Close this search box.

Waiting in the Famous French Côte d’Azur

We share our adventures in the azure water of the famous Côte d'Azur in Southern France while we are waiting out a wicked mistral wind that could last into early next week.

Published By


Waiting Out More Weather Woes

The famous French Côte d’Azur has been home since we left Italy over a week ago. This is the French Riviera so I have had my last swim of our Mediterranean season in these azure waters.   I’ve always wanted to swim here. In the last week things have gotten rapidly cooler. We have gone from wearing nothing but bathers to trousers and jackets, and blankets on the bed in just 7 days.

Our constant thread of weather woes continue as we’ve been stuck waiting in the south of France for 8 days and counting.

Result: it’s been a quiet week requiring plenty of patience. We’ve found this gorgeous coast honors its name very well. Truly, every shade of blue is represented along this gloriously aqua hued coast.

Last swim of the season but lucky to be in the beautiful Côte d’Azur

Monaco, Cannes and Saint-Tropez

We have figured out we’ve sailed more than 7,000 nautical miles since we left England 18 months ago, Since leaving Italy last week we have sailed into locales that feature heavily across all modern mediums. Places that are big budget movie locations, feature on glossy magazine covers and between the pages of romance novels. We never imagined places like this would be our ‘neighborhood’ and form part of our sailing story.

In the past week we have cruised :-

  • past the minute principality of Monaco and its administrative capital Monte Carlo . The place is perfectly tailored, tall and yet small. She’s like a petite super model owning the catwalk, strutting her stiletto power and showing her dollar signs with proud audacity.  In actuality she’s tiny and we could fit the entire country into one photographic snap
  • into film festival fabulous city of Cannes – where tall ships greeted us amongst a huge sailing regatta of every type of yacht.  There was a team sailing New Zealand America’s Cup favourite KZ7 (aka Kiwi Magic) there too. They were so pleased to meet kiwis and had a great chat with the captain.
The captain met the crew of this famous KZ7 America’s Cup namesake.
  • Bigger than Monaco, Cannes is a supermodel  – from top end hotels to perfectly formed palm trees, she is well lit, wearing full makeup and glorious but even beautiful bare-faced in the morning.  It’s easy to see how this place was adored by Coco Chanel who is said to have popularized the resort town.  Cannes is a dream destination that ribbons its way along the blue coast with islands dotting the approach. And Waiata was anchored right out front of the main strip proudly flying her New Zealand flag. 
  • to Saint-Tropez, a former French fishing village made famous by the likes of Brigitte Bardot who was often photographed frolicking on the beach. This was a very slippery anchorage.  The bay is full of weed and our anchor didn’t want to bite so we ended up hanging off the hook a little deeper out amongst the super yachts.  Whilst Saint-Tropez was once the preferred destination of hard bodied rock gods and glamourous movie stars, today she is faded with wrinkles and lacking the sex appeal she had in her younger days. 
  • And we’re now in Le Lavandou on the Côte d’Azur. As it’s name suggests, it is famous for its lavender and I have it on good authority from a dear friend in the know, that the French produce the best lavender oil. We are floating above blue diamond water that sparkles with such clarity that we can see every ripple of sand and tiny shell underneath us.  The sea is rich in aquatic life and pleasingly, the environment is respected with no litter – sadly a rare statement and indictment on how some treat our planet.  
The beaches are superlatively crystal clear

So we are on day 8 of what according to weather forecasts, will be an 11 day wait for the mistral wind to blow through.

We have really great holding here at our bay in Le Lavandou. Other yachts also coming from Canne, or the opposite direction from Marseille or Toulouse join us in the long wait.  The mistral has been blowing for days with a roar like sound and gusts into the mid 40’s in knots.  But we’re relaxed. We’ve been through far worse, like when we had our horror bridle break at 3.00 am, in snow, in Greece earlier this year . You can read about that terrifying episode here).

Moments of mistral calm in our bay doesn’t mean it’s calm out there.  Wind and wave conditions are currently more than challenging  from the Bay of Lyon to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is a game of patience. At this time it’s looking like we could sail across the expanse on Monday or Tuesday, It should take 3 days and nights of non stop sailing to get safely from here to Palma, Mallorca. And so for now, we continue to wait.

A pink house and boat along the blue Côte d’Azur coast

Blue – the colour and hue

‘Eiffel 65’ wrote this super catchy song back in 1998. While their name might lead you to believe they are French, ‘Eiffel 65’ are actually an Italian group. In 1999 the track launched them into super stardom with their album entitled ‘Europop’ being a hit in 18 countries. The track has a great hook, is hugely danceable and the nonsense lyrics are an earworm for sure. In the Cote D’Azure everything is a hue of blue, and this track ‘Blue’ is currently airing on tv commercials here in France making it a more than appropriate track for today.

“Blue are the people here
That walk around
Blue like my corvette its in and outside
Blue are the words I say
And what I think
Blue are the feelings
That live inside me

I’m blue
Da ba dee da ba di
Da ba dee da ba di
Da ba dee da ba di”

One Response

  1. Another wonderfully descriptive post Connie, it’s as if we were there.

    Sadly not though, I’m sure we would love to see those lovely colours and Marian would be in her element visiting all of those famous venues.

    Let’s hope the weather is a little kinder next week for your long journey. Fair winds and Good luck with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter you name and email address to subscribe to Sailing Waiata updates

We have two mailing list, one for the main blog (Connie mostly) and one for TODAY I LEARNT. You can sub to both if you want to unsub from one or the other just use the unsub link in the email you receive.