Road to the Route du Rhum 2018

Class 40 delivery

Just few days ago I made it back to Switzerland after I had delivered a Class40 from the Acores back to Southampton (Hamble).

After having found a crew for the delivery (George Johnson) the whole trip started off with a long jurney from Basel out to the Acores. Funny enough the flight from Basel trough Zürich to Lissabon was cheaper then getting on the plane directly in Zürich, which meant travelling to Basel to take the plane to go where I just came from, I don’t quite understand how the airline industry works.

After arriving in Lissabon the true fun started. Having waited at the Gate for two houres for the delayed plane the airline decided finaly to cancel the flight which meant for us an other  houre to get our luggage back, cab to a hotel wating with all the other passangers to check into the same hotel. We finally got our rooms after a good houre of queing in front of the reception desk.

Next morning we got on the plane which had a two houre delay at that point. After two abandonned landing atempts in Horta we got diverted to an other island where we sat around for a bit again before the thik cloud above horta had lifted an made it possible to land. Wayting at the baggage reclaim we got told that most of the luggage had stayed in Lissabon and it would be here by seven pm. With an other two houres to wait at the airport it was time for a beer!

Preparations for the trip took us two days involving patching up sails, rigcheck, buying food, testing comms, getting fuel, paying the marina…

We checked out and left on a saturday morning with a forecast of  20-25kn NE breeze so right on the nose, so quite a harsch start. After two days of beating in fairly breezy conditions we came closer to the high pressure system which was laying north of the acores. We began to tack back and forwards in between the high and lowpressure systems to keep in good wind conditions.

After another 48 houres we had to bite the bullet and try to cross the high pressure system. We burned some fuel crossing this high pressure area, and were waiting for the promised westerly breeze, at that point we started to calculate the distance we could motor with the fuel which was left and if we could reach land with that. Luckily the breeze filled in slowly and for the first time on the trip we could get the kite up. Now the distance to go srunk with at least twice the speed as in the last few days and it was a good feeling beeing able to point directly at the isle of wight.

 Getting closer to the englishs channel the wind gradually started to build, soon we were down to second reef and staysail still doing double figures. The seastate wasen’t very niche, typical channel condition short steep chop. With only two days to go we started to dig in deep in our pasta reserves, we ended up eating a kilo of pasta a day usually with pesto sauce, awesome. We passed the needles with a good 25kn of breeze and slack tide. Just as w came into southampton waters the anounced front came trough with a couple of strong gusts. The good thing was we were ready to take our sails down anyway.

Tied up at HYS in Hamble the only thing we were craving for was a good Burger with chips and a warm shower.

All in all a good trip not the fastest with nine days but It could have been worse and the owner was very pleased to see his boat back in England.

ow I am very busy woking and organizing all the stuff for my mini then the boats is supposed to be finish in about a month.   Simon

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