03/08/2012, Les Minimes Marina (position 46 08.572'N 01 10.056'W)
As well as having the largest Marina in Europe, La Rochelle is also reported to have the most Chandler's in close proximity. Six and all within half a mile of each other - Excellent. Bruce is in his element and I'm going to have to work hard to look after the wallet!
Having spent a good couple of hours browsing across all the Chandlers we actually found one that is nearly as good as Darthaven Marina, Kingswear, being well stocked and nicely laid out - Phil you should be really proud of what you've created at Darthaven!
Whilst here we've taken the opportunity to purchase a new dinghy as the UV has finally taken its toll and done some serious damage to our current one as the fabric has 'gone sticky'. Every time we sit on it we literally have to 'peel' ourselves off, our bottoms then coated with a sticky residue that's hard to remove. Needless to say, we'll be making a cover to protect our new dinghy during the winter months.
No doubt we'll be visiting again whilst we're here ... Budget blown totally!
02/08/2012, Les Minimes Marina (position 46 08.572'N 01 10.056'W)
It's been a year already and we're really loving the lifestyle! :-)
01/08/2012, Les Minimes Marina (position 46 08.572'N 01 10.056'W)
We are really spoilt for choice when it comes to Marina's in La Rochelle.
Les Minimes is reported to be the largest in Europe, providing berths for over 3,000 yachts and motorboats with work underway to hold another 1,000 by January 2014 - it's just massive and for the first time since leaving the UK we felt that we would benefit from having our bicycles onboard.
There are three smaller marinas in the town centre; 'Vieux Port' and 'Bassin a Flot' which are located in between the two towers of St Nicolas and La Chaine and are surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants and all very busy and the 'Bassin des Chalutiers' which is full of super-sized yachts and catamarans and even more restaurants but slightly less crowded. Both 'Bassin a Flot' and 'Bassin des Chalutiers' are accessed through locks gates at more or less high water whilst the 'Vieux Port' is accessible most of the time.
As for lifting these super-sized yachts and catamarans, well you need a big crane! John, how about Darthaven invest in one of these at 150 tonnes?
Our visit couldn't have been better timed when we saw the arrival of at least 30 classic wooden yachts, all dressed (flags flown in a particular order from the boats bow to the masthead and back down to the stern) and varnished to perfection, clearly these yachts were very well loved and it was a pleasure to see. Money appeared to be no object with most of the crew members dressed in colour co-ordinated shirts.
Having briefly walked around all three Marina's, we've decided to remain in Les Minimes for the time being (now we've paid we can move between any of the marina's at our leisure), even though it's a walk from the town centre. La Rochelle is full of history and places to visit, so we've decided to stay up to the end of August in order to explore. It's also near the airport so ideal for Bruce to travel back home for his appointment with the consultant.