So close to the goal! Nope, I haven’t sailed for real yet. I could, but many reasons dissuade me from it and above all wise reasons.
Oh yes ! Everything went well at this level, Øya and I have been floating since Monday, January 27. Aim reached on time, the previsional schedule is respected, surprising!
In this case, I postponed the renovation of the gas circuit, and quite a few other small works here and there. If I chose to make these shortcuts, it is to save my energy and money for more important work: if the boat sinks, we do not care about gas.
Fortunately all is well, Øya doesn’t sink. I was able to do the fitting-out, find which rope goes with which pulley, and discover my sailset again. The fitting-out was quite complicated insofar as it is quite different from modern boats and above all, I have never seen it in place.
Climb up the mast, go back down, go back up with WD-40, rub, fight against a spider, go back down… It’s these kind of things that I did these days.
If I have to go on land and take a bus then I must anticipate the tide. With my oar dinghy the time it takes me to go to the nearest pontoon is about 10min if the stream is weak, 20 if it is strong. I hate missing buses!
Le Blavet, man overboard
Le Blavet is a small, calm river north-north-east of Lorient, which crosses the small town of Hennebont. Øya is securely attached to its two buoys, moored behind all the other boats.
Last Monday between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., I hear screams in the distance, as if a man howled with rage, it’s very close, on the shore. I see a car and people looking pretty pissed off running after a guy. Thinking that this is a settling of scores promising to be violent, I try to call the police. My cell phone bugs but whatever, I saw in the meantime the “Police” armbands.
Allright, it’s just an arrest! I can go back to bed.
Suddenly the police start to scream again, and I see that one of the fugitives had jumped into the river to try to cross, 50m upstream from Øya. There it is serious, more than one died like that before him. Obviously, the current pushes him in a few seconds on me and I strongly recommend him to hang on to my moorings, “otherwise you will die”… It is not in this dark winter night that this man dressed all in black would be easily found…
I helped him get on board. In the cold, he curled up 10 seconds after, so I put him in recovery position and wrapped it in my beautiful plaid my cousin just washed out two days before. Yep, a midnight swim in the brackish water of Le Blavet at 8 Celsius degrees is not a good idea.
We exchanged two or three words, a pretty nice guy actually ! I would have invited him inside for a tea, but the police disagreed. Anyway I have no heating, it is barely warmer in there and it is he who has the plaid.
Then, for an hour, the super-powerful police searchlights illuminated Øya on the river, one from the left bank, the other from the right bank. No less than 3-4 police cars, two ambulances and I standing in the middle of it all, in my pajamas under the lights, waiting for them to pick up my visitor.
“Hello Hennebont, look at me, I’m Vincent!”, I love to be discret.
The firefighters arrived dressed in wetsuit on an inflatable boat, accompanied by a police officer in Robocop mode. He took his handcuffed package and wrote down my contact details. Finally, after helping to save a life, I could to go to sleep, without my plaid.
Why me ?
Some articles about this fact in the newspapers (in french): 20minutes, Ouest-France
Initially, I had planned to make my first navigation this week, on the occasion of moving Øya to the Crouesty harbor. But I’m still here …
Also, The shipyard I just left just told me about a potential job. Even if I am not yet in the red, I need money. Let’s say that I’m going on a trip now, I would have to interrupt it to rebuild my financial health. If I have an opportunity now when it’s not yet a good season, I won’t miss it.
It is game changing! Where to put Øya? If I work in Lorient and sleep in the Crouesty harbor 80km away it doesn’t work! I could go to the port of Lorient, it’s even cheaper, but I lose the advantages of being in Quiberon bay. Neverming for Quiberon Bay, I stay around, it’s a great place too anyway.
Whether on a shipyard or in IT, I would like to work. This is the rule number 2, it is time for me to take a serious interest in it!
Get the job done, and be really ready
Last week I planned to sail, I said to myself every “I leave tomorrow“, but I discovered every day new things to keep me in place. I was sincere with myself, but I had to see the reality, there is still work to do before going out and having fun. So I forced myself to forget the idea of going sailing, and to sum-up everything I must do.
The diagnosis is clear, since I’m on the water I have discovered new problems of living on board. That was indeed the idea, launch fast to see the real problems quickly.
Among other things, I discovered that my stove is not reassuring, and that it will be necessary to quickly find a heating solution without the 220V.
So I took advantage of Storm Ciara to review my priority list, and it is long. No longer than expected, but much longer to process! I’m focussing on it, the first sail trip will be soon, there is no hurry.
In fact I will admit that after a year of preparation I begin to really want to take off. It doesn’t go very quickly, but to my great comfort the weather is not yet the best for sailing. Patience and persistence are essential.
I would like to post more existing articles than that. Who knows, after a drug dealer has magically landed on my deck, maybe my dinghy will be punctured by a meteorite 😃?
Perseverance and patience…