Monday, 2 September 2013

A Luxury Yacht Charter on the French Riviera!

So, I have spent the past 9 months staring at yachts and boats all day every day for work, and have had the chance to go out on twice on a little rib and a solid little motorboat. Once in May when it hadn't quite warmed up yet, but the sun was out and shining and the waters were clear. We also went out on perhaps the cloudiest day in August on a Key Largo, and the sea was rather dark and choppy... Still it was fun being up front an splashed/drenched in the waves. Surprise surprise there's no picture proof of the day as it wasn't camera safe!
Day Charter Sacs 680
Pretending to drive
However, as an end of summer treat (and training!) we went out for the day on a Sunseeker Predator 68, one of the favourites on the French Riviera, named Rehab. We started the day off in sunny Antibes, where breakfast was served on the table on deck in the morning sunshine. What better location for breakfast than heading out of port with the wind in your hair?
Breakfast on luxury Sunseeker Rehab
Leaving Port Vauban
We headed out towards the Îles de Lérins, just off Palm Beach in Cannes. The water here in the shallow areas is as clear blue as the Caribbean and you can see all the way to the bottom. We dived off the boat and in to the warm waters for a lovely morning swim - so refreshing!
Fruit Platter Sunseeker Predator Rehab
Yummy fresh fruit
We hopped back on to the boat, washed off on the deck shower and headed off to Èze to enjoy the water toys - with a lovely platter of fresh fruit to keep us entertained on the journey. We anchored in Èze having had some fun with the binoculars out of the sunroof trying to spot interesting things, the boys were rambling on about nudist beaches... Don't think they found any though.
Sunseeker Predator 68 Rehab

Diving from the yacht
Diving Time!
The bay was lovely and quiet, so we decided it was time to have some fun - pumped up the inflatable paddle boards, got out the tender, water skis and donuts and dived off the top of the boat.
Oh hello
I got hold of the photo of me diving!
We learnt that paddle boards need to be inflated properly, otherwise standing on them is hard, they gave it a good go though! I can't water ski, and will blame the skis and say that they were too big for my feet as I slipped right out of them, and Charles had some of the best staying on power when he was being towed on the ringo that has ever been witnessed.
Loving life!
The boys cracked open the corona, the girls got glasses of wine and we headed off for lunch. The chosen beach restaurant was Paloma Beach in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, and they came to collect us in the water taxi and take us to shore. I have blogged about Paloma Beach for work, and remember the description being along the lines of tucked away in the trees and you can enjoy fresh grilled fish and local specialties. Now having sampled it, I can safely say I was right!
Paloma Beach St Jean Cap Ferrat
The view from Paloma Beach
Paloma Beach St Jean Cap Ferrat
View from our table
We got a couple of starters to share, including fritto mixto, aubergine beignets, courgette flower beignets and marinaded red peppers topped with a few anchovies. My main course was the emincé de crabe with mango chutney which was gorgeous and served with a big prawn on top.
Paloma Beach Crab

Paloma Beach Crab

Paloma Beach Food

Paloma Beach Food
We finished off with a couple of cheese platters, I couldn't name each cheese, I'm not that clever but there was some fromage du chèvre thrown in and a bit of Parmesan too. The whole meal was accompanied by some lovely white wine, magnum size of course - well, there were 9 of us! A normal sized bottle wouldn't get round all of us.
Paloma Beach Menu
We finished the meal with a caramel vodka shot (cheeky) and as lovely a long lunch it was, some of us were itching to get back to Rehab! The water taxi took us back and we joined Micheál and Kirsten back on the boat, and all piled on to the sun cushions up front. We all almost fell overboard getting to the front, the waves had picked up slightly..!

Jet Skis in the wake
Micheál took us round to Villefranche, displaying some good driving skills; did you know you can drive a 68 foot Sunseeker with your feet? We anchored in Villefranche and had a photo shoot - all of us jumping over the edge in to the sea and some 'impressive' synchronised diving. We turned up the music and just enjoyed life out on the water, and nibbled in crudités and dips - amazing guacamole.
Girl on yacht

Yacht view at sea
What a view!
Sadly enough, everything has to come to an end... We drove back to Antibes and said our fond farewells. An amazing day out that I would happily do again! As much fun as renting small boats with and without skippers is, chartering a crewed yacht is a completely different experience, in it's own amazing category.
Sunseeker Rehab Port Vauban
The end of the day

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