Ile d’Aix

Oops, something has happened to this entry…it’s somehow gone missing. So I will rewrite it and put it back. Sorry for the lack of order but this was way back in France.

Well, enough of marinas. Time to see a French Atlantic island. Ile d’Aix seemed like a likely candidate – 8nm away with an interesting fort sticking out of the open sea out the back of the island.

It was quite calm as we turned south west towards our destination.

We decided to visit Fort Boyard on the way. This fort was built between the islands of Aix and Oberon to protect the harbours of rochefort and aix. It was built in the 1850’s and is now the site of a somewhat famous French tv show.

It was quite eerie with fog all around and little breeze as we glided past it. Very unusual to find a fort out in the middle of nowhere.

Sightseeing over, we headed for aix, where we dropped anchor and then managed to move onto a public mooring.

We negotiated the tide and pulled the dingy a long way up the beach. We all decided we needed rubber boots to avoid getting our toes cold in the freezing water after watching what the locals do, so the local store now has three less pairs for sale.

Then it off to explore the island by foot. We were soon out into the countryside with ponies and big draught houses in stone paddocks. The island was splatters with little villages and fortifications dating back to the 1800’s.

It was the last piece of French soil that Napoleon set foot on before being shipped out to the south Atlantic, never to see France again. So of course, there was the obligatory Napoleon pub.

After a couple of hours walking, we desperately needed to check out one of the local establishments. Which we did.

Then back to the boat for a rather rocky nights sleep. We had tide against wind and the mooring ball kept disappearing between the hulls, making it reasonably uncomfortable.

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Les Sables D’Olonne – Here we Are!

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With three marvellous days in Paris under our belts, we braved the motorways of France and drove our hire car to Les Sables D’Olonne, 5 hours away. Our hire car was a Renault Scenic, not too bad despite having the steering wheel on the wrong side – the manual was also a bit of a challenge with everything round the other way.

It was a lovely drive through the French countryside to the coast. We quickly checked into our room and saw a message from Leanne that La Mischief had just been put in the water. Missed its launch by an hour or so – bummer.

But it was great to see her in the flesh. We hopped on board and had a quick look round as there were workers crawling all over it. Then we went and had a drink or three on Ooroo 1 – Mike and Leanne’s new Lagoon 450. How weird is that – two couples from Perth getting new Lagoon’s parked up in France, one behind the other.

First Pictures of La Mischief

La Mischief is now out of the factory and into the yard at Sailing Atlantic Services (SAS). Here they offload the boat from truck at launch site and do the following

Mast preparation
Launching
Mast stepping
Complete setting-up of the boat and her equipment
– Installation of pulpits, pushpits, stanchions and life lines
– Electrical connections
– Sails and rigging
– Installation of anchor kit and mooring kit (if supplied)
– Engine start up / check
Filling of water tanks and fuel tanks (200l)
Complete cleaning of boat

Here are the first photos….

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A New Adventure Commences

Having successfully sailed from Fremantle to Sydney, Camelot’s Excellent Adventure has drawn to a close and its time for a new adventure, bigger, longer, and a bit more daunting.

La Mischief’s Excellent European Adventure steps out of Australia into international waters with different languages, customs and procedures to deal with.

Now finally off my trainer wheels, its time to get the boat of my dreams, fitted out with the benefit of 4 years of experience and lessons learned.