- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

24 May, Monte Carlo.

Monte Carlo was gearing up for the yearly Grand Prix and that meant that the regular dock and tender dock was not available. The dock was taken up by the Seabourn Spirit and two sailing vessels that were all chartered and were staying for the duration of the Grand Prix. (Finishing on Sunday the 27th.) Also the tender dock in the Monte Carlo marina was not available as that side of the Marina was screened off for the races.

Thus we had to anchor at the other side of the Oceanic Museum and tender into Fontveille Harbor. In this case that was even better as it brought the ship about half a mile further away from down town and that meant less noise. Even when at anchor and more then 3000 feet away from the shore, the noise can still be ear splitting. Part of the race goes under the big building on the waterfront and the half open tunnel acts as a sort of loudspeaker booming noise over the water. It can be so loud that you can not sit on the deck. Fontveille is a little further away and so the noise is much less, although still very pronounced.

It was a nice and almost windless day and thus a good day for a tender service as there was no sea swell. The swell and waves in the Mediterranean are all wind generated, so if there is no wind, there are no waves. Only the oceans have the long rolling waves that can stay on for days on end and roll in regardless of the local weather. The only thing that we had to content with was the wake generated by pleasure boats passing by the gangway at full speed. There are a lot of rich people in Monte Carlo who like to spend money on fancy toys including powerful speedboats and fast yachts. They take these out for a spin outside the harbor and the drivers are not hampered by the slightest from of common sense. They race by the ship at short distance and create so much wake at the tender platform that we have to stop the tender service as the tender movement alongside the platform becomes too dangerous. I wish these people would use their boats for what they are meant for. Keep them alongside the dock in the marina, for parties and to display skimpy bikini’s on the top deck.

Most of our guests preferred to go on tour here but the crew was highly excited with the prospect to see some of the circus that surrounds a Grand Prix. Although the races itself are on Sunday, there was test driving going on and that can also be very spectacular. You never know if somebody will crash. A ticket for the day to get inside the circuit was about 40 euros’ and working schedules were re-arranged where necessary to make sure that all had a chance to have a look. You really have to buy a ticket as each possible viewpoint that is over looking the circuit is screened off also the pathways higher up the hill. It seems that even the people who own apartments overlooking the circuit have to pay “viewing rent” if there are more people on their balcony than that belong to the apartment.

We sailed in the early evening from the anchorage for our next port of Call Ajaccio Corsica.

1 Comment

  1. I believe the Rotterdam was the epitome of cruise ships,
    My wife and I were her for a wonderful “a round the Caribbean” cruise in the mid 80’s , and returning to Norfolk and NY , rode-out weather for 2 days off Hatteras..
    C stayed in the berth, but I loved it..
    BP PKS NC

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