August 6th, 2009 browsing by day


Wednesday/Thursday August 5/6 Loctudy, Bretagne. “Fleetwood” adds the sixth of the 7 continents to it’s list.

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

This leaves just Antarctica. I’ll pass, at least for the next few years. But then how knows? Enough global warming might come to Antarctica in my lifetime.

Wednesday: We arrived in Loctudy at 2 p.m. local time. The strong and favorable winds that gave us 110 miles plus daily progress petered out to where we had to motor the last 30 miles.

My cousin Carol is sitting across from me. We will sail together from here to Amsterdam. I am fading fast, to-morrow there will be a detailed post and pictures.

Thursday:  The marina’s wireless must have had a rough day as well, it quit for the evening. Loctudy does not often get to see an American on his bright red West Marine klapfiets riding back to the boat with his fresh baguette clamped under his arm.  Breakfast with fresh brown eggs with deep red orange yokes, hard butter, instead of the runny margarine I have been getting used to in the non refrigerated galley. For dinner I found a great chunk of a leg of lamb that was on special. The two deck hands loved it.

Back to where I left off on Tuesday. That evening I bid farewell, for the next couple of years to Herb Hilgenberg of the Southbound II net. Herb did another fabulous job of guiding me away from the weather traps and a fast passage from Bermuda and from Horta.  A boat called the Frenchman had been on this net as well and it turned out to be skippered by Bart Boosman and the real boat name is “De Fransman”. On his way back from the OSTAR  s/h TransAt race, Plymouth to Newport. We had a chat after the net closed. I hope to hear more from him and meet Bart in Makkum. See He also sails a 30 foot boat and covered the 3200 miles in 22 days…. There is also an interesting account of his experience in getting struck by lightning on the Ostar website.                                

 The emotions of being back on the European continent, on my own home, are many and I don’t quite know where to start. France has always been one of my favorite places. And I have a soft spot for the French. They became some of my favorite crusing friends along the journey. It was part of my sales territory when I sold wood from Weyerhauser out of the Brussels office between 1965 and 1970. The architecture, the smells, the language , baguettes. Bretagne has it’s special charms, particularly when being privileged to share it’s close interaction with the Atlantic. Yesterday I was totally surprised and delighted to have mail from Sylvestre Langevin. Years ago I tried in vain to correspond with him. And concluded that he had left this world. We met in 1980 in Montreal with Georges Whisstock the wizzard of the kit form construction of the NAJA. Langevin is the father of the NAJA. And his disciple was just dying to have him know how well his design had stood the test of this 35,000 mile voyage. I had hoped that he might meet me here in Loctudy. His office is in Paris. He jests that he hopes that not too many others will follow my bad example in using this “mouille- cul” (translation: “wet ass”, for it’s low freeboard/small size) for ocean voyages because that would put many naval architects in the poor house. Klaus Kroemer found us in the Marina, yesterday. We met the first time in Nuka Hiva, Marquesas in June 2005 and met up frequently till I left from Raitea for Bora-Bora and Klaus and Florence sailed to Honolulu where they sold their boat. They had spent two summers in Alaska prior to the Pacific. They have invited the three of us for dinner t0-day at their home just outside of Loctudy. Klaus is from Bremen and met Florence in French Guyana when he worked for the German partner of the Ariane satelite launch there. He is going to help me try improve my navigation skills here on the French coast where the tides can run in the narrows and around the capes to twice the speed of my engine. The weather has not improved much from the cold, rainy days we had since the weekend and we may need to wait a day or so for the right weather window to leave Loctudy in direction Amsterdam.  As usual there are a number of chores to do after this 12 day voyage. One of the injectors needs to be pulled and a new seal put in. I had trouble starting the engine for lack of compression.

Here are a few pictures of the Horta-Loctudy passage: Double click on the photos to enlarge. I am still experimenting with this format of publishing. The caption should show up. But in the meantime: Pictures are of:  Checking the Boobie Trap, Dolphins leaving Azores, Sao Jorge one of the Azore islands, Ron with his Pas de Deux, Loctudy