Skippers corner: The long passage

Noeluna en route pour Singapour
Matthieu Vermersch
Sat 13 Mar 2010 19:36

It has been almost 3 months since I have been posted something on our blog. Well…as Marie Anne said the other day in a previous post, time goes fast on Noeluna.  Now in the middle of the pacific with 2000 nm in front of us and already 1000nm behind I have a little more time on my hand..


Let me first reflect on something close to my heart.  One of the biggest positive aspect of our trip so far has been that Noeluna has been blessed with incredible crew. From the “chosen ones” of the ARC (see Nov and Dec archives) to Henry and Christoper  in the big waves of the Venezuelan coast . Then the great Panama Canal crossing with Bertrand, Liliana and Guillaume . That was followed by  this very nice couple from Quebec who were funny (see “q as quebec “written by Ferdinand), very competent crew and great cook.  From Ecuador to Galapagos and coming all the way from Singapore we had the Master of Coolness (Americo) and my uncle Serge (81 years old) and Annie.   Encounters on land have been also very interesting. Just before the start  we met a very nice family just arriving to Saint Lucia…from Pompeih (forget Italy….think Micronesia)  and Reinart (German made)  who help me so much to get the boat ready in Saint Lucia. And on top of that we get to know fairly well all the other World ARC participants, an interesting and diverse bunch.

Good thing about sailing is that you don’t make “small talk” when you sleep 4 hours a night and you have to share the limited space of the boat with the same people for couple of weeks. Either they fit and you live great experience or they don’t (or you don’t) and then it becomes difficult very quickly.  I am amazed how much better I get to know people that I thought I was close already before that trip. Up to now this is for me the biggest positive of this journey. Getting to know better, having long , lasting and diverse conversation about a wide range of topic and not simply cracking jokes or sharing  children/school concerns over the dinner table of your guests, before hastily going home. Thank you Noeluna to let us  enrich our human experience. That was unexpected from my part.


I am sure you have read what Marguerite, Marie Anne and Ferdinand had to say about the places we have been to. Just my quick take if I may. San Blas are enchanting as most of the coastline of Panama. Las Perlas are relaxing and beautiful. Quito is magic and Galapagos are very intriguing.. Only disappointment maybe was Panama city. Think “Bangkok meets Miami” but only on the negatives . Hot, messy and I think an real estate time bomb in the making..

Now lets see what we have done so far. Pretty simple. Noleuna has sailed a little over 25% of a round the world trip. Simply said we left Sables d’olonnes in July at Longitude Zero and today we are over 104W. Interesting to see that if we had travelled eastward (which no one does) from Europe and travel the the same distance we will be reaching Singapore by now…


5 days ago we left Galapagos for what will be the longest passage of our trip (and I guess the longest passage we will ever do on a boat), 3000 nautical miles, 3 weeks (maybe a little less). 

Here no cargo, no fishing boats, absolutely no traffic. Just wind/waves and blue all around. Even the fishing situation is out of proportion. (ferdi will blog on that soon).

Xavier and his father has joined us. Xavier has been “the coach” since we started this project and his presence on board is, you can imagine, extremely relaxing for me. In fact I am finally recovering on all my accumulated sleeping deficit since we left St Lucia.


Ferdi is playing electric guitar on the deck. Sky is blue. Marquesas are straight ahead. We will rejoined with Marie Anne and Marguerite and Polynesia will be our next exploration ground.