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Chocs away

September 20, 2011

Wind? no one told me about the wind. The mistral down here in the Cote d’Azur often blows away bad weather, and is often very welcome, clearing the air and producing sparkling sunshine, but when one is on a sailing yacht expecting to be basking in the sun and drinking for most of the day, the last thing you want is wind. This of course was not how the hardened sailors saw it, they were revelling in the opportunity to put sails up, and splicing the main brace, and shouting “genoas to the fore” and all that jargon about which I know nothing. I had in mind a few glasses of champagne on the poop deck (I think that is what it is called, perhaps that is where the toilet is positioned?) being able to stand as we left the harbour legs slightly apart, hands behind the back swaying ever so gently as the stabilisers took effect, preferable adorned with a cap saying “Captain” and issuing orders to the crew like, “chocs away” (although why sailors think they need to hide the chocolate is a mystery to me), “contact” (another expression that taken out of context could have alarming results) and that sort of thing. What I actually  got was something quite different.

I am not usually a good sailor, so being on a racing yacht in winds gusting to force 7 was an almost racing certainty for one to deposit ones breakfast over the side rather quickly, but a strange thing happened, I really enjoyed it, even at a sixty degree tilt at 10 knots there was not a sign of breakfast revisited. I even managed to stay calm enough to take some photos, such as the one below.

L'Exocet roaring to victory in the Bistro Rally

By now you will know that to me winning is everything, so you will be delighted to know that, under my careful and understated  stewardship,  judiciously pointing out the best seas and warning of incoming gusts, Currencies Direct client John Mundell sailed l’Exocet to victory in the Bistro Rally. The rally is something of a race, usually involving floating out to the Isles des Lerins about 3 miles off Cannes.  Yesterday however, because of the wind, the course was extended to go around the Islands. I feel certain he could not have achieved this without my help, despite the fact that he has won the race for the last 5 years in a row.

The WAGS had taken charge of a rib, which is fairly apt for women, having a spare rib, and had spirited a magnum of champagne and several bottles of wine aboard, together with their red white and blue outfits resplendent with red and blue pom poms, as my second picture of the day shows below.

Wags and pom poms on a spare rib

After much celebration with the rest of the crew during the afternoon which included Greg Harris from Cote D’Azur Villa rentals,  the wingco, who once again described this daily column as “ghastly”, but I know he will take a peek today, plus BA pilot Dave Rogers who managed to navigate us very close to some rocks at one stage, I think he had forgotten about the undercarriage as he described the keel, we attended the celebratory dinner at the Bistro on the port.

Being awoken by the most wonderful sunrise after an overnight stop in Bluebell in the car park of port De La Rague is the reason for a late posting today, that and a sore head, rumbling stomach and fierce hangover, so its back to bed for me as soon as this is finished, which is now.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pinman permalink
    September 20, 2011 1:46 pm

    ” together with their red white and blur outfits ”

    Have you been in the music business for too long………..or does it describe the entire day ??


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