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Old 27-08-2012, 02:08   #1
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A Summer in the Med?

One of the big problems in my life, a problem shared by lots and lots of sailors, is that my SWMBO has not been interested in sailing since the birth of our first child, and has not been sailing with me in more than three years. My hat is off to her that she has been extremely understanding and supportive about my ocean addiction and has given me plenty of freedom to indulge this addiction on my own. But it's still not the same.

Now she suddenly says -- if you'll bring the boat to a nice, warm place with nice beaches, I'll sail with you all next summer. Yes!!! And furthermore, I'll give you a set of new laminated sails for Christmas this year. Double Yes!!!

But -- how to do it practically? I like having my boat in the UK, because I have business there and get to sail all the time as a result (usually 90 days a year on board and 50+ days at sea a year -- not too shabby I think). Furthermore, I have a fabulous mooring in the Hamble River, practically a gift from the Queen, practically free ($1600 a year, more or less), and for life -- as long as I don't abandon it -- that is, leave it for more than x number of months, I think it's 10.

So it means I would have to sail down to the Med in the Spring, and sail back in the Fall. That's a lot of sailing -- maybe a couple thousand miles each way via Gib, and the way back is a hard uphill slog. Do I have that much time? I don't know.

And where the hell to keep the boat in the Med? My wife has in mind some place like Cannes, Cap d' Antibes, Nice -- where all her friends have their summer places. As far as I know, you can't get a berth in those places for love nor money in the summer. I guess I could keep the boat someplace like Port Napoleon and bring it across to the Cote d' Azur when we're in town, lying at anchor, plus of course cruising (Corsica, Liguria, etc.).

Anybody have any helpful advice? I have only ever chartered in the Med and have never cruised the Western Med, so don't really have any idea what to expect, or where in the world I could keep my boat.
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Old 27-08-2012, 02:13   #2
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

Just do it!
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Old 27-08-2012, 02:39   #3
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

Dockhead, your wife and mine are obviously related, Thats exactly what I did for the past three summers.

We stayed in Baie Des Anges, near nice, great, near the railway station etc.

1. Your wife is right , if you can get a mooring, its a great area the best in the med in my experience. the food the people, ( a cross between franch and italian, they even celebrate trafalgar).

2, Aggh Mooring, yes its ones pain in the butt, my boat was under 12m so its fits into the smaller category , if you are 12-15m these are like gold dust, What I did was go down in the car and I drove the whole cote d'azure. from St tropez to Menton. Port Napolen is an option ( as are several further west) but its a bit of a wasteland. Corsica is beautiful and a day sail from Nice.

3. Getting there, yes its a hunt and I wouldn't do each summer,plan on leaving the boat on the hard for the winter. Its an OK trip down, but can be an awful trip back late in the season.

4. The moorings/marina berth will usually be a third party rental, and of course will be eye watering expensive , somewhere north of 800-1000 euros a month. But facilities are very good and if you can stay between Cannes and Beaulieu. Your wife will love you forever and the area has brilliant food etc. Nice is a wonderful place to visit

5. Actually living there, food, transport etc is surprisingly inexpensive especially in the back streets from the tourist traps. Busses are 1 euro to anywhere in the Alp Maritime area, the coastal rail service ~REP, is great and you can go to the friday/saturdays markes in Ventimillia in Italy.
IN france Lunch is particularly good value. Fresh ingredients are everywhere and cheap and being france the quality is out of this world. ( especially the fruit in season).Just remember to eat at the time the french eat or you'll starve

6. So its absolutely a great are to be , except for the mooring, There are some good anchorages, but the whole coast is exposed to the odd southerly storm and the heat driven weather does generate some nasty stuff from time to time. The sailing is usually Med stuff, too much wind or none at all.( have a good engine) . The anchorages will be jammers of course during the day ( I hope your not fussy about anchoring techniques cause, there arnt any!!) but everyone get on with it ands being France loud music isn't tolerated , all very peaceful if crowded. At night 99% return to their marinas.


As I say take a few days , get in the car and plod from marina to marina, exact the usual l Gallic shrug. ( ah desolee monsieur, etc) Again I found like a lot of marinas, if you can build up a relationship with the "office" often places appear.

I found Fresus near ST. Trop had some spots and try Baie des Anges, Beaulieu, Antibes ( port Vauban)

If you have any contacts in the trade that have any connections down to the south of france ( dealers networks etc) , exploit these


Best of luck , Any questions ask,

DAve
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Old 27-08-2012, 03:03   #4
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

We're not in the same class as yous but as a comparison we brought Boracay up from Sydney to Mooloolaba (SE Queensland - just north of Brisbane) this year and it's in a (hopefully) snug sheltered marina berth as I type.

It was a series of short sharp dashes up the NSW coast dodging some truly abysmal weather. No way am I going back.

We've booked our fares to go back over Christmas. Senior crew actually seems to enjoy staying on the boat. We might even pop up to check on how it is in a month or so.

It can't be more than a couple of hours from where you are to the Med by air.

I guess what I'm getting at is that your wife is offering to come with you and the conditions are not unreasonable. Play your cards right and she'll probably come again (and maybe again...).

England to the Mediterranean is quite a hop. Why not seriously consider basing your boat in one of the above mentioned nice places permanently.

You never know. Sailing under round the Med might be one of life more enjoyable experiences.

It's way more fun with some good company.
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Old 27-08-2012, 03:13   #5
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

Dockhead keep your boat in its berth and use it as you do BUT spend some time on another boat in the Med, there are countless ex-pats that have boats that are largely not used.
We had drinks with a couple who were on a 42' GRP Ketch, centre cockpit, nice condition and they were contemplating paying half mooring/maintenence costs for half use but no ownership.
I'm sure you could find something, kills 3 birds with one stone. Cheers Frank
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Old 27-08-2012, 03:29   #6
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

I think you are always going to regret it if you don't do this plan in some form.
I don't know the western med well but as a general plan this would be my suggestion.

Next season sail down to western med, have your wife fly down and do some extended crusing. If it does not work well sail back to the UK at the end of the season. Lots of great sailing, but as you say not something you would want to do each year.

If its a success leave your boat in the med (on the hard) over winter, fly back to UK and buy yourself a small cheap yacht to keep your berth and have a bit of fun. (if it was me I would buy a racing boat. Racing and crusing is an ideal mix)

Next year cruse to the eastern med where it is much cheaper and repeat as required.
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Old 27-08-2012, 04:31   #7
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

Dockhead,
what about Tunisia?
I pay 900 Euro a year for my 31 feet Westerly in Monastir, a lovely marina with all facilities. Living is incredible cheap there. They have an airport at Monastir or at Enfidha 50 miles away.
See: Marina Cap Monastir - Tunisie

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Old 27-08-2012, 04:33   #8
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

better get your airconditioning sorted as well! during the summer 35-40c is not uncommon!

http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/France/Antibes.htm

you also might want to fit a bimini over your cockpit,and look at making a sun cover to fit over the boom for marina and at anchor
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Old 27-08-2012, 04:48   #9
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

after three summers near Nice, Id say no AC is needed, get a good couple of 230VAC cheap office fans.( 25 euros in Carrefour) The nights remain cool up till mid July, Its only August where it gets real warm.

A bimini is needed

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Old 27-08-2012, 05:00   #10
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

A lot of Brits return home for the hottest, busiest months. Flights are cheap. I presume visits to the UK are likely to needed for work commitments in Dockhead's case anyway, so simply avoiding the hottest months, and enjoying the very best parts of the crusing season would be my suggestion.
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Old 27-08-2012, 05:32   #11
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

Thanks for all the great hints.

One thing some people seemed to have missed is that I have a fabulous mooring in the Hamble which I will lose if I leave the boat in the Med over the winter. So one fundamental problem is that I have to get the boat down there (1800 miles) and back (another 1800, but this time upwind) in one year. I am not sure I have time for this; I will be working my plan for the year.

Buying into someone else's boat is an interesting idea -- I will contemplate that a little. Partly defeats the purpose of using my own boat in new places, but to avoid 3600 miles of repositioning, it might really be worth considering.

I really don't mind paying 1200 or even 1500 euros a month if that would get me a berth on the Cote d' Azur. I didn't think berths were even available in the summer -- I thought you had to buy into them. I will look into that further.

I see that Port Napoleon has a very good deal on, not only marina berthing, but hardstanding. It might make sense, since I will not go down as frequently as I am able to be in the UK, to leave the boat on the hard when I'm not using her. It's 140 miles to Nice from there, as far as I can tell, so maybe a feasible place as a home berth. Just sail over to St. Tropez to start a lazy cruise up the coast en famille.
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Old 27-08-2012, 05:39   #12
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

[QUOTE=Dockhead;1022597]Thanks for all the great hints.

One thing some people seemed to have missed is that I have a fabulous mooring in the Hamble which I will lose if I leave the boat in the Med over the winter.

could you sub let the mooring it must be worth about 5000 a year to somebody on the hamble?

alternatively get a trailer sailer to put on the mooring when not in use.
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Old 27-08-2012, 05:40   #13
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

I understand your dilema, the mooring in the uk sounds great but if you cant both enjoy it together, whats the point?

My choice would be find yourself a good deal paying yearly at a mainland Spain marina, then its 60 each and 3 hours whenever you fancy a weekend away after youve done your summers cruising.

Another question is why do you seem focused on French waters? Personaly i'd recommend the Baleric islands, lots of lovely little bays (calas) to explore and anchor in and only 100nm from the mainland. You'll be able to get a berth for the year on the mainland for about €6000, less than half what you quoted for France.

I'd say sail down next summer, have a great time and do some exploring/research while youre there. You can then make your mind up whether to leave it there for the following season or take her back to the uk for a year or two.
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Old 27-08-2012, 05:49   #14
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

[QUOTE=atoll;1022602]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks for all the great hints.

One thing some people seemed to have missed is that I have a fabulous mooring in the Hamble which I will lose if I leave the boat in the Med over the winter.

could you sub let the mooring it must be worth about 5000 a year to somebody on the hamble?

alternatively get a trailer sailer to put on the mooring when not in use.
I can't sublet the mooring, sadly. It's a kind of privilege given to those who wait long enough (or have a good enough relationship with the harbormaster). It's a terrifically valuable thing, and besides that, it's where I want my boat to live, most years anyway -- in the middle of some of the world's best cruising grounds, and just over an hour away from London.

So it means that to cruise the Med next summer, I will either have to sail the boat all the way down and all the way back in one year, or hire a delivery crew to do it, or have the boat trucked. Or rent someone else's boat and leave mine where she is.
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Old 27-08-2012, 05:53   #15
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Re: A Summer in the Med?

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Originally Posted by simonmd View Post
I understand your dilema, the mooring in the uk sounds great but if you cant both enjoy it together, whats the point?

My choice would be find yourself a good deal paying yearly at a mainland Spain marina, then its 60 each and 3 hours whenever you fancy a weekend away after youve done your summers cruising.

Another question is why do you seem focused on French waters? Personaly i'd recommend the Baleric islands, lots of lovely little bays (calas) to explore and anchor in and only 100nm from the mainland. You'll be able to get a berth for the year on the mainland for about 6000, less than half what you quoted for France.

I'd say sail down next summer, have a great time and do some exploring/research while youre there. You can then make your mind up whether to leave it there for the following season or take her back to the uk for a year or two.
I'm focussed on French waters (although Liguria might do also) because that is where my wife wants to be -- she's Russian and half of her friends have houses on the Cote d' Azur.

Also, other than the problem with berthing, it doesn't seem like a bad place to cruise from what I can tell.

I will surely hit the Balearics on the way over, and I'd love to cruise Corsica and the Tyhrennian Sea, if there's time.

I have done a fair amount of cruising in the East Med (on charter boats) and love it. But I think that's not on the menu for next year. And if I wanted to see the Aegean properly on my own boat, I would really have to give up the Hamble mooring
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