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