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Wednesday 3rd December ..Still stranded in Camaret…a bearded lady and an electrician called Christophe

Now Camaret Sur Mer is lovely – but I wish we could leave now. Everyday we notice more things in Camaret like the grey mullet swimming in the hundreds by the harbor wall and the little jellyfish in drifts. Local people gather on the harbor wall and fish for squid – the gray concrete is splashed with black ink – it made me feel sad for the frightened squid. Everyday seems to bring more jobs, more broken things and more expense. I cannot remember when I felt more ignorant – a fast learning curve and a draining bank account is exhausting.

Today’s surprise was that even though we invested £2000 in new batteries – they are still not charging as the alternator is now broken – the electrician has been on board for hours and is still tutting!   His verdict – “the problem comes from ‘the little box’ what ever that is. He says, “I don’t know where I can find it and how long it will take ” – then there is the labor and the tax on what ever it is. – It is now 5.30pm and we were hoping to leave tomorrow morning at 8am (Thursday), as there is another good weather window. I just don’t want to miss another window, as I am not sure how many more there will be. The appeal of the Bretton croissants, butter and cheese is now waning as we just want to leave and for things to ‘just work’. I know more experienced ‘live aboards’ will tell you that fixing things is a constant as is spending money – but really – this is running at around a grand a day – surely it has to at least slow down soon.   I had roughly packed my Buddha and my lucky bamboo under the bed last time we were out at sea so they wouldn’t get damaged – I have just taken them out for some TLC and to wish us some luck.

I have just glanced at the electrician who is still tutting and now reading a manual – urghh. The alternator is working but the regulator is not working and needs parts – Christophe (the electrician) says that there is a work around that he can rig up tomorrow morning so we can go.

Crew Check:

Mark is coping better than me – he is so calm and centered. He keeps reminding me that we don’t have to be anywhere for a particular time.

Tina, I don’t know why but I just need to let frustration out – feeling a foot stomping coming on. But at least I got to go to the hairdresser where a bearded lady cut my hair – not a bad cut and it feels better.

May is calm and finally has all her knots are gone. I also trimmed her so we now both have our hair cut

Simon is a super star – he is fixing everything and looking after everyone. He never stops and is consistently polite and soft spoken. Nothing seems to faze him in the slightest and he plans for everything to ensure we are safe.

 Peter is not only first mate but also chef – he has planned all our meals for the next 5 days at sea and done the shopping. He is funny and really interesting – he has travelled a lot and worked in the Bahamas as a chef.

Not working: No charge is going to the batteries, The TV, The Heating and now also no internet – the card that was fitted to the Wi-Fi that was fitted to the boat in Portsmouth is a phone card and not a data card and we need a data card for internet in main land Europe – who would have known. Also the LED lights still are not the right ones and the coloured LEDs that were fitted in Portsmouth have all fallen off where they were fixed and some of them have gone the wrong colour or broken. Simon is not happy with the position or the lighting on the compass as it is difficult to steer by – this boat really wasn’t sea ready! Two new bulbs have just been fitted to the compass and both blew….

I think how spoilt we were in our London home where everything worked and if, on the odd occasion it didn’t then someone who we trusted – like Phil was on had in minutes to fix it. Also if you want to go somewhere – you just go…no weather window watching.   The other thing I wasn’t thinking of was how physical it all is. That is of course a good thing as we will both be leaner and fitter!   But at the moment everything hurts – we walk miles everyday and when we are not walking we are lifting and fixing and scrubbing and hauling – but we like all that!

I think the things that we are both struggling with the most are

  1. Ignorance is not Bliss.

We are not sure how a lot of things work and so cannot fix them when they are broken or indeed understand if we are being ripped off.

  1. We are out of touch

I cannot get the Internet on and it is weird and not fun – we miss our contact with the outside world and looking things up when needed.

  1. We are not in control

Ok, now we know how much control we had of our lives before we lived aboard – now we don’t – things break, the weather changes

But this is what we came for – the challenge, the change, the experience, the adventure, the unknown

And guess what – we ARE sailing tomorrow – we leave at lunch time and will not be stopping for 4-5 days until we are there – so watch that boat watch or ship finder…

More from me from Lagos

About Love adventure and creativity

mum, wife, sailor, animal nut, author, teacher, adventurer, stand up comedian, friend, entrepreneur.... I love creativity and fun - experiencing new things - walking my dogs - laughing with friends - building and making things like...friendships, businesses and dreams come true


3 thoughts on “Wednesday 3rd December ..Still stranded in Camaret…a bearded lady and an electrician called Christophe

  1. Tina
    I will try one last time before you depart to discourage you from this trip as I am concerned both for your safety as well as your sanity – this experience could put you off sailing for good which is not part of the dream.
    Current forecast issued today at 0405 UTC for Fitzroy is North gale 8, Force 9 later. Waves prediction for south section of Biscay is 4-5m from Friday afternoon until Saturday noon, with only slightly less either side.
    Are you insured for Biscay in December – most insurers specifically exclude this area in winter. Do you have an EPIRB and is it registered?
    I cannot see how this trip is sensible with 2 experienced crew and 2 crew who appear quite inexperienced and a dog who has no experience, and struggle a little as to why Simon has not called it off.
    We old codgers don’t like to admit that we are superstitious (but most are) and you have broken more ‘rules’ than I care to remember.
    Whatever you decide, go well and good luck!
    Kind regards Chris


    Posted by Chris Harnan | December 4, 2014, 9:38 am
    • Hello Chris I thank you for your concern and information – we are leaving in about an hour. We are insured for the trip and yes our EPIRBs are all registered. We are all experienced and May is happy sailing. Simon would call it off had he not prepared the crew and the boat fully – he has done this trip many many times at this time of year. He has the weather live on his phone and iPad and we are ready. I have sailed in a 10 gusting 11 and understand the issues – we are NOT sailing in that. The sea area of Fitzroy is about 400 miles wide and we are being more specific about the exact area we are sailing in – We know it will be bumpy but it will not be a F9. We have waited since Sunday for all items to be fixed and for the weather window to come and we are going. I do break rules – in fact that is what my clients pay me to do – however I would not put myself at risk knowingly which is why we now have all the safety equipment – the newest and best in the world, invested in a third reef in our Main – not inexpensive as we have UK Tape drive sails, changed the bulbs on the compass for more accurate night vision, checked the weather and ensured that our electrics are all fixed – include 10 new batteries – a whole new bank so we are sure our nav lights and instruments work. Also we had a Class A AIS fitted. We all have world class life jackets and olilies – including MAY – Thank you for the good LUCK you offer we shall take that with us but we will not be relying on luck but more on experience – good judgement and the fact that every member of the crew is qualified including two Yacht Masters aboard. We will post again when we are in the harbor in Lagosh. Thank you so much for your concern we do feel looked after buy everyone who is posting.


      Posted by Love adventure and creativity | December 4, 2014, 10:26 am
  2. Time to stop discussing then and get on with it then, in the hope that my predictions are all unfounded. Sincerely hope all goes well and you have fun cos that’s why we do this!
    I have a current CEYM but would warn about relying too much on a bit of paper. I have sailed with YM’s who are very sound and others that I would not trust to walk my dog! This is of course absolutely not intended as any reference to Simon as I have no knowledge of him or the mate.


    Posted by Chris Harnan | December 4, 2014, 11:56 am

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