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 2007 archives





The first months of the year will be frantic, with the last preparations for the voyage, in coordination with the Blue Water Rally organisation, and the last works to be done on the boat.

3-4 february: in Southampton to attend the first of two Blue Water Rally crew seminars.

Bar Gate, Southampton's medieval accessTony Diment illustrates the Panama Canal approaches

The characteristic archway in Southampton                                         Tony Diment illustrates one of the Rally's stopovers

This is the first opportunity to meet the other crews in person: at the moment, there are 34 yachts booked, coming from 9 different Countries.

During the seminar, among the various subjects, we also get a first overview of all the Rally route and of the main stopovers.

We return home with the car fully loaded of yacht equipment and spares, after a long tour all around France, following (by car!) the classical yacht route around Brittany and then down along the Canal du Midi to the Mediterranean; we also took the opportunity to visit Alubat, near Les Sables d'Olonne.

Baby feeding Mont St.Michel's seagullsThe - not particularly spectacular - Alubat yard

Stopover at the Alubat yard in Les sables d'Olonne                                             A nostalgic return to St. Michael's Mount

24 febbruary-2 march: for Gian, a week-long training program on Medical Care aboard ships, held in a location on the Hamble, not far from Southampton.

The Tonga islandsIl fiume Hamble, mecca della vela sul Solent

(left) The Solent is deemed to be one of the world's main yachting centres for a reason!        (right) presentation of the BWR route

3-4 march: Baby arrives in Southampton to participate to the second session of the BWR seminar.

Baby visits WinchesterKeith, Susan, Barbara and Lesley at the BWR dinner on the isle of Whight

A short visit to nearby Winchester                                     Rally dinner at the Cowes Yacht Club

This time the Rally dinner is held on the island of Wight, and is a good opportunity to further get acquainted with the other crews.

Salisbury CathedralStonehenge

Salisbury cathedral                                     Stonehenge

We do a bit of sightseeing while returning home: Salisbury and Stonehenge....

Baby in StrasbourgGian in Strasbourg

During the return trip, a short stop in Strasbourg

.... and Strasbourg.

More photos of the 2 voyages are available here.


The engine is back!  All looks OK, but the expenditure has been high, even considering the cost of additional spare parts and maintenance jobs.

Ahead with the works: several paint touch-up jobs are needed, and in the meantime we experiment with several products to clean the topsides, streaked by several months' rain.

The new Maxprop feathering propellerThe rudder lifting system

The new Max-Prop folding propeller                                                                      Detail of the rudder-lifting system

We reinstall the rudder lifting system, remove all running rigging for a check and a much-needed wash, and put in place the new DELTA main bower anchor; we also modify all cabin floorboards, adding hinges and locks to avoid them flying around in case of a capsize (touch wood!) and to allow using the bilges as storage space.

April 30:

Shaula goes back in the water! The last days have been hectic, with a lot of last-minute jobs including another layer of antifouling and a last attempt at polishing the topsides.

The short trip between the yard and the Marina is an opportunity to check that everything is OK with the engine and prop-shaft after last winter's overhaul and to make a first assessment of the new Maxprop propeller's behaviour: prop-walk seems to have completely disappeared, we will need to learn again how to manoeuvre!

Shaula3 being put back in the waterShaula3 afloat in Aprilia Marina


We proceed with preparation and arrangement works: we would be almost ready, but a domestic problem has come up, that will most probably force us to put the preparation on-hold for a couple of months!
It's really untimely, but it would have been even worse if it happened after our departure!

May 31st:

We put Shaula back out of the water!  There is no point in leaving it staying in the water, just collecting weed; we hope to be able to resume preparation in time for an early-August departure!

August 20th:

Since few days we are back at the preparation work.   We are terribly late, having to reach Gibraltar by mid-october!




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