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.
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
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
21 july: departure to Arzal with the full-crew (Gian,
Baby, Lorenzo and Enrico who will bring the car back, after the last
28 july-2 september: cruise from Arzal to Arenzano
(read the story in the voyages section); Enrico comes with the car to bring us
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.
THE STORY CONTINUES AT 2006