Allow me to start by wishing you all a happy new year, in the hope that we’ll overcome the many hurdles to a healthy Earth and happy societies, with recent news and events making it sound like a tough proposition.
So what’s up with the boat?!?
I’ve had my own share of drama over the past few weeks. I’ve booked the transportation for the boat (yes, I realize it’s time to name her, see below) with Seven Seats Yacht Transport (more on that when the boat is safely in the US). The loading is scheduled for around January 20th. I had a skipper lined up to help deliver the boat from St Nazaire to Antwerp. That plan was thwarted when the delivery skipper on point told me he couldn’t get started until January 8th, which happened only a few days ago. You might think, so what, that’s plenty of days to sail, even motor, the 600 NM to Antwerp?
That’s without considering the weather in the Atlantic. It’s winter time and sometimes the French Coast gets hit by consecutive storms, which would making passing the tip of Brittany a very dangerous proposition. So, even though there were 15 days left to sail to Antwerp, I reached out to the few contacts I have in France to identify an alternate delivery skipper. Someone did cautiously step up to the job, at least partially. Now, until yesterday, the weather looked very unpromising. However, to cite one friendly resource in Nantes, during the night of Saturday, things settled big time and a window seems to have magically opened. Oh how lucky! I’ve been a nervous train wreck for the past week!
The potential skipper checked out the boat this morning and liked what he saw. If all goes according to plan, Monday, the boat will leave dry storage for a short stint to Belle-Ile, after a long period of immobilization. Then we will decide what happens next. The new skipper doesn’t want to sail solo for the crossing of the Manche nor make his way alone to the port of Antwerp, a 10 hour long motor stint on the river L’Escaut (The Scheldt). I get it. Check the video below for how this goes in Amsterdam …
What’s in a name?
Maybe it is time to refer to the boat by her name. The previous owner named her Changabang, a mountain in the Garhwal Himalaya of Uttarakhand, India. I’m not sure if there’s a backdrop story to the naming other than the previous owner was/is a climber. Should I change her name? Changabang does seem like a difficult name to spell over VHF or a sat phone conversation …
If we get her on time to Antwerp for shipping to the US, she and her cradle will likely be offloaded in San Diego as there doesn’t seem to be enough cargo (yet) for Stockton. That will be our first sail together then: SD2SF.
I’ve continued to monitor hurricanes (3 more!) and weather along the course. This helps in at least two ways. I get familiar with the weather events in the oceans I plan to cross. And it makes everything more real. I’m becoming intimate with my plans, and that is good. Of course I’m nowhere near to being ready but I’m making progress, at least mentally.
Tomorrow is an important day then!