We never intended to spend nearly two weeks around the French city of Antibes, the plan was a few days at best. But one thing led to another, and we zigzagged Berkeley East from marina to anchorage, to a different anchorage and back, and so on. We settled into a routine, a mix of chores, errands, exploration, and relaxation on the French Riviera, aka the Cote d'Azur, our temporary home.
We spent time with the locals in Antibes, enthusiastically watching the World Cup. We went out to the islands off Cannes, and into the chic city. We lounged at beach clubs, hiked in the parks.
We were in awe of our neighbors, so many mega yachts in one place. BE was surrounded by Russians! And Brits.
Le Grand Bleu was impressive. At 371 feet, she is one of the largest private yachts in the world and carries two additional yachts, a 73-foot sailboat (19 feet longer than Berkeley East) and a 68-foot powerboat, as well as a landing craft to shuttle the Range Rover to shore.
But Eclipse cast a shadow over every other yacht in the area. Owned by Roman Abramovich, Eclipse is a 533-foot luxury motor yacht that cost an estimated 340 million euros and requires a crew of 70. She has two helicopter pads, 24 guest cabins, two swimming pools, a mini-submarine, and is fitted with a missile detection system. We wondered what was done if a missile were detected.
In addition to most of the boats being well over 100 feet long, living on the Cote d'Azur also requires having an enormous collection of luxury water toys. Jet skis, paddleboards and kayaks, sure. But the jet surf, sea bob and flyboard are also essential. Some of the largest super yachts had separate support boats to carry all the playthings.
From time to time, we need to take care of US business in foreign ports, such as sending a letter via Fed Ex or DHL. One would think that this is a simple task, but it is not, and when living on the Cote d'Azur, it was far from ordinary. This particular time took the better part of a day to accomplish, and upwards of 300 euro to have a letter overnighted to the US. But the biggest difficulty was, when calling for an Uber to take us to the Fed Ex office, we didn't know if we should choose the Uber X, the Uber Black, or the Uber Copter.