Saturday, October 22, 2016


The car is loaded, the house is closed, the bicycles are on the roof of the trailer which is full of our cases of things we feel the need to bring aboard. It's a real MOVE, a change of life, a new way of living ...
We leave at dawn, got up earlier than our alarm clock ... must be the excitement, like when kids, we had to get up at 4am to go fishing and we'd be up a few minutes earlier so the "adults" would not leave us behind.
1000 km later we arrive at Fredo's place. A palace in the south of France which he's already transformed into a cosy home of beauty. Both isolated and yet near everything, Marseille, Aix en Provence, the coast. We find Fredo in great shape and he welcomes us with a fine diner, good wine, music ... and his true personality which I appreciate so much.

FINALY, we leave through the "garrigue" and wonderful ancient french villages to go have lunch with Eric and Eric, the owners of QuoVadis, the firm that sold the boat. Charming as always and a sense of "real" that cuts through the usual salamelecum (bullshit in plain english) of seller/buyer relationships. We are in fact renting the boat for this first trip as the real transfer of ownership cannot be until we can deal with the administrative documents and the US owner requirements.

We cannot resist visiting the boat even before lunch and there she is. We are biased, but we find her beautiful!

The loading of the boat all afternoon, the unpacking and repacking while trying to insure we both know where things are (we'll spend the next month searching for things!) finally exhaust us. We crawl into our bed for a well deserved rest.

Next day is still re-organising the boat. The momentous event was to take the boat out in the bay and even if we had a coach aboard to guide us, we took the boat out, deployed the sails, stopped to anchor, and sailed back to the harbour. To be noted that we forgot one of the anchor lines when we left which made the boat twist in dangerous ways but we avoided hitting the boat next to us. On the return, it was tricky to manoeuvre but I did manage it (thanks to the lateral propeller!).

A storm is approaching, so we spent the next two days going through the documentation and getting to know the boat. A very useful time which gave us a chance to find our marks.

Finally, on Friday afternoon we decide to go directly to Corsica at St Florent. Françoise's family, Olivier's parents, came to see us so we did not have to make a stop on the coast. Wonderful people and immediately a kinship which I hope will give us a chance to sail together some day.
Proud of us, we deployed the SPY!

We get up, have a leisurely breakfast and get off around 10AM. I calculated that we had no rush as if things go well we'll arrive in the night and if not the next day. Very little wind  and we are not in a hurry, so we'll see along the route. It is momentous to take the helm of a new boat and know that "it's all up to you now!". We need to educate our children to know this feeling so they fully assume their responsibilities. In France we tend to say " if you train properly, then if you fail it's not your fault!" In the USA we say "go for it, you can do it, if you make errors you'll learn". A real difference in culture that gives confidence but can also " break" a person ...
Aperitif while sailing ... what luxury!

Sailing in 10 knot winds with a bleu sky we see slowly the french coast fade and the sea takes us into it's fold. The boat rides well even if a bit slow, we have 10 knots of wind and are doing 6 knots which is a remarkable performance. Too fast to fish, we decide when the wind ultimately fails to fish with the motor. Unhappily we'll do much of the crossing on motor but at 3 knots speed so we can fish.

Slow time, enough slow time that we arrive in St Laurent bay and put up anchor late the next day. How nice to sleep all night, the previous night I only had a couple hours as Françoise was very tired from all the travel, events and new life. She is really great on board and neither of us is sea sick so we share all tasks which makes life easy.
Our boat from the heights of Calvi behind the blue boat in the middle
Sailing the corsican coast is beautiful ... but we can hardly talk about it ... you have to SEE it!

Françoise has promesses to keep you updated more frequently and with much better material, I just filled in as I know some of you are expecting "content"! 
Learning curb is very high right now. We are going to have more leisure time once we have mastered the boat. It keeps us quite busy discovering all the ins and outs of the capacities of this wonderful sailing home.
Françoise wanted me to trade our boat for this monster! I just refused !

Arriving at Bonifaccio, you seem to enter into the rock. The gully is narrow and we were too busy to take pictures ... with the wind getting at Quai was not easy, thankfully a woman on the boat next to us  helped us with our mooring lines ... this is the operation that requires the most training.

Well, off to the Maddalena islands. We'll be posting more frequently ... I hope.

Best to all

Friday, September 30, 2016

Two weeks in California and Arizona to see friends and make final preparations to be able to leave on our journey. Françoise has eyes wide open as she discovers the size of america. My friends, some of whom I have not seen for years, greet us just as if we had left them last week. The paths we are on are so parallel that what happens in our lives brings us closer as we gain experience. We are able to discuss and talk about the thing s that matter without having to take precautions. Life, life's journey, the meaning of it and what we are facing are all "growing" discussions where the exchange confirms both our friendship, our values and gives us insight on who we are.
Pascal & Harriet Blume out on a walk in Monterey

Françoise discovers the Pacific Ocean

Seagull posing for the tourists

Young Seals sunning in southern California

Françoise on route 66 in her Ford Mustang convertible

Memorabilia of the mythic Route 66

Sedona red rocks ... a natural wonder

Grand Canyon 

It gets hot! 41°centigrade in the desert

Nathalie at our lunch break over Grand Canyon

The pictures speak more than words about our journey. Be sure to subscribe (on the right) so you'll know when we post new things and keep up with what is going to now be our way of life.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sail2See a project

Les premiers pas
Nous y sommes! Plus d'hésitations, le contrat est signé il faut maintenant se préparer. Les sujets sont nombreux parmi eux les grands sujets sont:

  • les équipements de sécurité
  • Les vêtements adaptés
  • Les systèmes de communication
  • Les recherches sur ce qu'il y a à voir et connaître pour le voyage de prise en main du bateau
  • Le transport des éléments de vie que nous souhaitons avoir à bord (cuisine, outils, bicyclettes ...).
  • La création du journal de bord électronique que nous tenterons de garder à jour (ce que vous lisez actuellement)
  • La préparation des activités de vie à bord (musique, photo-film, créations manuelles)
  • La plongée
... et tout ce qu'il faut que nous apprenions à l'avance sur le système de navigation du bateau.
Pendant toute notre vie professionnelle, nous avons souvent voyagé. J'ai aussi déménagé d'un continent à un autre plusieurs fois. Dans le cas présent nous déménageons notre vie de nos deux résidences à un espace extrêmement restreint qui doit cependant être un cadre de vie agréable.

A présent nous avons des apriori, je sais par example que je veux avoir ma guitare et ma musique, mes outils pour faire des bijoux et de la sculpture, mes outils informatiques pour écrire, traiter des images et des films. Nous voulons pouvoir plonger pour visiter les fonds marins, avoir de quoi pêcher et capturer une variété d'animaux du monde marin pour notre nourriture. 
L'exercice est d'organiser le voyage d'initiation en Méditerranée et avoir un minimum d'équipement pour pouvoir par example pêcher. Suite à ce premier voyage nous saurons bien mieux ce dont nous avons besoin au quotidien sur le bateau. Nous devons nous rappeler qu'une vie à bord se construit progressivement au fil des expériences. C'est donc dans l'essentiel qu'il faut se situer pour l'instant. Après tout cela fait 65 ans que nous vivons avec le confort d'une vie terrestre.
Je vous invite à voir nos CV maritimes et les journaux que j'ai écris:
  • LongEars2Chile - un voyage en 2012 de 1800km avec deux ânes dans les sierras en Californie
  • Mountains2Montreal - l'expédition de 2011 sur les pas des trappeurs canadiens. 4 hommes dans un canoë de 7 mètres qui ont traversé de Mai à Septembre en 4,5 mois le canada.
  • CV ICI (History)
First steps
On the 6th of July 2016 I signed, for a US firm I created for my children, the purchase promise to buy a Beneteau shipyard 2015 Océanis 45 Clipper. This boat was prized as the most innovative sailboat, the year it was first built in 2012. Ours was baptized BlancBleu (WhiteBlue) by QuoVadis who rents it to vacationers since April 2015. We will be delivered the boat the 11th of October and will rent it one month to have the opportunity to get familiar with it. Then it will return to the shipyard to be fitted with a desalinator, a 5KW electrical generator, a scuba diving air compressor and solar panels on a hind structure that can lift the dingy and secure it for short jaunts. An Iridium antenna for the GO satellite solution and 4 solar panels will be installed.

The October sailing program should bring us from Bandol France on the mediterranean to Corsica, then Sardaigna down the west coast (see MAPS). From Cagliari we'll go to Sicily then passing through the pass between Italy and Sicily we'll head for the Lipari islands. The return trip should allow us to see Capri and the Italian islands as well as stops along the italian coast for visits such as the city of Rome. Of course as for all of our sailing excursions, we will adapt to the weather, local contacts, have friends join us aboard and take the time we feel is needed either to visit, be secure and experience fully life at sea.