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 2005 archives





- no, we will not go this far back in time with our story, but this is the year when we first met (on a boat, where else?....) and we can rightfully say this has been the starting point of all the rest.


during this period, with retirement looming ahead, the idea started taking shape and we started the preparatory phase (document ourselves, choose a boat type, start beating the marketplace, and so on....)

october 2004: at last we have focused ourselves on the OVNI range for our next boat; at the Genoa boat show we have a chat with the italian reseller, in view of a purchase by mid-2005 which would ensure a delivery by early 2006.

at the same time, we start seriously exploring the used-boat market: prices are high, and most boats on offer are rather old, 15 years or more.


7 february: on the web-site of an Alubat reseller in Brittany there are a couple of interesting used boats: I took an appointment to go and see them.

19 february: we have purchased Shaula 3!!
It's an OVNI 385 built in 2001, very little used and moderately well equipped.  The previous owner was planning a circumnavigation, but had to cancel due to money reasons, apparently.   The price is high, at the upper limit of our budget, but the boat is as-new.

Love at first sight!

25 febbruary-1 march: in Southampton to get the "Long Range Certificate", mandatory to use an SSB radio (in Italy it would have costed 4000 Euro!)

5 march: in three days, I sold the old Shaula Due! The buyer is a sicilian police officer who to us strongly resembles the TV character "commissario Montalbano".

7 march: flight to Palermo and then to Mazara del Vallo for the signature of the sales act of Shaula Due in front of a notary.

10 march: suddenly, the Arenzano marina, where I kept my boat for 30 years, is telling me that changing my berth for a larger one is a problem!  ..and now what can I do?

16 march: in Arenzano with Kurt, a german solo-sailor who must sail Shaula Due down to Sicily on behalf of the new owner.  I show him around a bit, but the guy is very relaxed and not worried a bit.

20 march: after having failed to find an italian insurance company willing to give me cover for the atlantic, I resolved to sign-up with Pantaenious: expensive, but not more than what Generali was asking me to give me cover in the Med only!

26 march: back in Arzal, France (south Brittany) for the formal sales act of Shaula 3; I part with a lot of money, and take the opportunity to put an order with the yard for some works which I would never have the time to do myself (replacing the awful, self-made bimini with a real one, addition of 2 solar panels, wind-vane, installation of the radome on the mast, some paint touch-ups, policing of the hull, etc).
Lorenzo has come with me, to aid transferring aboard a car-load of stuff (discharged from Shaula due).   We also have the time for a minimum of sight-seeing.

22-25 april: in Arzal again, this time with Baby, and this time we rest in a tiny hotel in La Roche Bernard, a charming little town a few Km from Arzal.
Also this time the car was fully loaded with stuff, and I brought back to Italy the Plastimo liferaft, which needs its periodic check (to be done according to italian specs....).

28 april: gone to see the agent in Savona which will take care of all the paperwork to register the boat in Italy, and then in Sanremo at the Plastimo service agent.

12 may: the Arenzano marina is not giving me a final "yes" or "no" and keep saying "maybe".   In the meantime I'm exploring alternatives, but finding a mooring at a reasonable price is very hard!

14 may: gone with Baby to Aprilia Marittima (Lignano, on the northern-Adriatic coast), to see a Marina which has been recommended to me by a German colleague.   The place is nice, the price is reasonable and....they have places available!!!   Only problem, it would imply 1000 miles more to reach it, compared to Arenzano.

26 may: in Sanremo to collect the liferaft, they have done an excellent job, converting it to the new italian spec, so I will not have to replace it as I thought.

2-6 june: in Arzal with Lorenzo again, and again with a car-load of equipment (liferaft included).   We take the opportunity to perform a full-fledged renaming ceremony, including the requisite toast to the sea-gods: now "Eos" is officially "Shaula 3"!

In the mean time, the yard has finally resolved to start the works I requested 3 months ago!

1-11 july: in Arzal again for a week, to complete the installation of the GPS/chartplotter and another million little works more or less essential before our departure.
The boat is in the water this time, so I had the opportunity to live on-board for the first time.
Typical breton weather, with frequent showers and the occasional sunny lapses.
When I told the guys at the Capitanerie that I need to leave the boat there until around the 20th of July, they nearly collapsed!
When they told me how much this will cost me, it was my turn to have a near-stroke!

21 july: departure to Arzal with the full-crew (Gian, Baby, Lorenzo and Enrico who will bring the car back, after the last provisioning trips)

28 july-2 september: cruise from Arzal to Arenzano (read the story in the voyages section); Enrico comes with the car to bring us home.

27 september: rendez-vous in Arenzano with the compensator to get the mandatory "compass calibration certificate".

24-26 ottobre: rendez-vous in Arenzano (after several misses) for the installation of the SSB radio.

22 december: out of the blue, the Arenzano marina announces that they are about to begin a long-awaited enlargement work, and therefore all boats must leave the port.....by the 31st of december!!!
Damn, if they told me just a couple of months earlier, I could have moved the boat to Lignano, but now we are in the middle of winter and my work commitments do not allow me this long (and potentially tough) trip.

23 december - 6 january: desperate search of an alternative solution at least up to next summer.  In the end, we opt for the new Marina di Varazze, few miles west of Arenzano.
It's horribly expensive, but it's just nearby and very well organised.



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