Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Celebrating Bastille Day ..... July 2010

14 July 2010
On Threshold with the Windies, White Rose, Eye Candy 
It was Bastille Day and we were in a french territory so it seemed polite to join in the festivities. After a day of attending to neglected boat chores we joined all our friends onboard Threshold for happy hour. Sadly Ian and Helen on Sundancer II had left on an unplanned detour back to Sardinia so we raised a glass or two to our absent friends.

Free concert in the square at Port Vecchio
Hundreds of people waiting for the fireworks ,
This is a road, and it wasn't closed!
There was a free concert in the town square up in the old town so as the sun set we headed ashore to partake in the festivities. The waterfront area was packed, everyone already claiming their viewing spot for the fireworks display planned for 11.00pm. We did the climb back up the hill and managed to find an empty table in a cafe with a great view of the concert, ordered drinks and enjoyed all that was going on around us.

The concert ended at 10.50pm with the performers instructing the crowds to now find a spot to watch the fireworks display in the harbour. Everywhere was very busy, even the road down from the citadel had been turned into an unofficial seating area, cars trying to enter were having to back up to get out!! We felt the best place to view would be onboard Balvenie so headed back to the marina, got in the dinghy and headed home, expecting to see the start of the display enroute. But nothing happened - we got back, lifted the dinghy, got ourselves drinks, settled on our comfty chairs on the foredeck - and still nothing happened. 11.30pm came and passed, then so did midnight, Bastille Day was over without a bang.
At last the fireworks spark to life
It was a pleasant evening, we sat out a while longer and thought of the thousands of people ashore that had probably started to go home, 12.30am passed, I guess it's all computer driven these days and there had been a technical failure shame it wasn't the good ole days when someone could just throw a match at the lot!!! At 1.00am we decided it was time to give up so went below but before we had got into bed the first skyrocket erupted, a somewhat late but excellent display of fireworks that went for around 20 minutes. We suspect us yachties just may have been the only ones left to see though.

Our group disbanded the following day, amazingly we had had 6 yachts and we all ended up in 6 different anchorages on the 15th, I suspect we were all partied out! We stayed another day in Porto Vecchio before moving on.

Cruising info for Porto Vecchio:-
Anchorage - 41 35.331N 09 17.867E 4.3m in mud, some weed. Boats after us in strong winds had trouble holding but we found it very good. Long dinghy ride ashore, dinghy dock by Marina office, straight ahead past fuel dock, keep following around. Don't anchor too close to single commercial dock as big ferries come in and turn around
Communications - Free French wifi site picked up with external aerial. Chamber of Commerce site (CCFN I think), 3 days free, it gives you a log in code online. Our GYMSIM phone worked with an SFR signal, as did our Maltese Vodafone which is on European roaming
Ashore - Everything you need, Closest Supermarket - follow road inland at end of waterfront (away from citadel) about 10 mins walk, bakery enroute. ATM's around town
Fuel Dock in the marina, didn't get any but remember it being cheaper than Sardinia

Formalities - none

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