Bye bye LR, hello sailing

Yes,yes,yes we finaly made it! We left La Rochelle.

But before we were ready to leave we had to cope with our last major project  – the renewal of the antifouling. It turned out to be an ugly, unhealthy, dirty work which nobody likes doing but it is managable. The good part is, you can see the results immediately. You use the high-pressure cleaner and after a couple of hours the underwater part of the boat is clean and in return you become pretty dirty by yourself. A little bit of sanding, a good portion of primer, three layers of antifouling, 5 days of work and you’re done. Actually a piece of cake. 🙂

The best part of this project was that Eric offered us to stay in his beautiful appartement for the time we were on the hard (or even longer if we wanted to). That was such a nice relief after a hard day of work. Thank you Eric and Anne-Claire, we really enjoyed your second home.

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Full protection 🙂
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Before..
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Before…
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After…
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After…
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Done 🙂
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Recovering place .. Thanks !!

Apart from the antifouling project we had a nice February. We had a couple of evenings spending together in a pub with our english boat neighbors watching all the German soccer teams losing against the Brits in the champions-league. Next year, we’ll be back …
We were invited for a nice dinner at Lynn and Patrics place. In return we had them over at Altimate for a (hopefully also nice) dinner.
The sun spoiled us with unusual warm weather and we had our first sail directly after the antifouling and before going back to our berth, yeah!

Beginning of March we slowly got excited about leaving. The only discussion point on the platform between the sailors was about when is the weather stable enough to leave? Is everything ready on the boat? Did we forget anything? Which route is best for which crew?

While el capitano was looking after the final bits and pieces on our project list, I was the lucky one traveling back to Germany to see the kids and my parents (and some friends of course). If the weather had been nice up there it would have been awesome, but with the continuous rain it was just great :). As always my mum spoilt me with my favorite dishes and daddy invited me for the best “curry-wurst” in town. Yammi.
The stopover in Paris at Jana’s place was filled up with talking and shopping 🙂 – what else do women do? Even though… as well in Aachen I went shopping with Luis but only because he needed a suit (yeah) and of course I was delighted to help.
Those ten days went by so fast, too fast! On the other hand it was good that I didn’t stay longer. My trolley was packed with super heavy stuff, like books, guides, my birthday presents :), sunscreen and and and… it weighed at least 30 kg! I definitly couldn’t manage more as I had to change train stations in Paris, from Gare du Nord to Gare de Montparnasse. And you know the metro doesn’t provide escalators but a lot of stairs going up and down in the underground. Fortunately Jana accompanied me from station to station so we could manage my “beast” together. I was also looking forward to get back to mi capitano. And knowing that our trip would start soon helped to leave the family again.

Back in LR everything was ready! Norbert did a great job – well done capitano :). It was Sunday afternoon the 17th of March when I returned and as the weather forecast was looking really good, we decided to leave the following Friday. That meant we only needed to do some provisioning, filling up our tanks and then off we go!!! Well, we needed to say goodbye to LR, our favorite bakery, the market, the butcher, our favorite coffee bar and of course to our friends we have made there over winter. We had a nice last evening out with our english friends and Lynn came by with a present to say goodbye. That was really sweet of you! Thank you again.

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Lynn .. great knowing you and Patrick. Have a great time.

The other surprise was a little parcel which we didn’t expect. It turned out to be a new belgium little crew member who supports us on our trips. 🙂 What a nice idea! Thank you so much for the little talisman and also your support Eric and Anne-Claire.

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Our new crew member
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Great time in LR.. will see y’all soon again

Friday came and we could leave the harbor at 3:45 pm when the gate and the bridge was open due to high tide. We filled up the diesel and gas tanks in Minimes and than headed to a close by anchorage at the south-east tip of Île de Ré to be ready to leave at sunrise the next morning….

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Good-bye from Pauline, Laurence & Rob
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Altimate on the move again

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