the Mediterranean - Atlantic
Build in Taiwan in 1978, Suzanne is a Ketch measuring 50 feet long, weighting 56000 pounds. She’s an old soul. She’s been resting for 30 years in Marina Baie des Anges, Villeneuve Loubet, France. After 6 months of intense work, she’s finally ready to take on an adventure across the world.
This week is a big departure for her and her crew, crossing the Mediterranean through the Atlantic Ocean for Cuba.
I call him, Capitaine Fantastic. My father is a dreamer. He showed me that dreams are possible to achieve. He started as a biologist in Africa, then continued his way to South East Asia where he dedicated 15 years of his life in humanitarian aids. After 30 years in Cambodia working on multiples projects, he decided to buy a sail boat.
‘’One day I will find my father in the sea and bring him back’’, 4 years old dad talking to his mother who was weeping for the loss of her husband who drown in the middle of the sea.
This young electrician from Lyon, France meet Pierre in 2017 during their training of boat maintenance in Marseille. He decided to join us in our journey to Cuba from France. AKA JB, always have a big smile on his face, even when nothing on the boat is working.
Julie spent 8 years abroad, within her travels she stopped by Moroccan desert as well as Central Africa, Quebec and New Zealand. She came back to France in April and started working in the Marina port. She’s an experience sailor, working as a deckhand on water yacht.
Seeing her enthousiaste for Suzanne and the love of the sea as well as the adventure life style, we suggested her to join us for Transatlantic wish she gladly accepted.
Yannick spend 15 years living in his boat at Marina port. He's been working in the harbord since then. He is also an artist, he does photography and acrylic paint.
We’re making 5 stops before arriving to Cuba. First stop will be at the Balearic Islands, second stop in Gibraltar, then Canary Islands, after Cape Verde. We will drop off Yannick and Julie in the Martinique and finally we will arrived to Havana. The trip will be a month and a half long depending on the weather.
We are still hesitating to stop by L’Ile de Gorée, Barbados Island, Tobago Island, Príncipe Island and Jamaica Island.
Jean-Baptiste and Pierre have been working 8 months non stop on the boat, under the heat of summer to the cold wind of the French coast. After the purchase of the boat, they’ve done a total refit of the boat from electricity, to mechanics and plumbing.
About the food on board, we prepared about 600 meals. We will stop by each coast to buy more fresh food as well as refiling our stock of water (1300 Liter) and gazoline (1000 Liter).
Life on board
Living on a boat is not simple. We can use up to 5 Liter of water per person each day. As our water is very limited, we will use sea water to cook, take shower with salt water and rince ourselves with clean water.
Cooking will be mission impossible has te boat will be moving and lean a lot. All the garbage will have to be clean and put properly back in small closet.
I can't wait to gaze at the millions stars, wake up to a unique sunrise every morning over the deep infinite horizon, swim in the clouds reflected by the sky.
This journey is going to transform, elevate and awaken us in so many level. Sailing into the sea, comes with great courage and responsibilities, only to find freedom with full awareness.
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean is taking the risk going out of your confort zone. Confronting mother nature in all her formes, being constantly under threat of life and death, being hit by enormous waves, not sleeping nor eating enough in a cold humide boat.
This experiences will build a strong character, a fearless and wise mind. Learning to live again. Learning to enjoy the little things, learning to admire our world with all its complexity and beauty. Learning to be reconnected to our nature, once again.
I’m ready to turn this chapter of my life, starting my 23 years with this journey across the sea.
We're a bit late on schedule due to some electronic problem. The crew is being very patient but in our mind we already left to the exotic places in the world.
5pm we decided to leave Marina Baie Des Anges for Hyères, which is not far away from where we were. It took us 11 hours to arrive. The weather was suppose to be good but instead it was raining with a lot of wind.
JB and I immediately got sea sick. The crew have been running non stop since 5pm. Finally we anchored behind les Îles de Hyère at 4pm.
During our Anchorage, a dolphin swam around our boat, looking at us with curiosity. What a magnificent creature ...
All in all, last night was a very tough and rough night for everyone, with very little sleep.
At 6 am, the sunrises and we were already on our way to Hyères. The weather was terrible. Rain and wind. The Mediterranean is considered as one of the most difficult sea to navigate due to it irregular wind and wave coming from every direction.
We took shelter at the Port of Hyères and decided to stay few night to repair the Auto Pilot, who is not working and to stay away from the storms.
After hours of work, JB and Pierre couldn't fix the problem with the auto pilot. We are looking for to buy a new one and continue our adventure.
For now, we will be stuck in the Port of Hyères until Wednesday until the storm ends. The weather is not good and might not get any better. We are still determine to leave soon.
Next stop, Balearic Island
While the guys were working on the boat, Julie and I went to the Flea Market.
Next stop, Balearic Island
In the meantime, Julie, Sarah (a friend in Hyères) and I took our time to prepare delicious meals to feed the hungry guys. We also cleaned the boat, fixed few more stuff and enjoyed the bright blue sky.
We are all impatient to leave but for now, we have to learn patience.
We might have been stuck one more week on land, but we’ve been spending lovely moments all together. At night, after a nice dinner we would gather around two small candles, the red light of the marin lamp and our disco ball. With a smooth music accompanying the good taste of rhum, we would be captivated by the stories Dad would tell about his adventurous life.
We were supposed to leave Wednesday 28th but the boat wasn’t ready. So our next departure is pushed to Saturday afternoon. The reason we have to wait 3 more days is due to the strong wind on Friday and Saturday Morning, which can be dangerous.
The red areas are winds at 30 knot (55.56 km/h).
After days trying to fix the auto pilot, we finally took Suzanne out for a ride and it was amazing. We did 4 hours of navigation around an island. We had lunch in a very cozy area.
It was a peaceful feeling being surrounded only by the sound of the wind, the heat of the sun and the blue color of the landscape. We could even sea dolphin swimming near by.
We make a great team…
Tomorrow is the big day. We are finally leaving. Like we all say in the boat, ''On se Casse!''
We won't have internet for a while. Let the weather be nice, let the wind lead us to where we want to go. Let the goddesses & gods of the sea be with Suzanne.
Here we go.
THE BALEARIC ISLAND
In only 3 days of navigation in the Mediterranean, there are so many stories to tell. Life on sea is not easy, there’s always something happening, something to do, to see, to feel..
The most important thing I could share now, are all the different landscapes we’ve seen. It surpassed all my imaginations. Left me completely speechless. Overwhelmed, full of different emotions, feelings, sensations. Filed my empty soul with wonders of the world, that most of people haven’t yet discovered.
At night, you could see millions, infinite of stars, even galaxies from each corners of you eyes. You could seat watching them for hours and hours without seeing the time past by.
Around 2-3 am, the moon would come out going up in the sky followed by that one star. They would be out until the sun rise. A half bright moon and star in a pink, yellow blue sky… How magical..(We still have no clue if it is the polar start or maybe even Venus - L’étoile du Berger)
When the sun goes down, the water splashes becomes gold. In the afternoon, the sun is so bright that the reflection on the water looks like thousand of sparkles lighting up the sea.
There are always Dolphins swimming by, jumping near the boat.
Julie was seating in front of Suzanne saying to Yann how she would want to see dolphins swimming by, under her feet. 10 minutes later, the great creatures of the sea came to say hi.