Docking at le vieux port in St.-Tropez is pure drama. As we near, we see we have an audience—a handful of people, most eating ice cream, standing around in front of the Hotel Sube as we inch Unplugged back, squeezing in between some Russian’s megayacht and a vessel named, appropriately enough, No Escape. The hookers on the Russian yacht hold glasses of champagne and look sullenly at us. As if annoyed that we are their new neighbors. The crew on No Escape, dressed sharply in navy shorts and crisp white shirts, is more concerned than annoyed; they line up vigilantly along the starboard side of their boat, dangling giant fenders in front of them, worried we’ll scrape their side. But Unplugged’s captain is a pro at this; he has maybe six inches to spare on either side and never wavers as he maneuvers slowly backward, like an elephant being loaded onto a circus train.
Now there are 20 or 30 voyeurs watching us from the dock, as well as most of the diners in front of the Hotel Sube. Are they there just to watch the boat come in or are they curious as to who owns Unplugged? Probably the latter. So Hardy cranks up a little Eric Clapton music topside as we make our entrance along the old port.
The whole process takes a good 30 minutes or so. And then the crowd, which has swelled to maybe 50 people, cranes their heads to see who it is that walks off the boat. Disappointed, no doubt, that we are not rock stars, they shrug and quickly disperse. Off to watch another docking yacht. This one even bigger and grander than Unplugged.