When we arrived in France we did not think we would experience the Vendee Globe in “front row seats”. The Vendee Globe is a round-the-world single-handed (solo) yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance.
We have been invited to one of the biggest boat shows in Europe, as guest of honor! We are preparing Messenger to move her from Étel to La Rochelle, not more than a 24 hour passage but she hasn't sailed in a while, so we have things to do!
The invitation was sparked by our recent 6 page article in Voiles et Voiliers, the biggest sailing magazine in France and therefore perhaps the biggest in the world, the French currently hold the lead in the sailing world.
They even put together a compilation video using our footage from our voyage, check it out!
Here is the invitation letter we received:
We are very pleased to welcome you in the Grand Pavois Boat Show in La Rochelle. Each year we present sailors who have extraordinary adventures and we put the focus on them for our visitors. Your story with all the family is very attractive.
The Grand Pavois has 800 international brands, 750 boats on show over 100,000 sq. metres of exhibition space, more than 250 new features presented each year and 90.000 visitors expected.
GRAND PAVOIS ORGANISATION
We are honored and excited!!!
After a long journey from Iceland, having crossed many miles in the last 4 months and “winter” conditions upon us, we felt a sense of accomplishment. Though we still hadn’t arrived to our final destination, we had at least made it to France, which was our plan. We still had a way to go but in a way we felt as though “we made it!”
We arrived in Nieuwpoort, Belgium at night and had picked this place because it was suggested by friends of friends, who, to our knowledge, knew we were an engineless sailing vessel. They were also sailors so we took their suggestion and picked Nieuwpoort over the other ports in Belgium. As luck has it when we were at the entry to the Yser river which flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort, the tide was ebbing and it was upwind. There was a 2 knot current and wind was light, about 10 knots but constantly shadowed by buildings along the river.
We discovered while visiting our friends in Amsterdam that calling the Netherlands Holland is incorrect but “accepted” or more like something that the Dutch resigned themselves to over the worlds ignorance. Holland means wood land and refers only to North and South Holland, two of the nation’s twelve provinces.
Usually I write each passage separately but the story of the passage from Norway to Germany would have been pretty bleak were as the passage from Germany to the Netherlands was extremely pleasant, therefore it only made sense to combine them in order to balance the gloomy experience with the cheerful one.
We spent about 13 days in total in this archipelago of islands. First we were in Midvágur for about 4 days and then we moved to Tórshavn, known as the worlds smallest capital. Though we only visited 2 out of the 18 islands we feel we got to experience the true essence of this country and most important to us, it’s people.
Today Messenger and it’s crew represent .is, our goal is to create awareness that .com is not the only and best option out there for a web domain. Not only has .is been consistently rated among the top five most secure domains in the world but it is also one of the few where you can buy the domain directly at the registry without going through a ‘middle-man’. The coolest thing about a .is is that it is a readable domain, this means that you can use your domain name in a slogan or phrase on your url.
The Coconuts are on the move again!
After wintering in Iceland we have set sail again. Magical things are happening, lots of ocean life all around us. Especially humpback whales who are here for the summer. Just like we left the Caribbean for Arctic, so have the humpback whales.
Many new sailing adventures coming to your screen soon.