From Bordeaux to Port Douglas: Crew Report 1

Sunset Sailing Port Douglas

Wishing everyone a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sailaway IV is now completed and has recently been launched in Bordeaux in France!
Katrina and Steve made the long journey to Europe for the handover and final inspections and this is our first newsletter giving you updates on the sea delivery from France, across the Atlantic, Panama Canal, across the Pacific and into Port Douglas.

The sail delivery is now under way. We met up with our Delivery Crew Morrie and Irene and the Lagoon team as well as Brendan Hunt, our broker from Vicsail, Sydney at the Paris Boat show early December. A very impressive event and we felt even more confident that we had chosen the right model of boat and quality builder.

We enjoyed staying in the heart of Paris and having a dose of Europe, including the cold grey rainy days sitting in cafes near Notre Dame broken up by long walks, sightseeing and metro rides from St Germaine. We made our way to Bordeaux by air then train to the beautiful and historic sea port of La Rochelle. After checking into the Mercure Hotel next to the marina, we gazed out in the evening sky to spot the distinctive Lagoon profile and could not resist getting fleeced up and jumping the gate to introduce ourselves to our new Sailaway IV a Lagoon 500.
We had received regular photos during production from the factory yet needed to get onboard and enjoy our reality check. We were not disappointed even though we had no lights or torch we were very excited with the prospects that lay ahead. Needless to say, we made ourselves at home and stayed on the boat for the next 6 days.

Sailaway IV undertook the first sea trails from the factory to La Rochelle to have the new custom stainless steel life rails built and make final preparations for the 14,000 nm sea delivery. During the initial 6 days living onboard we had some very cold and windy days, ice covered decks, one morning gusting 52 knots. The sails went up, new spinnaker hoisted, reef lines adjusted, all lockers, hatches and manuals inspected. Endless lists were attacked to keep the departure on time, hoping for a weather break and the team all got motivated. Many laughs were had and stories were told during the numerous outings to great restaurants. Work was productive with the usual ‘Plat de Jour’ and a bottle of Rose’ as well on the odd crisp clear day.

Katrina and Steve left for the 37 hours journey from La Rochelle to Cairns and Port Douglas, while Morrie & Irene made their final checks and studied the weather on Morrie’s sat phone data linked to laptop in anticipation on the shortest but potentially hardest leg of the journey, across the Bay of Biscay in winter, aiming to get to Lisbon for a Christmas break. The Atlantic crossing is planned during January and Steve, Katrina and family will join the boat again in Tortolla BVI, Caribbean around the 1st February 07.

P.S. Latest report from Sailaway IV via sat phone. “Everything going like a dream, 45 nm from Lisbon Portugal on the 22/12/06 at 12.30pm. Boat sailing well and fast in varied conditions.”