WHAT HAPPENED SO FAR IN 2007:
The first months of the year have been frantic, with the last preparations for the voyage, in coordination with the Blue Water Rally organisation, and the last works to be done on the boat.
We put Shaula back out of the water! There is no point in leaving it staying in the water, just collecting weed; we hope to be able to resume preparation in time for an early-August departure!
We proceed with preparation and arrangement works: we would be almost ready, but a domestic problem has come up, that will most probably force us to put the preparation on-hold for a couple of months!
It’s really untimely, but it would have been even worse if it happened after our departure!
Shaula goes back in the water! The last days have been hectic, with a lot of last-minute jobs including another layer of antifouling and a last attempt at polishing the topsides.
The short trip between the yard and the Marina is an opportunity to check that everything is OK with the engine and prop-shaft after last winter’s overhaul and to make a first assessment of the new Maxprop propeller’s behaviour: prop-walk seems to have completely disappeared, we will need to learn again how to handle the boat!
The engine is back! All looks OK, but the expenditure has been high, even considering the cost of additional spare parts and maintenance jobs.
Ahead with the works: several paint touch-up jobs are needed, and in the meantime we experiment with several products to clean the topsides, streaked by several months’ rain.
We reinstall the rudder lifting system, remove all running rigging for a check and a much-needed wash, and put in place the new DELTA main bower anchor; we also modify all cabin floorboards, adding hinges and locks to avoid them flying around in case of a capsize (touch wood!) and to allow using the bilges as storage space.
3-4 March: Baby arrives in Southampton to participate to the second session of the BWR seminar.
This time the Rally dinner is held on the island of Wight, and is a good opportunity to further get acquainted with the other crews.
We do a bit of sightseeing while returning home: Salisbury and Stonehenge….
… and Strasbourg.
More photos of the 2 voyages are available here.
24 February-2 March: for Gian, a week-long training program on Medical Care aboard ships, held in a location on the Hamble, not far from Southampton.
The Solent is deemed to be one of the world’s main yachting centres for a reason!
3-4 february: in Southampton to attend the first of two Blue Water Rally crew seminars.
This is the first opportunity to meet the other crews in person: at the moment, there are 34 yachts from 9 different Countries.
During the seminar, among the various subjects, we also get a first overview of all the Rally route and of the main stopovers.
We return home with the car fully loaded of yacht equipment and spares, after a long tour all around France, following (by car!) the classical yacht route around Brittany and then down along the Canal du Midi to the Mediterranean; we also took the opportunity to visit Alubat, near Les Sables d’Olonne.