Port Frioul proved to be a perfect overnight stop being quiet and un-pressured.

Plenty of space

The same could not be said of our mooring the following day. We had wanted to secure a berth in the picturesque old harbour in Cassis but despite calling at 6am, as recommended, we failed to secure a berth and defaulted to the second choice, 5 miles further on. La Ciotat had confirmed by telephone that they had space for us but on our arrival, they said, over the radio that there was no room. We hovered in the entrance insisting that we had a confirmation, phonetically spelling ‘Hejira’ in my most emphatic (stroppy) way. They seemed to relent and we followed the berthing rib which pointed to a ‘non berth’ as the gap between the yachts barely existed. Paula and I were actually used to this scenario from our berth in Port Adriano in Mallorca which was predominantly populated by wide beamed motor boats and our berth was usually completely closed up. Having positioned the crew to push open the gap and trying to avoid the overhanging anchors positioned to scupper our endeavour, we managed to squeeze ourselves into the berth which was so snug it was completely free of any movement. The pretty town ashore was heaving as there was a carnival going on with raft races and huge cheering crowds. We found a remote bar for the obligatory ‘dirty beer’ and repaired back for another meal on board. The dominoes could have gone better and Stephen and I are now two nil  down in the series.

Having had a rather terse and unwelcoming conversation with the islands of Embiez, we chose to contact the Old Port in Toulon who confirmed availability, so, after another windless passage and a pause to enjoy a swim in the absolutely transparent sea, we moored in Toulon and ventured ashore.

Crystal clear waters for a swim

Toulon deserted on a Sunday

This sign made us chuckle and reflect on our Royal Family and the heir to the throne !

Stephen writes:-

Dear Reader, I hope you will be glad to hear that the skin on my back is still intact despite having the `slime line` wrenched out of my hands in Frioul as we backed into our birth and the Master expecting me to pull my shoulders out of their sockets resisting Hejira. Also I have not caught any fish despite Hejira slowing down to allow some swimming by the Master and ladies. The port of Toulon is our current location and we will be entering into the third round of dominos tonight despite the Ladies being in Dominatrix mode so far. We have enjoyed the coast hugging and the many beautiful calanques (coves) we passed. The weather has been very hot and we are very happy that Hejira has air conditioning . The South of France is very busy at present and with many marinas not allowing advanced booking (nothing to do with `The Master`s reputation so he tells me L) we have provisioned up to allow us to moor up anywhere and still not starve.

We are all having a great time so will keep you up to date with the state of my skin on a regular basis.

Bye Bye