Money Penny had been ‘alone’ since September, during which time we flew from Marseille to Faro to spend a 10 day ‘holiday’ with Jason, Toni & Judith’s grandson Ralph, and attend the beautiful wedding of our friends Ceri & Owain……oh and yes, more importantly a proposal of marriage from Alistair to Judith!! Of course, the answer was ‘yes’. Now all we had to do was, to decide where and when! We drove the car back to the UK from Albufeira, spent a few days at home and then travelled to Southampton to meet up with ‘Moana’ (Judith’s brother’s boat) . Moana’s blog can be found at:- https://www.sailmoana.com/ The experience of crewing on this fabulous yacht was a memory not to be forgotten. Southampton to Porto, Porto to Madeira, Madeira to The Canaries. Dolphins, Whales & Turtles were the name of the game……..also, very little wind! We were glad we weren’t paying the fuel bill.
Anyway, back to Money Penny. We had decided to drive back to Marseille as this was the easiest way to take back all of the spare parts, antifoul, marmite & baked beans! (NB: price of antifoul in Europe can be as much as 215 euros for 3 ltrs compared to £85 in UK & the only place we have found any marmite is Morrisons in Gibraltar!). We stopped on route to collect a small outboard engine we had purchased on ebay (would it fit in the car?), stopped overnight in Bath to catch up with friends, Vikki & Tim, and then made our way to Portsmouth for an afternoon crossing.
The drive from Le Harve to Marseille gave us the opportunity to stop off overnight with more friends, Marielle & Herve in Bourdeau, near Chambery. Unfortunately we had chosen a holiday weekend to travel and the whole of Europe seemed to be heading South. It took us far longer than anticipated to arrive at our destination! We spent the morning with Marielle & Herve and then said our goodbyes.
We had heard various stories about the Mistral winds causing damage to boats during the winter months and were anxious at what condition we would find Money Penny in. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised as she was in great condition . Even the tarpaulin that we had covered her in was still intact!
Over the next few days we worked hard cleaning, sewing (replacing zips & curtains),polishing, replacing oil/anodes & , of course, antifouling. On the 15th June, with Alistair wearing a very large smile, we hoisted our third Welsh Flag and Money Penny made her way to the water with a little help from a very large and efficient hoist.
We also ‘played hard’! As we motored to our berth we noticed that Ian & Jo, who we met when we came ashore in September, were onboard. It was lovely to meet up again. They keep their boat in Port Napoleon full time travelling back & fore on the Eurostar (6hrs from UK to Marseille),whenever they can find the time to leave their ‘office’! We ate, drank, shopped and also visited Arles for the day with its Roman Theatre, Amphitheatre, and pretty streets in the old part of the town. Arles was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1981. Well worth a visit if you are in the vicinity.
On the 18th June we filled the car with items that we will eventually take home and placed it in the large indoor storage facility in Port Napoleon. Eventually will fly back to Marseille to collect the car.
Our 2019 adventure onboard Money Penny was about to begin.
Leaving Port Napoleon.