This should be our last night ashore until late September. Tomorrow is re-launch day

Before that, sincere thanks to the e-mailers who wrote in response to our PBO homily on Liveaboard finance. It was good to hear from a number of wives who are coming round to seeing that a long cruise need not involve beam end sailing, nor need it wreck the savings. It has also been great to meet those of you who came down to the boat to say “Hello.”

The long cruise feasibility study runs for the next 2 PBO issues ( May/June) then switches to boat computers, communications, phones and staying in touch with family and business. We also have some good, practical gear to evaluate.

Staying in touch should be simpler and more efficient now that our Forum has been modified.

From the viewpoint of our Last Supper ashore, the approximate timetable is

Wednesday 11th – re-launch and load

Thursday 12th – to Brixham (30 miles) in time to eat a pair of lasagnes that Rita made about a month ago.

Saturday 14th (or asap after) to Camaret (150 miles).

Thereafter, island hopping aslant down across inshore Biscay to Pauillac for demasting, then a couple of legs up-river via Bordeaux to the start of the canals – by early May if we get lucky, then a month to get through and out into the Med for a period in the zone between Agde and Monaco. How far? Who cares. We shall be back home in late September.

In theory, we could be in the canals by early May. In practice, the April weather usually wants to have a shout and that could add a fortnight to the 500 mile route.

This will be Abemama’s 8th “down and back” in a season. It is a great adventure with some offshore and tidal cruising, plus 250 miles of canals and a time in the Med sun, before cruising all the way home again. We are very lucky to have the sort of job (PBO is by no means our only client) which lets us earn as we cruise, but are convinced that more professionals could do it.

We are regularly asked: How lonjg does it take? Could we do it in several legs and leave the boat at each place? Where? How much? Can we send the masts by road? Where to where? How much?

We shall do our best to answer these queries as we travel and will report on anything observed along the way.

With any luck, the next posting will be from Brixham, or from Camaret, or – as I skive below to write and Rita navigates the boat down the Chenal du Four. It has happened. Believe me. That is cruising and why you never write “To” in the destination column of the log, but always note “Towards.”

Colin & Rita Jones 2130 Tuesday 10th April 2001 Lyme Regis