Imagine a timetable like this: already in the first years 2000, with retirement looming ahead, we were toying with the idea of replacing our old boat with a new one, slightly bigger and sturdier. At some point, the idea of venturing a bit farther off, perhaps crossing the Atlantic with the ARC or the Rally Antigua, started to surface and soon evolved into the idea of a circumnavigation.
By 2003 we were openly, if somewhat jokingly, talk about this project and we were focusing our boat choice towards the sturdy OVNI range.
2004 came, and we started putting the dream into practice, reading all available information, making lists of equipment, expense budgets and taking the first contacts in view of purchasing the boat in 2005.
After the purchase of Shaula3, a second-hand OVNI 385, the project accellerated quickly with the transfer of the boat to Italy and the start of the preparation works.
By early 2006, after the first enquiries by e-mail, we went to meet face-to-face the Blue Water Rally managers; the decision needed to be finalised before the end of the year but we were already convinced, the only last-minute doubt due to the birth of a competing event, the World-ARC, that we soon discarded. In the meantime, the boat preparation was going on full speed, with the summer cruise around the Italian peninsula as a good opportunity to test all the new systems.
2007: point of no return, we pay the deposit for the BWR and
join the other crews in the two seminars in Southampton, I take a Medical course,
we do the last purchases (paper- and electronic-nautical charts, pilot books,
medicines and first-aid equipment, a set of spare parts for the engine, new
dinghy and outboard motor,...); we also submit to medical checks and
vaccinations, while in parallel the revised engine is reinstalled on the boat,
we put the new Maxprop propeller in place and finally apply two coats of
antifouling before launching the boat!
And then, all of the sudden, STOP! Unexpectedly, we have to move to a new home! We put the boat out of the water, and then concentrate on taking all our stuff from one home into another, throwing away a lot of stuff that does not fit, quarreling over every decision, buying new furniture in a hurry and then, nearly 3 months later, we are free!
A rather tired crew relaxes at the completion of a very fast relocation
Our originally planned departure date is long gone! We apply another coat of antifouling, throw the boat in the water, refuel, buy some stock of food just to last for the first days, bring the car back home and finally we CAST OFF!
Spotless clean, Shaula3 is ready for launch!
We are so tired that we hardly realise we are actually leaving home for nearly two years of absence, and we have to hurry up because we are expected in Gibraltar in just 6 weeks' time and the good-weather season is ending...
Last Update: 21/09/2014
Shaula4 website (text and images) by Gianfranco Balducci is licensed under a