Every day, when we look out to sea, we can make out the islands. The Embiez Island which you can reach by shuttle, and also the Grand Rouveau Island, whose lighthouse illuminates Six Fours bay. We find them intriguing. They look wild. Today, we would really like to unravel their mystery. So we have an appointment with Orion and Antoine, and the catamaran “Croisière des Iles” at the Le Brusc nautical base in Six Fours.
Departure from the charming le Brusc harbour
That morning in the le Brusc area, all is still calm. We take advantage of that moment of serenity to observe the cormorants and young seagulls perching on the old oyster beds in the Brusc lagoon. The boat is waiting for us on the quay. This morning there is a very slight wind and so we’ll sail with the engine at first, and wait for the wind god Aeolus to bring us a more favourable juncture.
Just a few metres away from paradise
Just a few hundred metres on and we make our first stop at the Canoubié crique on Embiez Island, surrounded with parasol pines. Everything is different here, apart from the sound of the cicadas which seems more intense. We already have the impression of being in paradise. The sea is crystal clear and calm. Orion and Antoine suggest some standup paddleboarding. Who wants to give it a try? One by one, we go off on a trip. We’re beginners, but we get the hang of it quickly and we have a good time. The board is stable and, if the worst comes to the worst, we can always get down on our knees. When we paddle, we can even make out a starfish because the water is so clear.
Off to discover secret islands
It’s time to leave again towards Grand Rouveau Island. Orion and Antoine ask us if we would like to take the helm of the catamaran. We accept, rather gingerly, but we soon get into it. The helm is very sensitive and it’s easy to steer the ship. The quay of Grand Rouveau Island is getting closer. We land gently and climb up to the lighthouse to admire the 360° view of the big blue Mediterranean sea: in the distance, we can see the calanque inlets of Cassis and La Ciotat, Bandol, Sanary, Six Fours Bay, then the Embiez Islands, and the mountain massif of Cape Sicié. Wow, it so beautiful! This little island is very well preserved by the Conservatoire du Littoral (Coast Conservatory) which has managed it for several years. A lot of swallows are flittering around us while Orion and Antoine tell us anecdotes about the island and its former inhabitants.
A dive into a refreshing aquarium
It’s already time to sail off, but not for long, because we are going to have a break near the Magnons Rocks, part of the Embiez archipelago. This place is highly sought after by diving centres because the sea bed is so beautiful. Let’s check that out as soon as possible! After diving from the boat – we have always wanted to do that – we put our masks and snorkels on and admire the many fish. The rocks are coloured by coral and seaweed and we hope to see an octopus. Not this time unfortunately – but they do love to camouflage themselves!
Initiation to sailing
The morning is already well underway and we need to start thinking about going back. The wind has picked up a bit and at last we can admire the sails of the “Twankil” (if you say it with a Guadeloupian accent, it’s easier to understand – Tranquille!). Orion and Antoine, our hosts for today offer us to join them in hoisting the sails: sheets, halyards, spinnaker and boom are all explained in detail. We start to discover the dormant sailor that has been inside us all this time. The spinnaker is out. The boat is sailing without a sound between the islands while we take in the sun on our mattresses installed at the fore of the boat. Just pure happiness! It’s going to be difficult when we get back to dry land! We have had a wonderful morning, only a few leagues away from our holiday base.
Did you know?
- Croisières des Îles offers half day and whole day excursions and sunset outings.
- They offer excursions to the Embiez Archipelago, Sanary, the Giens peninsula, Porquerolles.
- The catamaran can accommodate up to 8 people, perfect for an escapade between friends or for a large family!
- The team has paddles available for the sporty types, masks and snorkels to admire the undersea world, and also large mattresses to chill out in the sun!
- The catamaran can be reserved for private trips.
A video of our sailing excursion