Friday, November 30, 2018

La Rochelle - Update No. 3 - Sailing!

Midnight Sun III
We have been watching the weather closely and trying to understand the local conditions.  Its quite different than back home with 15-20 ft tides every 6 hours - actually its very much more like my "old" home town of Blackpool, England.

We have a nice "side tie" spot outside the Capitainerie here in La Rochelle, which so far nobody has asked us to pay for (even better!).

I am sure DYC will ask us to vacate as soon as we work through our punchlist.  But until then - here we are with a couple of other delivery crews headed to the Virgin Islands and Croatia.

This morning, as forecast we had rain and gusty winds, but just before noon we were able to get out for our first sail on the new boat.  Immediately before that, we gave our friends Annie Dike and Phillip Warren a hand letting off dock lines as they set out on almost the same  journey as we have
Farewell  and Fair Winds - Annie, Phillip, Syrus and Kate!
planned.  Annie and Phillip are also from Pensacola (Annie of "Have Wind Will Travel" fame).  Annie and Phillip are crewing for new friends and fellow Dream Yacht clients, Kate and Syrus who took delivery of their Lagoon 42 a week ahead of us.

But finally, we got a break in the weather this afternoon and took the boat out for its first sail.  Conditions were near perfect.  We left the harbor and went out into the bay with about 12 kts of breeze and 2-3 ft seas.  We traveled south along the coast approximately 7-8 miles on a beam reach making 7.5 kts. 

The boat performed flawlessly and the ride was so comfortable.  In fact after a glass of celebratory champagne, the girls made a great lunch of toasted sandwiches.  Soon we found ourselves racing a monohull, and flew by it without effort.  With its self-tacking jib, Midnight Sun III tacked effortlessly for the return leg back to the marina.  With the ease-up in weather conditions, many other small craft were taking the opportunity to enjoy a Friday afternoon sail - so there was a fair amount of boat traffic on the way back into the marina.  But with over 5,000 boats in this marina, that was no big surprise.  It is apparently the largest marina in Europe.

So Midnight Sun III had a very successful maiden sea trial.  So far our punch-list is relatively short and most items are minor.  Certainly nothing that would delay departure.  What is delaying our departure however, is the pallet of equipment we shipped from the US - which is still stuck in customs in Le Havre.  Hopefully we can resolve this early next week and get our stuff delivered to us. 

Unfortunately weather conditions next week are forecast to deteriorate even although we are anxious to get moving, we don't have a good sense of when that will be.  With predicted seas of 5-7 m (yes metres not feet!), next week is not looking good.   Especially since local sailors tell us it typically takes at least 2-3 days for seas to subside once weather like that has gone through

But still, there are far worse places to be holed up!  Of course, we may not be saying that next week.

Now if we could just have a little more luck dealing with French Customs - life would be really good. 

Tonight we headed to a small French Bistro for dinner adjacent to the marina which turned out to be good and reasonably priced.  We had hoped to stop in at the local Yacht Club for a drink - but at 7pm on a Friday night it was what type of a yacht club is that!

No comments:

Post a Comment