Over the years, we have had several battles with the Golfe du Lion, whose deserved reputation for strong winds has beleaguered our craning of masts and getting away to Spain. The area around Cap Bear ( a most unimpressive promontory) always appears in local wx forecasts as a place for strong winds. It seems that they funnel down from the Pyrenees, or are sucked up by them.

Yesterday was no exception. We left Cap d’Agde at 0600 with several forecasts saying something different. During the day, the wind came closer to the head of the boat and got stronger, so we were quite pleased to enter the calm of Port Vendres after a 9 hor 49 mile run. The boat coped brilliantly: the weak link was the crew. Colvic Watsons are very tough.

Port Vendres is a super, natural harbour, where they amicably combine a yacht marina with a fishing fleet, a ferry to Menorca, a cargo boat dock and a couple of cruise ships a week. For the big boys, the harbour is very tight and watching them berthing in the strong wind is always interesting.

French marina prices are often bracketed as – say – 8m -10 m. At both Rousillon marinas so far, we have been tariffed at 111fr a night, or 611 fr a week, with all possible services included. Even so, they still make a profit. MDL?

After all this, we are still at the mercy of the wx in this sometimes difficult corner. We had hoped to spend one night and leave today, but the halyards were rattling this morning, so we stayed. This was a wise move. When we walked up to view the sea beyond the breakwater, it was totally covered with white horses. Now, we still have several forecasts giving everything from force 2 to force 7. This is dither time. Pile ou face. Heads or tails.

If possible we will get away from this problematic corner early tomorrow morning- before the wind gets up, as it normally does and head for Menorca – 155 miles at 5.3 knots. If the halyards are tapping loud and clear, we shall go back to bed.

Honi soit qui mal y pense!!!!!