Mediterranean 2001: Star Clipper

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25 September, Tuesday: Not Monaco

The Wine Dark and Cruel Sea
Wine Dark and Cruel Sea
Star Clipper Tender in Distress in the Harbor of Monte Carlo
So Near and Yet So Far.
Monte Carlo and a Tender
Viewed Through a Porthole
in Star Clipper Steerage Class
Cap Ferrat Harbor
Calm Seas and a Pot of Gold
At the End of the Rainbow
In Cap Ferrat
The day dawned clear but the sea was choppy. Dariuz told us there were no berths available in Monaco due to a major boat show, and that it was too rough to anchor off shore and use the tenders. He said the captain had radioed company headquarters in Monaco for the ship to be cleared to dock at Nice. While most on board had been looking forward to Monaco, Nice would be an acceptable alternative. Besides, it is just a short train ride away from Monaco should anyone be determined to go there.

By late morning, it was obvious that the captain, first officer and cruise director were upset about something. It turned out that someone at the company office in Monaco ordered that the ship continue on course to Monaco, even though all reports were that it would be too rough for passengers to go ashore in tenders. They declined to make arrangements for the ship to go to another port. Headquarters had some boxes and papers that they wanted brought out to the ship and that was that. No matter that the passengers would be deprived of any chance to go ashore.

On arrival off Monaco, two tenders were lowered, and it was immediately obvious the sea was still too rough for passengers to disembark. Not only that, it was too rough to even pull the tenders back onto the ship.

So, while one tender motored into Monaco to pick up whatever it was that was so important, the other tender could only circle the ship. Finally, after a wait of two hours, the tender returned from Monaco and the Star Clipper set sail to the west in search of a calm cove or inlet. Both tenders followed, bobbing up and down like corks in the extremely choppy water. While I like the rolling seas, I would not have enjoyed being in the small tender today. The captain's destination was the protected eastern side of Cap Ferrat, where Al and I had visited twice, in 1996 and 1997. Inside this cove, as the winds subsided and the seas calmed, we dropped anchor. But because the Monaco office had failed to make arrangements with the harbor agent at Cap Ferrat, we were prohibited from going ashore. A wasted and disappointing day for most passengers. Two, in fact, left the ship. They had booked one of the expensive cabins in the bow of the ship. Great cabins in calm seas, but not for the past three nights. Every time the ship was raised up by a swell, the bow would then drop down into the sea with a thud. These wealthy landlubbers couldn't take it and demanded to go ashore. The were taken off the ship in one of the tenders.

We stayed in the cove for several hours, giving every one a chance to relax after a trying day. At dinner, the captain apologized for the disappointing day. On deck, after dark, the lights of St Jean-Cap Ferrat and Beaulieu-sur-Mer made a wonderful scene beneath a rising moon and star-lit sky. About 10:00, we set sail again.



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