Category Archives: Mediterranean (Leg 6)

Corsica – The true Jewel of the Mediterranean

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOut of everywhere in the Med I was most looking forward to revisiting Corsica. I had sailed there with my parents a few years back and longed to return. It is probably one of the most breathtaking, dramatic and magnificent islands we’ve been to. Only about 100miles from the mainland of France it is surprising how few yachts cruise there considering the volume of yachts in the Cotes D’Azur. We were there in early September which is a magical time of year for cruising.

Corsica is most well known for its superb walking trails and treks. The grueling GR20 trail is one of the worlds top hiking trails, stretching 180km from Calenzana in the north, traversing diagonally, to Conca in the south. This is reputed to be one of the most difficult long-distance treks on the continent varying in height in about 10,000 meters with exposed scrambles, and at some point’s ladders and steel ropes to assist walkers! The whole thing takes at least two weeks, and involves staying in refuges or camping along the way.

Needless to say we didn’t have this length of time to commit to such a thing, however Paul and I have already starting about returning here next year! Hopefully the latter comment in itself should give you an idea of how much we liked this place. Out of everywhere we’ve been, it’s top of the list to return. Now that we are factoring in flight costs in this decision it does narrow our choice down to Europe.   Whatever new island or place we next explore it will be sadly without LUSH as this magnificent chapter of our life is nearing the end.

This was actually our last week cruising on LUSH with Eddie and Marie before returning to Antibes (France) to do an overhaul on LUSH and handover to the new crew.

Coastal Corsica is breathtaking flanked by green foothills and dramatic rocky ridges and cliffs piercing the sky with miles of golden sand beaches below.  There are six citadels on the island, the most famous being Bonifacio. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit Bonofico with Eddie but the memory of this wonderful town is still etched in my head since I came with my parents. Bonifacio is hands down the most dramatic town to come to by sea. As you approach the harbour entrance you are greeted by cliffs on either side that seam to just keep going skyward with a fortress sitting precariously on the cliff edge! Awesome!

We did manage to have a beautiful few days sailing along the south east corner of the island and had plenty of BBQs on the beaches ashore much to EJ’s delight! The natural harbour of Porto Vecchio was an ideal spot to finish our Corsican adventures. It has a charming citadel and old town on the hilltop and is steeped in history. We strolled about the medieval streets and ate dinner alfresco. Actually I think nearly every meal we’ve had, either onboard LUSH or ashore, over the past two years has been alfresco!

One Life….. Live it…. alfresco!

Lots of love,

Audrey xxx

Madness = Ibiza in August!!!!!

IMG_4106Everywhere in the Med is crazy busy for the month of August and if you want to go cruising anywhere that month I would recommend the west of Ireland!! However, if ‘crazy’ ‘busy’ and ‘partying’ is your thing than there is no where I could recommend more than Ibiza.

There are another couple of good reasons to cruise Ibiza….. the obvious one being the heat… man it is hot hot hot there in August and the water is easily a few degrees warmer than the south of France. It is actually a stunning island to cruise, with scenery certainly prettier than it’s neighbouring island of Majorca and more options for anchoring etc provided you get the weather right!! We were unfortunate on our second week there with nasty swell in some of the anchorages making it unbearable to stay overnight. We had two of our worst nights at anchor over the whole world trip there and had to move in the middle of the night returning to our beloved anchorage in the bay of Cala Jondal on the south coast next to the infamous Blue Marlin beach club.

Now, beach clubs in Ibiza are at a whole other level to any other clubs and bars we’ve partied at to date.  Ibiza is the celebrity party capital of the world and the Blue Marlin is right up there with other island VIP hotspots for celebs and glitterati to soak up the Ibizian sun, sip cocktails and indulge their VIP aspirations. Apparently the Blue Marlin has been the largest seller of Champagne and one of the main sellers of premium brands in Ibiza. The wealth dripping from the place is staggering. Everyone sports the best of beachwear with bodies to match. It’s just such a cool place with superyachts moored outside with superyacht crew ferrying various guests to and fro.

We could also have left the yacht in a marina when the swell kicked up however that would have cost €1,000 per night, definitely the most expensive berth in Europe!! Monaco is a whole lot cheaper than that working out at €250 per night for a 90 foot yacht, still a pricey night in comparison to dropping the hook for free!

Most yachts pop out to the small island ofFormentera, 4 miles south of Ibiza, on day trips and boy it is some sight when you see around a thousand yachts in the main anchorage.Definitely the busiest anchorage we’ve ever been to. There is even an ‘anchoring service’ whereby a member of staff drives a rib about and points where to park the yacht, pretty much like a massive car park except you really wouldn’t want to drift anchor here with little or no room

to swing you always need someone on the boat keeping watch. We were boarded by the spanish customs there, wow they keep a close eye on all the traffic and will board most boats at some stage during your stay. They went through all the boats paperwork with Paul before they were satisfied.   Out of everywhere in the world the spanish authorities have been the most inquisitive and suspicious, always looking to catch you out. Fortunately we have a super record of everything onboard and all the necessary paperwork to hand for these surprise visits. At the end of the day if they are unhappy with anything in our paperwork they have the authority to impound the vessel!

So, would I recommend Ibiza to any of you who wish to cruise there? Yes, I would. With it’s rustic beauty and pretty little coves along with some of the clearest warmest water in the Med it surprised me as an island that has a lot more to offer than just pumping nightclubs and beaches. Be sure to keep an eye on the forecast and swell for anchoring and maybe don’t go in the month of August!!!

One Life….. Live it

Audrey xxx

Palma de Mallorca

Palma is the stunning capital city on the Balearic island of Mallorca. It’s a well-known watering hole for professional sailors with a vast array of marinas along the coast in the shadow of the city’s magnificent La Seu cathedral.

This is the centre of the marine industry in the Med. There is a heap of services available to yachties. You can get anything done from project management, refit, haul out yards, paint services, yacht detailing, crew placement, training etc…


It’s such a picturesque city with the old town at the heart of it where you spend hours ambling through the quaint streets popping in and out of shops and cafes, and even just chilling in a wee tapas bar with your glass of sangria! Ah, bliss! Along with pro crew Palma is awash with retired sailors, it is one of the main sailing residential spots in the Med, a perfect place to settle on terra firma and still keep your eyes on the ocean. One of the residential spots is actually known as ‘the Skipper’s graveyard’!!


Besides catching up with some old sailing friends I was excited to hit the food markets! I just love Spanish food and flavors… chorizo, Jamon Iberico, garlic, smoked paprika, gazpacho, olives, manchego cheese, and the finest of olive oils, seafood and shellfish galore. For me this is culinary heaven!


After the guts of two weeks there, getting on with a load of jobs onboard along with meeting a few potential buyers for LUSH (yes, she is for sale!), we set to sea again returning to the South of France by the end of July.


Apologies for the delay in blogging folks, we’ve just been really busy as per usual. The past month we’ve cruised the south of France to start with for a few days, spent the guts of two weeks cruising Ibiza, briefly returning to Palma for a couple of days and then onto Corsica and Sardinia for the final week and yesterday we left Corsica and returned once more to the South of France. We’re currently anchored off Monaco!   I’ll catch up on these final blogs next week or so.


Love to you all back home,


One Life…. Live it!!


Audrey xxx


A month cruising the French Riviera!!

11th June – 6th July

 It may come as no surprise for you to hear that the French Riviera is like no where else we’ve been on this world trip. This is a strip of coast with the most fancy ports in the world. The sailing itself isn’t great with very little breeze this time of year and so all the fun happens ashore.  The Côte d’Azur (French Riviera), runs along the coastline of the southeast corner of France, roughly extending from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez in the west.

On arrival into Monaco our french adventure was kickstarted with a slap-up breakfast aboard our bosses new sunseeker 155!!! Yes, we have been totally and utterly spoilt by Eddie & Marie on this trip and to pull into his home of Monaco and get treated to a 7-star breakfast onboard BLUSH, his brand new motor boat, is just unimaginable!

After a day in Monaco we sailed down the coast to the most luxurious port of them all, Saint Tropez!! Saint Tropez is everything you expect from one of the most renouned holiday destinations for the worlds the rich & famous. It’s elegant, chic, pretty beyond belief, designer shops galore, cutie-pie fish & veg markets and of course world class cusine. The girls are glam, the men ooze coolness and the boats are bigger and fatter than ever before. Wealth just pours out of the place and we soon realised our pacific islander look just wouldn’t cut it anymore!!

After a few oysters, moules-frites, escargot and the odd pain au choc it really doesn’t take long to get into the oul joie de vivre! We continued our cruise, sailing to the three Iles d’Or: Porquerolles, Port Cros & Ile du Levant. These islands are only a stones throw from Saint Tropez and are well worth a visit. Lovely hikes, beautiful swimming and superb restaurants where sea food really is top of the menu.

We pulled into Antibes on a couple of occasions during our time in France, it’s another charming french spot and brilliant for getting jobs done on LUSH. This is where everyone looking for employment in the superyacht industry hang out and spend their time doing day-work on yachts, which are passing through, while looking for permanent positions as crew members.

We returned to Monaco for the opening of the Monaco Boat Show, I’ve already posted a load of the pics on our Facebook page Monaco Yacht Club Opening. This is by far the biggest and most luxurious yacht club in the world with rumours that it cost up on €500million!!! We were berthed right in front of the club with a red carpet running down the quayside next to us. Very fancy indeed! The scene was incredible with the crew up to ninety working away on all the superyachts and the owners entertaining guests onboard into the early hours.

We left first thing the next day for the absolutely stunning anchorage of Ville Franche where a whole load more wealth and oppulance awaited us. The village itself is adorable with lots of little streets and lovely restaurants with delightful staff. The properties along the shore are reputed to be amoung the most expensive in the world, especially those by Cap Ferrat where even 100million euros doesn’t go far. From there we ventured to Cannes and a couple of other lovely anchorages on route, one nicer than the next.

After a month swanning around the chic ports of the Cote d’Azur it was time for us to set sail again, this time bound for Palma in the spanish island of Majorca. Perfect timing to refill my freezer with fish and thankfully we did just that, catching a load of the delicious Big Eye tuna on route! We were glad to leave France, in fairness, as we all felt we were turning into pain au chocs ourselves with the amout of eating we did. Certainly time for a tuna diet!

One Life… Live it!!

Audrey xxx

Mediterranean Magic

After the guts of two weeks in Vilamoura, Portugal, it was time for us to set sail for Monaco. It’s such a joy to sail in these latitudes this time of year. After nearly two years in the tropics we welcome the stretch in the evenings and the stunning Mediterranean sunsets. In the tropics you get 12 hours of daylight between 6am and 6pm and there isn’t much in the line of dawn and dusk.

The weather for our passage was very mild; in fact, of the four and a half day passage, we had three days of absolute calm. Very rarely on our world adventure has the sea been this still, and on our final day there wasn’t even the slightest zephyr of wind. We honestly couldn’t distinguish between the sea and the sky. Incredible! The Mediterranean has great marine life and plenty of friendly dolphins playing on our bow wave. Thankfully our recent fishing drought ended with a couple of tuna on the last day of the Skipjack and Big Eye variety, the latter was exceptionally tasty! Along with the dolphins we had a couple of massive humpback whales, a load of funky sunfish and a scattering of turtles. Gosh, the sea really is a magic place, even a few hours on a boat brings you back in touch with what’s real in the world and you just marvel at the wonders of nature and her wildlife.

Approaching the coast of France and Monaco you soon loose focus on the sea and wildlife with your attention drawn towards this magnificent coastline and even more so towards the mega yachts and motorboats that inhabit it. We did feel a tad intimidated docking in Monaco’s famous Chicane Quay, where a 90-foot yacht resembles a laser dinghy next to these floating glittering hotels. Nonetheless, we had LUSH beautifully polished, hoisted our Monegasque courteously flag, donned our fancy pick ts and white shorts determined to rub fenders with the best of them!

Anyhow. not many of the 100 plus super yachts in there could boast they’ve just sailed around the world, could they? It costs a small fortune to move those yachts 10miles down the coast let alone 28,000 miles around the world, not that I expect that to be the reason they sit in the Med from one season to the next. In fairness, it’s a pretty special place to explore and after sailing around the world, returning here really does make you appreciate Europe all the more. It’s hard to beat the history, beauty and diversity the Med offers with so many exquisite countries, cultures and cuisine right next to each other.

Who knows what the next few months will bring us? It’s very exciting to be cruising the Med, that’s for sure. And what a place to start than in Monaco? Plan for the week.. I think a tour of the Cote d’Azur along with it’s chic ports is in order!!

One Life.. Live it!


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