This update confirms that Quartette has reached Paris today and all is going well. This follows a relatively uneventful de-masting in Rouen, with the mast beautifully cling film wrapped, securely bound and labelled, all ready for collection by Boatload International, the mast transporter. This is the first of two de-mastings and apart from me forgetting to remove the roller furler, it all went quite smoothly. Quartette felt quite odd afterwards!
The mast and boom now go off on a long lorry journey, to be deposited on a mast rack at Navy Services, Port-St-Louis for re-masting at 0800 on Friday 6th June, when the crane is booked. In the meantime Bob, Linda, Jo, Terry and Lenie are enjoying a cruise through the French Inland Waterways, over the next three weeks. By the end of that trip their power boat handling skills will be second to none!
Skippers and crew are reassured that the boat will be fully restored to normal cruising mode in Port-St-Louis, with a multitude of fenders, armchairs, bikes and empty wine bottles all removed! The cross channel trip was done with extra fenders hanging off the stern as shown in the photo below:
The next significant handover will be in Lyon on Saturday 31st May, before setting off on Week 5 to Marseille.
Skippers and Crew please note the following minor changes:
1. The ambition to provide clean linen has proved impractical, so we are asking everyone to take pillow slips and a double sheet, or a sheet sleeping bag.
2. There are six new pillows and six new lightweight sleeping bags on board.
3. There are two new full length cockpit seat matt’s on board. In hot weather these are great for dozing or even overnight, but please avoid contamination with sun cream.
4. The new autohelm works extremely well and appears to be well calibrated, but skippers are reminded that ‘George’ needs human supervision at all times!
This first update will be followed by a series of photo’s and updates from Quartette’s crew as and when they can get to a wifi zone.
-- Andy Bowerman