Wilfrid ( the charterer) was very helpful and the yacht was good -sailed well- it was roomy- the instruments all worked - good fridge and freezer.( 4 double berths: sadly no pillows.) Solar panel & wind generator were reassuring re batteries. Bow thruster was surprisingly useful in tight marinas. Can recommend attractive St Denis on Ile de Re , Sables d'Olonne ( get there early-space in the fishing harbour marina near the town is limited/ the larger marina is a long walk!) and the Charente river trip up to Rochefort (La Corderie,Hermione & restaurants) on the tide.
Difficulties: Globe Sailor offered a Saturday to Saturday charter whereas it later emerged with the Contract that the charterer was offering Friday to Friday -so we lost a day in the end, and had to find accommodation for Friday night before our flights back to UK on the Saturday evening. This discordance of dates needs to be sorted out. The security deposit is a colossal 5000 e , so we suggest you insure it with Ouest Assurance. we had no damage (of course).
if you do stay over- we can recommend spartan but modern Hotel Premier Classe des Minimes ( Booking.com) - £100 for 2 triple rooms -only 600m away. very efficient helpful staff. & the Carrefour Metro supermarket is close to this for stocking up- also 600m from the vast Marina. + worth 1km+ walking to the Market in La Rochelle for fish. galore.
The fireworks at La Rochelle at 11pm on Bastille Day were superb, and walking around La Rochelle the next day - lots of history, lovely architecture, the fish & fruit market and good restaurants. For UK charterers, Easyjet flights from Luton & Bristol (Tues & Saturday only) are very economical.
I had a specific desire to sail a Pogo 30 after reading such great reviews on the ship. Globe Sailor is great for specific questions like these and came up with this amazing privately held company. The owner only has two boats of which he sails one himself (apart from renting). The owner does the check in (and out) himself, and this guarantees a passionately maintained ship (unlike some of the larger rental companies, in my experience).
The Pogo 30 was worth all the positive reviews it had in the press and I would go out and rent it again at my earliest opportunity. La Rochelle is a nice starting place, but conditions were tough. The tropical storm 'Hugo' landed ashore that week. This made us stay at close reach of La Rochelle, where our initial plans were to travel up North a bit more. Nonetheless we had a great stay and have many pictures and film to prove and re-live it.
We are extremely happy with our adventure from start to finish. The boat was as advertised, the staff were helpful and friendly and everything we needed was provided as expected. Well done !!