Sail away with Frédéric
Sail away with Frédéric, our skipper on the Provençal coast for a weekend or week-long cruise around Les Calanques or the archipelago of Riou! For a tantalising preview, click here.
What is your motto ?
Don't ask me the time, I don't have a watch.
Your sailing style ?
To be a responsible sailor and not overestimate my abilities. Whatever the itinerary or duration of the cruise, sailing should always be a pleasure. Sailing, sharing, and living in a fragile natural environment is a magnificent opportunity in life and should be respected.
It's good to work out the atmosphere and then take the right choices. You have to be on your toes to respond to peoples' needs. If there is a lot sailing involved, it's good to bring stopovers. It's good to start the day with a beautiful breakfast. It's good to entertain the kids for a while to give their parents a rest. That's also what sailing is about.
I like a no-frills relaxed family atmosphere. I try to make myself available to everyone, sharing my sensibilities for the ocean and bring my own personal experiences.
How do you handle the life on board ?I explain, the crew participates in sailing manœuvres
How does shopping work?I can stock up on supplies before departure, or the crew can do it, it is up to them.
How does cooking work?I do not cook
How did you become skipper ?
I worked in the events sector for a long time as a musician or technician. I come from a maritime family - my grandfather was a fisherman, and my father used to sail with him. So there was an irrestible calling to buy a motorboat for the pleasure of setting sail in my grandfather's wake to go fishing like him. A friend bought a 9 metre yacht and I gained my first experience of sailing. Then I went back to school to pass my professional skipper diploma and try out a variety of yachts. I had to go through the ordeal of driving ferries and cargo ship to get it, but my reward today is to take people to sea and make a living from it.
What people say about you?
I don't know. People do say I'm a "nice guy". Kids often call me Captain Fredo!
Your best cruise memory
The most touching was a long weekend with three generations, a grandmother, her son and grandson - for a trip along the coast. The grandmother of 83 was one of the kindest hearts I have ever met. She knew how to live. She had a strength and courage that truly marked me. She filled the yacht with her aura. It was a magnificent cruise.
In your opinion, what makes for a successful cruise ?
A strong crew who listens, respects each other and helps each other. When this alchemy comes together, nothing can cloud a great cruise. No two journeys are alike naturally. I love seeing the way people make the boat their home and metamorphose from land-lubber to sailor in the course of the cruise.
Your worst cruise memory ?
Des tracas, il y en a toujours un peu, mais ils nous servent à ne pas reproduire les mêmes erreurs, et à apprendre sur nous-même.