Welcome back to France

It really is great to be back; the trip down went hitch free apart from I got stung for the overhang of my mast on Britanny Ferries! Can you believe that? I was going to insist that no cars were allowed to park under my mast as I had paid for the space, but life is too short for that sort of carry on.

Driving through France is always restful; big open roads, fast moving traffic and the knowledge that my destination is a special one.

When I arrived in La Rochelle and was just starting to panic about getting lost in the city with a big red boat on the back of the van, a moped driver pulled up alongside me and started gesticulating wildly.

I ended up with my own personal escort to the marina, who never even stopped to say hello, just tipped his helmet and was gone.

The minis are special here.

After dropping the boat off at the boatyard, I hooked up with Mathieu of the GPO who is organising the skippers, to say hello and let him know I was here.

I took the rest of Wednesday off to visit Sable D’Olonne where the Figaro fleet had just arrived on a stopover, the race village was buzzing with activity and I managed to catch up with the Artemis Academy Scholarship winner Sam Goodchild for a bite to eat and a general gossip.

The rest of the week has been a slow plod of getting the boat in the water and the mast up. Unfortunately I have come down with a mega lurgy and so any work has been a struggle, fighting against, a cough, no breath and aching limbs in temperatures well over 30 degrees.

I have a cosy bed made up at the front of the mini, and am making the most of it to sleep off my illness, and if everyday I can achieve a little, step by step I am getting closer to the transat.

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