On the water again.

It’s official, I am now officially living on the boat.

A month ago, I’ve cut the last string I had attached to the land and cast off, one more time for adventure and call of the sea. It’s the fourth time, and boat number five but strangely enough, again’t all odd, here I am.

pereI left Lake Champlain at the last possible departure date (Bridge closing for winter), mast down, motoring for this long path torward the Hudson river and the 13 locks awaiting. My father was with me, giving me a hand and for the first time be a crew onboard. It was snowing that day, cold wind, canadian winter settling in. Arrived at the custom the men was not even able to read my writing because my hands were so frozen.

Soon after we anchor, and the wonderful little wood stove started his magic to raise the mood and warm up our brains. It started and never stop heating the boat for the entire week, while everyday covering more miles. Waking up in the morning with ice on deck, but with a cozy inside. Going throught the entire lake, and doing the locks where boring from a engine point of view. Motoring all day (Mast is lay on the deck), waiting for better days. All went well, and I thanks my father for helping me throught this big step.

Despite the fact that I usually don’t trust engine, which may explain why I was engineless for so long… I won’t hide that going throught a impeller, 2 coolants hoses, 1 fuel filter clog, 2 belts worn and a few other things just for this ride didn’t raised my confidense. But I was out of the river and sails was going to rule again.

Mast raised, he left, and I was now alone facing the following. Discovering this new boat that I now call home. Processing life events that needed to be done to reach this point.

I’ve spent some time in Atlantic Highland, wonderful place where I’ve bought my last boat (Joshua, a Contessa 26). I’ve became close friend with the last owner and it was nice to see him again. We had some sails together and make this small sail video that day:


Couche de soleil
It took me some time to get use to this new boat, totally different from the previous one. Now writing this while I am in Virginia, I can say I had some marvelous sail coming here and it’s a wonderful boat. Averaging 6+ knots for a day is not something rare, and the stability is wonderful. I’ve enjoyed a sail in 20-25 and gusting with all sails up with only one reef taken in the main. Going on a steady 7 knots, with peak to 9 with only a slight 10 degrees of heel over. I wanted to know what the boat was capable of that day, and I was delighted by what I’ve seen.

What’s the plan now? Heading south, I am tweaking the boat for long cruising, while testing it. I will be back in Gaspésie for the summer, and heading back cruising every winter. Life is good.

 

6 Comment

  1. Jerry Baljeu says: Reply

    Hi Stephane: Had been wondering what and where you might be doing. You have been rather quite since May. Glad to see you are on the way South and it looks like you got rid of all that blue paint. LOL. Look forward to reading your review of your Westsail sometime later during your voyage.
    Regards,
    Jerry
    (former Westsail owner in Sarnia, Ontario)
    Gitana Del Mar.

    1. Stephane says: Reply

      Yes I was quiet, sorry about that! 🙂
      Happy to hear about you, I am back at it and will post more regularly now.
      Everything is setup back for it!

  2. Great to see you afloat! I really appreciate your blog.
    All the best,
    Stephen

    1. Stephane says: Reply

      Thanks Stephen, sorry for the delay 😉

  3. Bill says: Reply

    Good on you, Stephane. Have been wondering what you’re up to as I follow Donna Lange’s current adventure. Enjoy the warm weather and hot stove, and take care

    1. Stephane says: Reply

      Hey Bill! I am still around. Was just taking some long time off 😉
      I am back at it and will post more regularly now.
      Have fun!

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