We left Grimaud at lunch time on Tuesday and found the Golfe de St Tropez rammed full of sailing boats of all shapes and sizes. Although the wind was only about 5 or 6 knots and exactly from the direction we wanted to go in there was no way on this earth I was going to motor, so we spent about three hours tacking back and forth along the north side of the Golfe of St Tropez trying to stay out of the way of those in the parade of sail or in the marshalling areas for the races. Valeria’ took some amazing photos and they say more than I ever could.
In trying to get a berth in St Tropez I found that they don’t accept reservations, you have to take pot luck on the day and so whilst at anchor in Anse de Canbiers, just round the corner, I rang up and found they couldn’t take us. Unfortunately we arrived in the run up to ‘Les Voiles’, an annual yachting event, so it was like finding a berth in Cowes during Cowes Week. So instead of St Tropez we found a mooring in Port Grimaud, 3 or 4 miles further on at the head of the Golfe de St Tropez. It was pretty urgent to get alongside as we had our blocked toilet to fix and as it turned out it must have been fate that sent us here, of which more later.
Port Grimaud is a relatively new development, dating from the 1980s, turning marsh land into a housing development around a network of canals so that you can park your boat outside your back door. Deliberately Venetian in concept and really cool but a little dated with shops, boutiques and restaurants on the touristy end of the scale; but it is a pleasant enough place to wander round.
There is also a ferry from Port Grimaud to St Tropez. St Tropez started life as a deep water port and fishing village, fortified in the 1500’s. More recently it was discovered by Bridgit Bardot and some films were set here, and boom, St Tropez became the place to be seen. As a town it is almost quaint, loads of character, old buildings and narrow streets and passageways, and very little modern development, but I can’t see what all the fuss is about. St Tropez appears to be famous, for being famous.
We left Toulon on Tuesday, the 20th and set off towards St Tropez. We had two days of almost perfect down wind sailing conditions and one of little wind at all and spent each night in a different anchorage. Rather than be a bore with technicalities here are the photos.
20th September – Baie d’Alicastre, Ile de Porquerelle.
21st September – Mouillage de Jova, Baie de Cavalier sur Mer.
22nd September – Anse de Canebiers, St Tropez
They don’t accept berth reservations in St Tropez and it is now quite important we get alongside to fix our blocked toilet.