There is an issue with the outboard motor and Francois and Nick need to give it some attention. This is a protracted business and involves consultation with Olivier the marina mechanic who advises various measures. The problem stems from the fact that the motor was dropped into the sea 😦 and although it has since been serviced it still does not work properly. The various adjustments are made and the motor is once more in working order.
Lunch today is simple. Fefe has carefully peeled some fat white asparagus spears. They have the girth and length of those little wooden rolling pins you get in kids’ pastry sets! Poached to perfection they are then ready for dipping into a homemade mousseline (a mayonnaise made with egg white). To follow we have a few slices of boiled saussison and some boiled Rouge Cherie potatoes. My afternoon slips away on my bunk and it is late afternoon when I wake. The Mistral, which has been promised these past few days, is rising. I first notice then we go round to our bit of beach for a swim. The water is unpleasantly choppy and there is detritus floating close to the shoreline. After our swim we rejoin the others and have an Aperol Spritz – a cocktail of slightly bitter orange liqueur, Prosecco, tonic water and slices of orange and I love its marmaladey taste. Supper on board will be easy, gravadlax, salads from yesterday, this preceded by air dried ham and melon. This day has followed a very Mediterranean diet and I am beginning to feel that I am shedding an ounce or two 🙂
During the night the wind moans like the rush that precedes an underground train before it clears the tunnel and pulls alongside the platform. And there are some intermittent gusts which wake me but I read myself back to sleep. There are mini-croissants for breakfast and passion fruit. These days I skip my cup of Red Bush tea. Without china cups it is a bit of a hardship! I go straight into the coffee and I like the brand we are using very much: Velour Noir.
This day is mini-market day and we are after some fish. There has been some discussion between Francois and Fefe about ‘os de seiche’ which I understand to be cuttlebones. I am wondering where this fits into our provisioning until I suddenly understand that these are in face cloud formations, ‘nuages lenticulaires’ which are typical of Mistral skies.
At the little market by the post office we buy some tuna steaks and some large prawns, olives, pickled garlic cloves, fruit and saladstuffs. Thus provided for we wend our way back to ‘Till’ via the bar. I suddenly think how good it would be to have a tomato juice for a change and this becomes the first of many that I will drink during our sojourn in the south of France.
A swim before lunch is required and the sea has calmed down and the water is surprisingly clear and clean but the temperature strikes chilly. Yet another good Mediterranean lunch is consumed with the tuna steaks being cooked to the barest minimum.
When we start to prepare our supper later on, we make the first of a number of unwelcome discoveries. The ice box that we are using to chill wine and surplus supplies has stopped working. It is apparently ten years old so Francois is minded to buy another. However when we discover later in the evening that the fridge is not working either this requires some deductive thought and eventually we notice that the boat lights are somewhat dim which leads to an inspection of the boat’s batteries. Putting this information together it appears that the batteries are not charging sufficiently to meet the electrical demands being made on the boat. Some more fixes will be necessary. Olivier will have to be consulted again and probably some parts will have to be ordered. This will involve changes of plan with regard to our sailing activities. We have already lost time for our departure from Frejus to make the crossing to Corsica, the prime objective of our three-week stay with the Tailles on their boat. But we remain optimistic that we can cut and run and make the 18-hour crossing leaving enough time to explore Corsica, maybe even drop down to the island of Elba and still be back in Frejus by 30th June, the date for which our train tickets have been booked. So in the meantime there is nothing for it but to clink glasses and enjoy the good food Francois has prepared for us.