Waiting for a better weather to sand the deck and the hull of Vagabond, we are more working inside at the moment, and sometimes going for other activities (see the album).
The boat refit is supported by Océanopolis (harbour and crane), International (paints), Sanimarin (new WC), Eberspacher (central heating), Yanmar (engines spare parts), Globe-Electronics (sonar), Bilou and Kairos team (winches repair), Under The Pole (diving tanks), Bayard (kids magazines)... Thanks to all!
Between work sessions on board Vagabond and end of year parties, a little visit to Alan and Julien in their deep freezer (Pôle Nord 2012), a few beach games at Aber-Wrac'h... and a kayak trip on 1st January in Morlaix Bay. Meanwhile Ecotroll is sailing through icy canals and is getting close to Lyon, her home port.
Happy New Year to you all!
There will be a party in Oslo on 23rd October when the trimaran Northern Passage will arrive: 4 months only to sail around the Arctic, 12 months less than Vagabond ! Peter 1st is in Faroe Islands, the Russian crew should also arrive soon.
Before Vagabond's next departure, we are taking part to some events.
While France, Léonie and Aurore were promoting Ecotroll at Grand Pavois (boat show in La Rochelle), last week, I was on board the trimaran Northern Passage, in Canadian Arctic. Few days before, Børge Ousland called me to reinforce the crew of the Norwegian sail boat for one of the most exciting part of her journey: from Cambridge Bay to Pond Inlet, the heart of the North-West passage (look at the pictures)! Then Trygve replaced me in Pond Inlet to cross the Atlantic, so they are still four on board the trimaran, who could become soon the first yacht to sail around the Arctic in a single season (blog). Unless the Russians on board Peter 1st manage to catch up with Norwegians! It took us 17 months, on board Vagabond, to sail both passages (2002-2003)... What a difference to sail this year through a landscape with almost no ice, where we struggled for days to avoid wintering. The Norwegian trimaran's performance will allow more focus on the disappearing multiyear ice, which doesn't mean that navigation is safe in the Arctic: a cruise ship and a tanker went aground last summer in Canadian archipelago, because of poor charts (both boats are just back sailing). To the pack ice retreat, we need to add the coming oil rush in Greenland. For sure, it will increase sea traffic in this part of the Arctic. To better understand and witness all these changes, Vagabond will set sail from Brest in about seven months for another long polar stay, supporting the scientific community. To be continued!
Ecotroll arrived yesterday in Brest. The sea was not so smooth in Saint George's Channel, but the English Channel was much more welcoming: a lot of dolphins were showing us the route, jumping joyfully! More liveliness came when we crossed Ouessant shipping lane, with non stop traffic of various cargo ships. Approaching Brittany, Ecotroll was going up to 12 knots in Four Channel! We had to wait then for the current to change direction before going through the Goulet de Brest, so we dropped anchor in front of Plougonvelin to celebrate Alain's birthday and the end of our journey! Ecotroll is now moored to Vagabond at Moulin Blanc Port. Léonie was very moved, when recognizing again our faithful red hull. If her sister Aurore (9 months) spent more than half of her life on board Ecotroll, Léonie (3 years and half) mainly lived on board Vagabond, in Svalbard.
Ecotroll will sail from Brest tomorrow, to La Rochelle, with Alain and Marc, joined by Christophe and Nicolas. End of the five months journey for four of us, time to go back to school for Léonie (a little bit late!), while I'm getting ready to go to the North-West Passage for a few weeks...