Along the French Riviera & Côte d’Azur – Part Three

Hello, Sunday, 21st August!

We took the dinghy and visited the Île de Porquerolles, strolled around and bought some fresh salad, fruit and bread. We also had lunch at the restaurant L’Orangeraie, which was outstanding! The especially for me created vegan meal was amazing! 🤩

After two o’clock we were back and started to get ready for our journey to La Grande Motte. A night sail was planned, and ETA was estimated for the next afternoon! Perfect 👍 Patrik had booked two nights in the marina. And Pascale’s train from Montpellier was leaving on the 23rd, after 3 p.m. Plenty of time!

It was a bit cloudy and there were still some waves, between 1.5-2 meters. But they should become less during the afternoon. Wind was predicted around 15 knots, +/-. So far so good!


After more than 2 hours close-hauled motor sailing, with only the genoa out, the waves wouldn’t get smaller – rather the opposite! And they smashed non-stop directly into the bow. Additionally, were the gusts up to 30+ knots and we realized we are in middle of the mighty Mistral….. 😱 It became more and more uncomfortable; Pascale was scared and even I felt queasy for the first time since I started sailing!

In the end we had to reaf the genoa and tried to continue our bumpy and very uncomfy journey.

We were outside Toulon (only!) when Patrik announced that we would never make in time continuing like this, it would take approx. 35-40 hours!

JEEEZZ, well, thanks but no thanks! Imagining two nights like this – and the forecast didn’t look good either – was pure horror! So after a short briefing we decided to return to Porquerolles. Pascale would have to re-arrange her journey home, but she agreed gladly of course 😥

No sooner said than done and Luna Azzurra was turned around 180°. After rough(-ly) 1,5 hours we were back at our old anchor spot and after 7.30 p.m. we were settled and glad to be safe again.


Pascale started to search the net, trying to find a way get to Montpellier, without missing her booked train. We ate our dinner, which was potato salad, vegan sausages and the lovely bread we bought at lunchtime. Who would have thought that we would spend the night at the island again?

The next day, 22nd August, it was sunny and hot. We took the dinghy and booked a berth for two nights. While Patrik and I got Luna Azzurra, Pascale stayed on land, trying to gather more information about how to leave the island. It turned out that there was a ferry at 07.50 a.m. the next day, to Tour Fondue. From there she could catch a bus to Toulon, then a train to Montpellier. The time schedule was tight, and we hoped the trip would go smoothly without delays or bad surprises! At least she speaks fluently French, which made the whole mess a bit more endurable for her ⏳

Our last evening together had arrived and we celebrated with homecooked penne all’arrabbiata, fresh salad and a nice bottle of Porquerolles wine (which apparently is famous and recommendable – yes, we can absolutely confirm that 🍷).

Morning came and after we had coffee it was time to say good-bye! We wished her a safe journey home and waved until the ferry disappeared around the corner. She will always be welcome back, as she is such an easy-to-handle guest 😘


Afterwards Patrik and I started to prepare the laundry, all towels and bedlinen – including ours, plus kitchen towels. Luckily, we were up that early, because we had a couple of loads to be done and the dryer wasn’t the fastest. At 2 p.m. we were finished, we had also cleaned the boat as best as possible, inside at least.

Washing boats on Porquerolles is strictly forbidden, since the island hasn’t an own well and water must be brought by tankships. Sadly, many visitors ignore this rule and wash their boats anyway by filling buckets of water from their freshwater tank, which they refill again afterwards. How shameful and disrespectful! ☹

We then did some grocery shopping again, orange juice, wine, olive oil and prepared our dinner: Ratatouille. Always a must when we’re sailing! *yummy*

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