Semaine days 4
19 May 2013
The parade on the final day is the climax of this event. All the flotillas line up behind their appointed tall ship and process into the bay in order. This provides the most amazing spectacle, and the vantage points are duly covered in spectators, in their thousands. In previous years, the ribs and speedboats roaring through the parade have spoiled the view, and swamped some of the smaller dinghies. But this year, police boats patrolled the parade and held back the pleasure boats, and also the strong winds and rough water meant that the dinghies and rowing boats stayed in the Golfe, and most didn't attempt the parade. This meant that there was much less close quarter action, although we were nearly rammed by a chancer in a speedboat who had evaded the cordon.
The pic is of the tidal swirl known to Brit sailors as the washing machine, where the tidal flows meet round the end of an island, and can turn you 180 degrees before you can lean on the tiller.
The Semaine has been everything we hoped for, a week of lovely sailing in a beautiful place with a different anchorage each night. And we share with all the boats here the survival of the winter work of sanding and varnishing, and the schlep to get here. (And if the disloyal, whistleblowing aforementioned crew member is sentenced to be keelhauled, I will be pleased to take the helm for the carrying out of the sentence).
I heartily recommend the week to anyone with the time to get their boat here.