Well, I’d love to say the last couple of days has been as exciting as the others I have had recently, but it has not. We are doing the hurry up and wait thing. I met John and Jon at the tran station on the morning of the sixth, and we trekked our bags across to Minemes, the port where the boat is. We found the boat, and settled in.
The first thing we did was to go raid all the recycle boxes in the area and find plastic and cardboard to wrap up every table and cushion etc that we could so that it doesn’t get scratched or dirty. We looked at weather and it looks like our window to leave is Saturday afternoon. Before that the waves are too high and the wind is against us. If we leave much later than that, we will not get around the corner of Spain before bad weather begins to push us back into La Rochelle. We went to a restaurant for dinner in the port.
In the morning, we went to the grocery store and stocked up on food and other items we will need for the trip. We did more dumpster diving and taping and covering and sorting things out for the trip. The sailing school beside us had two cases of Verve Energy Drink they were going to toss after a Regatta, so great find there - we now have about 50 cans of orange chemical solution that may come in handy on those late night watches.
We hit a snag in the evening when we went for supper. We asked the Port about stamping Jon and my passport to check us out of France though customs. We found out that Friday (tomorrow) is a holiday. The passport/custom office was closed already, and will not open until Monday.
They were great and telephoned for us and said the Douanier, or Custom’s Officer, would come down at 10:00am Friday, to check us out at our boat. By noon Friday, we decided that the Douanier weren’t coming after all, and decided on plan B - check out in Spain or Canaries etc since they are all part of the EU.
We went out to dinner again tonight. In the morning I went to the bakery and bought some bread and a lovely little warm quiche. Hurry up and wait…the reality of boat deliveries and sailing in general.
It’s really true. I’m here in France, sitting on a yacht and waiting for a fair wind to blow so we can set off across the Atlantic Ocean on our six to eight week, 6000 nautical mile journey to Annapolis, Maryland. And now I have seen Brussels and even visited Luxembourg on the way down to La Rochelle.
We have to find a three day window of fair wind and weather to get out of the Bay of Biscay. Right now the waves are quite large and the wind is blowing the wrong way. Saturday and Sunday should be fine, but there is a red nasty storm brewing Mid-Atlantic and we want to south of the bay before it hits. We haven't decided whether we will stop at the Spanish or Portuguese coast, Madeira, Canary Islands, or even at Cape Verde. It all really depends on the weather. After a rest and re-provision, we will head on.
The hardest part about this type of journey, is packing enough water. Everything else is not too bad, I mean, toss in a couple of noodle packs and you could survive for a few weeks. But water. Out there it is “water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink”. You really have to be careful about packing enough, because it is the one thing that you cannot afford to run out of.
Our planned route
This tall ship just left Canary Islands after sailing there from La Rochelle. We will be following them across the ocean.
Meeting Jon and John at the La Rochelle train station
Interesting around here, they just leave boats to stand up during low tide.
Our Fountaine Pajot 44 "ADAGIO"
Sunrise off the bow
Ok, just weird, no one seems to know what this is
Lovely walking down the docks
Another view of ADAGIO
The view of the Atlantic. The little black dot on the water is a reconstruction of the one that stood off of Cape Horn.
Jon making the name for the back of our boat.