille for 13 days. Since passing into the Med, we have enjoyed very little sailing which has been disappointing and, on reflection, we could have sailed more had we not been on a schedule which didn’t allow for lower speeds – this may be a lesson for the future as I have been prone to making ambitious plans and I will be reflecting on this while formulating my itinerary for the coming years…

During the course of the passage, Hejira has ‘suffered’ four incidents, three minor and one major. I was unexpectedly caught by a big gust when mooring in Chipiona emerging from behind a large power boat and made un-fendered contact with the pontoon. When picking up a mooring buoy on the bow while going stern to the quay in Carry le Rouet, the ‘Hook and Moor’ device didn’t deploy which was just embarrassing and hitting the bottom entering Baie des Anges was a bit stupid. The big incident was also self-inflicted when I burst the water tank in Barcelona and this will haunt my winter as I dismantle the interior to gain access to replace the tank. On the up side, these incidents have all taught lessons and hopefully, by ‘confessing’ here, readers will avoid committing the same offences.

For the record, the places visited are listed as follows:-

Port Solent, Studland Bay, Portland, Dartmouth, Salcombe, Plymouth, Muros, Bayonna, Vianna do Castello, Porto, Cascais, Lagos, Vilamoura, Chipiona, Rota, Gibraltar, Estepona, Puerto Banus, Benalmadena, Almerimar, Alicante, Moraira, St.Antonio – Ibiza, Cala Benirras – Ibiza, St. Elm – Mallorca, Barcelona, Arenys-sur-Mer, Cala SaTuna, Cadaques, St. Ciprien, Cap D’Agde, Saintes Maries, Carry le Rouet, Marseilles, Isle le Frioul, La Ciotat, Toulon, Rade D’Hyeres, Cavalaire sur Mer, Port Grimaud, St.Raphael, Cannes, The Lerins Islands, & Baie des Anges.

Prices have ranged from free to exorbitant with the excellent Cruising Association ‘Captain’s Mate’ app giving useful background information. Bureaucracy has been very varied with Spain and Portugal demanding to copy passports and France mostly interested in the registration document and insurance.

All in all it has been a very satisfying summer cruise although I have largely missed the scorching weather back home. I have to express a resounding ‘thank you’ to all of my crew, I hope they have enjoyed the experience as much as I have !

Stephen writes:-

La Voyage et termine .  Yesterday I was mugged by Mal de mer as number Six insisted I lick the hull clean after he had replaced the anode. One error he forgot to mention in his `confessions` was when he  dropped his Allen key into the depths which he then spent  some time diving down to find (unsurprisingly unsuccessful).  How many members of the `crew` have been `entertained` by `the cat` he has kept a secret so how about # Herjirascar?

We have had mainly wind free weather if not a wind free skipper and the temperature has usually been around the 30c mark so we are well topped up with vitamin D. The fishing has been unsuccessful so I am considering fishing in the marina for mullet (not that you should ever eat one) just to marginally reduce my shame.

Now we are moored up in `The Bay of Angels` having said goodbye to Cannes yesterday( a lovely place with a great marina) and another few billion pounds worth of Gin Palaces one of which is rentable at a modest 380K per week. It has been a very educational passage and how busy the waters were was a revelation.

Bye bye dear reader