Showing posts from March, 2024

We moved! - 49° 40' 01"N 01° 40' 17" W

Having commitments with the Garcia warranty team and wild conditions forecast for later in the week, we took the opportunity of a small weather window to spend Sunday night at anchor.  We had intended to head to Anse du Brick, a beach about 6nm to the east of here but the swell was still entering the bay so we scurried back to the shelter of the harbour.   We ended up in Baie du Sainte-Anne in and amongst the crab pots, just south of Fort de Chavagnac. We tested our new Rocna Vulcan anchor and are pleased to report we did not move at all - even with 20kn of wind and a 5m tide! With wind warnings forecast, we zipped back to the marina.  Delighted that getting our 16 tonne beauty into her pen in 20kn of wind is not nearly as scary this week as it was last week! Cherbourg Harbour is an amazing place.  It is the world's second largest artificial harbour with 6km of break waters with five forts protecting the outer harbour.  It is a bustling with boats of all shapes and sizes, from kid

Leaving Chinook and heading back to Canada - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

 Yep, you read correctly.  Our plans have changed, as plans often do and our 2024 is looking somewhat different from what we wrote in a previous post - A Rough Plan for 2024 .  Chinook will be left safe and sound at Port Chantereyne Marina - with her Garcia friends! We still plan to head to the UK and Ireland after Easter and will spend until mid-June cruising around, exploring the area and putting Chinook through her paces.  Our plan is to sail to Alderney, just off the coast of Normandy, on Easter Monday or Tuesday.  It is a short hop but has some major tides that can run up to 10kn so we need to time our departure well.  We bought the "Aurigny' (Alderney to the English-speakers) courtesy flag from the local chandlers here in Cherbourg We will then cross the English Channel to Portsmouth and work our way west along the coast of England to Wales and Scotland before heading south along the eastern Irish coast.  We need to be back in Cherbourg by mid-June for the 3-month warran

Getting organised - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

You may or may not have noticed that the latitude and longitude haven't changed for the last few posts.  There is a reason for that. Chinook is staying put for a few days. It has been a busy exercise moving aboard, sorting out where to put what, measuring this, buying that, mounting the vacuum, making up the beds - the endless small jobs to set up a home.  As our new home is a boat, we have to ensure the glasses and mugs are stowed so they don't smash and items in lockers are secured.  Sticky-backed velcro, shock cord, non-slip matting and double-sided tape have been consumed by the rolls. Shock cord holding down tools under the Tech Room sole (for those non-sailors, the sole is the floor...) The standard Garcia has more than a few surprises for new owners ... and one of them is AMPLE STORAGE.  Not only are there plenty of storage lockers, but the storage lockers often have storage lockers behind them!  We now know why the waterline stripe is 8 - 9 centimetres above

Moving Aboard - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

Wow, that was a big week.  We are exhausted. ... and smitten! Monday was a paperwork day, but aboard Chinook.  We went over the contract, item by item, to ensure that everything the contract stated would be delivered.  There were a few things missing or incomplete (mixups in ordering, vendor delivery timing issues) but they were noted with written assurances that they would be delivered, changed out or corrected.  This all needed to be clearly stated before we transfer the lion's share of the purchase amount to Garcia. Signing and double-checking the contract Anything that wasn't in place, was incomplete or not working properly would be dealt with by the warranty team.   There was no refuting that they had delivered A boat. We had no idea how she sailed and there was no way that a single day of inspection would allow anyone to check every bit of the more-than-5000-person-hours of labour that went into this sleek looking vessel. The "Grin and Grab" p

Boat Eve - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

  Today, our boat is perfect. She has been build without a flaw, the construction is millimetre perfect and everything is to specification. There is not a thing that needs fixing, not a screw or a swage that needs tightening and the engine does not need servicing. Everything is running flawlessly.  It is gleaming and clean.  There are no smells of diesel, of damp or blocked loos.  She is simply perfect. And tomorrow, she will be ours! And then the fun will start!  We will find the things that weren't quite built right. We will find the things that need fixing and tightening and servicing.  Things will break, the heads will block and the rig will chafe. There will be oil leaks and diesel spills and screws dropped into the bilge.  But for today, she is flawless. We are not really sure what tomorrow looks like but we do know we will not be sleeping aboard tomorrow night.  That will happen later in the week. We have training which involves opening everything and poking our noses into a

Kerrera, Scotland - 56° 25' 07" N 5° 29' 50" W

A good spot to spend the winter Think back to your childhood.  Do you remember the painfully-slow march of the clock on Christmas Eve and the agonizing effort trying to sleep, of forcing the holly-draped minutes to quickly pass so you could get on with the joyous unwrapping frenzy that the morning would bring? That is exactly what Kate and I are going through as we whittle away the NINE DAYS until Chinook is handed over.   The splash was terribly fun to be present for, but once it happened we were told that we are not welcome to be around for the testing.  Personas non grata.   March 11th is when we need to be in Cherbourg for the signing of the documents, the official handover and then the training and any warranty work or changes that need to take place.  Until then, there is no reason for us to be in the European Union (with Kate burning through her allotted Schengen Zone days ), so we have gone to visit some friends in Scotland. Friends with a Garcia Exploration 45.  Hurrah!