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Old 16-10-2012, 01:32   #1
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An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

My wife and I are from the United States, but recently had the great fortune to charter a Jeanneau 39DS out of Toulon in July. We sailed along the cost past St. Tropez and from St. Raphael down to Corsica. It was wonderful, of course.

I offer these observations about the med for those who are thinking about visiting the area (and you should!):

We found that anchorages are plentiful, but you must take care of weather because few are protected from more than half of the compass. Those with good protection are often crowded.

We found that a night in a marina was usually between 40 and 55 Euros, or about 55 to 75 US dollars. Moorings were 15 to 25 Euros per night. Sometimes showers were a long walk, but our boat had a good shower so we didn't bother.

We discovered, to our disappointment, that water is not available at fuel docks. You will find water only at a slip. We and our friends (total of 4 pax) could only go 3 nights before draining the Jeanneau's 85 gallon tank, but we use a lot of water. (We start every day with a hot shower, clean clothes, and a nice cup of coffee, or we're not having fun. Your mileage will vary.) So, every fourth day we needed a marina just to refill the water tanks.

We found that med mooring was easy. The vessel had bow thrusters, which were quite helpful, and the forward tie-off points were always prepositioned. We never had to drop our anchor and then back into a slip. Bring lots of fenders, though, including a couple of big ones for the stern.

Fuel was about twice the US cost - maybe $10 or $12 a gallon (can't be more precise - I just closed my eyes and handed over the credit card).

Winds were a bit fluky. The forecast could call for 3 knots and flat water, and instead we could have 28 knots and chop because of a Mistral. This resulted mostly in more engine time than we'd expected, and thus higher fuel costs, when we needed to go somewhere within a timeframe.

We found the French people to be absolutely charming and delightful, from the gentleman washing his Beneteau at the dock in Monaco who gave us advice about crissing to Corsia to the cruisers on the docks to the vendors along the streets to the families around the restaurant tables, we saw warmth and courtesy everywhere.

Overall a great experience in a beautiful part fo the world.

-BWB
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Old 16-10-2012, 02:24   #2
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Im surprised at your comment re water at Fuel docks, While its not universal, its also not that uncommon, Ive got water at Vauban, Baie des Anges , and Menton ( and Beaulieu if memory serves me right).

If you ask nicely any marina will let you dock at a slip to get water anyway.

As to fuel , Last year I was paying around euro1.80 a litre which would be around 6.80 euros, ie around 8.80 dollars a US gallon.
Dave
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Old 16-10-2012, 04:52   #3
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Thanks goboatingnow - we asked at some marinas and were turned down, but of course different places may have different policies and practices. We never met anyone who was rude the entire trip.
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Old 16-10-2012, 05:15   #4
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

A lovely cruise report!

I have not yet cruised the French part of the Med, and have been a bit afraid of it due to reports of crowded anchorages, overfilled ports, and stifling heat, so it's nice to hear a different side of it.

I have, however, done a great deal of cruising on the Atlantic side of France -- specifically, Brittany and Normany, and my experiences are similar to yours. This is a very big, very wild area, so crowding is not a problem anywhere. I also found the people (and their food, and their drink) to be absolutely lovely. The only problem I had was language -- I speak several European languages, but French unfortunately is not one of them, and in Brittany and Normandy a surprisingly small proportion of the population speaks any foreign languages. It can be a real problem if you need to communicate something more than phrasebook French can express. I guess I'm going to have to make an effort to learn the language, which of course brings its own rewards.
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Old 16-10-2012, 05:49   #5
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

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Originally Posted by BWB75 View Post
We found the French people to be absolutely charming and delightful... we saw warmth and courtesy everywhere.
This has been my experience every time I have visited France. I simply cannot figure out why it is that among so many Americans the French have a reputation for being rude and unpleasant.
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Old 16-10-2012, 06:54   #6
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
This has been my experience every time I have visited France. I simply cannot figure out why it is that among so many Americans the French have a reputation for being rude and unpleasant.
The French are very willing to respond to rudeness (both real and perceived ), perhaps folks coming from a service culture expect a bit more deference than the locals in France are prepared to give?

A little bit of lingo (and more importantly the willingness to try) goes a long way to the welcome being warm.

Of course like anywhere, it's where you go that also impacts on the experiance - certainly many conveniances to staying on the tourist track, but downside is that the welcome can wear a bit thin when you are the squillionth tourist.......

.....but as Dockhead said, if you can give up having hot sun 24/7 then the Atlantic / Northern coasts of France have much to recomend them .
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Old 16-10-2012, 08:57   #7
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

It's true that a little bit of French did help, mostly because marina offices seldom spoke much English. Speaking newly learned French to a harbour master on a VHF radio to arrange a slip (and succeeding) was hugely satisfying. We studied French beforehand and had a book of "French for Sailors." Both were very helpful.

French is a beautiful and romantic language worth learning even if you don't plan to sail there. Learning a little bit of French was definately part fo the fun.
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Old 16-10-2012, 09:40   #8
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Thanks for the report ,I have been looking for such info recently and this helps ..thanks and have fun stay safe...would be nice to hear how its going in a few weeks, months if you leave and then return to the same location....
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Old 29-10-2012, 17:55   #9
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Hi everybody,

And thanks a lot for the comment on my fellow citizen and our great apologies for the lack of english speaking in our country...it is very unfortunate and historical, a real shame indeed.

But things are moving and the new generation, facing the unemployement mainly, has to leave and work abroad and it should therefore improve a bit in the next (decade) future.

The price of the fuel is around 1,5 €uro per liter (average), which gives roughly a 6 € / gal (or 8 $ us / gallon).

I don' know very welll the med, but you'll find water at any marina's berth on the atlantic coast and channel one normally.

The french are currently the most depressive people in the world according certain studies due to the collapse of the country, but feedback like yours will certainly help them to rise the spirit.

Thank you very much again and you're welcome anytime of course!
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Old 29-10-2012, 18:38   #10
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Thanks BWB for the great report.

We just spent 2 weeks in Brittany and Paris checking out how the new boat we are having built is coming along.
Boat is about half completed, June, 2013 is sea trial date.

We found the French people really friendly and helpful wherever we were. My wife and I were so impressed with the pride the French have in their work be it boat building or a small shop selling chocolates.

My wife speaks French some and we did fine except boat French is a whole different world. "We will pick up a copy of French for Sailors". A great book we picked up in Paris and it helped us understand France was a book called, "Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong". Really helped us understand how the country of France and its people work.

We are looking forward to sailing France next summer before crossing over the pond. Good wine, great people and such a beautiful coast.
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Old 29-10-2012, 19:13   #11
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Hi Steve,

This link should help for maritime vocabulary translation:

English-French Sailing Dictionary

There are books made for that purpose as well as :

http://www.eaubleue.com/index.php?/Y...ICTIONARY.html

Or :

http://www.eaubleue.com/index.php?/D...DE-MARINE.html

Do not hesitate to contact me while you are in France if you need any kind of help, I'll be pleased to give you a hand, specially if you come in the Normandy area.

Cheers.
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Old 29-10-2012, 19:16   #12
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Steve,

I forgot, in term of book, I prefer the one that was advised by an english sailor, friend of mine, titled "A 1000 years annoying the frenchs!"...much more realistic!

Just kidding.
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Old 29-10-2012, 20:34   #13
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the leads on the French/English sailing conversions. I'll need them soon.

What an interesting boat Azawakh is. I will look up more on the Levrier De Mer 16. Boy she looks fast. As you can see we love the French for their aluminum boat building. We take charge in June in Treguier, Brittany, maybe we can get together as we always love meeting new cruisers from around the world. Keep in touch through the PM here at CF. I may soon ask your advice on buying parts and equipment in France.
Later.
Cheers.

I almost bought 1000 Years of Annoying the French. Did I miss something.
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Old 30-10-2012, 07:03   #14
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Re: An American's Obersvations About Sailing The Med

Hi Steve,

I just sent you a PM as requested.
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