The gathering and La Rochelle

Tue 31 Oct 2017 20:38
On Monday the great gathering of crew began to take shape. Alan and Jeremy caught the train from Lourdes, a town of many churches and pilgrims, and traveled via Bordeaux to La Rochelle - about six hours through some very pleasant countryside - arriving at about 3 in the afternoon.

Ten minutes later Duncan arrived on the train from Paris after a long flight from Johannesburg.

I am not sure what Donald expected when he arrived to collect his crew but it was soon evident that he had under catered with the transport and, whilst the arriving hands had followed orders regarding packing to the letter (i.e. 10 pairs underpants, 10 pairs socks, 2 teeshirts etc) there was no way it was all going to fit in the car.

Alan, being the smallest, joined Donald and the luggage in the car and Duncan and Jeremy were shown to a bus stop where they were instructed to take the number 4 bus which would stop right next to the marina where the yacht is parked. 10 minutes later Duncan received a phone call telling him that there was a minor problem as the required bus did not stop at the bus stop in question. Donald returned with the transport and we were all reunited at the marina.

When we arrived at the yacht, NENNE, which is an absolutely beautiful catamaran, we were introduced to the owner, Rikard, a very pleasant Swedish gentleman who will be sailing with us, at least for the first leg to Las Palmas. The majority of the crew now fit firmly into the early senior citizen bracket.

As the boat was also swarming with technicians from the suppliers who are adding finishing touches and doing final installations and testing, the four of us were packed off to a nearby bistro to keep us out of the way and possibly for a beer.

Donald and Audrey joined us a little later for a meal and then we all trooped back to spend our first night as a complete crew on board our home for the next five weeks or so.

Tuesday started (and remained) bitterly cold ..........

More to follow in our next gripping episode.