The new season is almost here so, here begins a new beginning.

After a lot of mental effort and dithering, the decision has been made. We (still Colin & Rita Jones) will cruise our Colvic Watson 29 to The Med and back this Summer, for the 8th time, via the Canal du Midi. The cruise will start from Lyme Regis at Easter and return here in mid-September.

The progress of the preparation and the journey will be posted in this spot a couple of times a week. If you think that we can give any more information, or you would like to add a relevant comment to fill out what we are able to offer, please use the Forum. At the moment, this part of Liveaboards Corner is very ‘user unfriendly’, but we shall simplify it asap to have only 2 boxes ie Ask A Question or Post A Comment. You will need to register, but this is free and simple and you will need to show an e-mail address, so that we can contact you direct. The reasons for this are that it might be easier to give an individual answer, also ( I am sorry to say) we like to know who we are talking to in the hope of keeping the discussions very relevant, rather than being a mini Reader To Reader and to assist with the fact that we are not IPC subsidised. We pay our own telephone bill, which on a gsm mobile from France, just needs watching. You can also contact us direct at midicruise2001@aol.com but this address might change when we get to France and switch our comms to a Fr local access number.

In the Forum, there are currently 2 empty boxes titled Equipment and Budget. Until the engineers re formulate the Forum, I suggest that we use them for Questions and Comment respectively and look forward to talking with you there.

In the current issue of PBO, you can follow some of the preparation for the trip down to Bordeaux, as we discuss some interesting planning software in Liveaboards Diary. Next month, we shall be airing our theory that almost anybody who wants to be a semi livaboard can probably get there – sooner than you might think. The series also has an on-going discussion about equipment and will shortly enter the minefield of a boat PC – which is presently giving me very considerable aggro – but we’ll get there.

So, why The Med again? Maybe we had a touch of angst about repeatedly cruising the same route – perhaps not using the boat to its full potential. We have done N Spain twice, Ireland and Corsica etc and spent several months considering Scotland and Holland. The conclusion was that eating every meal and doing much of the socialising down in the saloon is OK for a 3 week holiday,( See header photograph) but we are on the boat for a continuous 6 months when, May to August incl, we expect to have almost every meal in the cockpit, can have bankside bbqs, get away on mountain bike excursions and have guaranteed sun. Of the 6 months, we probably spend 2 in the canals, where there are no berthing fees and where we have dozens of really good friends. It is irresisitible.

The round trip is 1000 miles of English Channel, S Brittany and aslant across Biscay, plus 500 miles of canals and 500 miles of Med cruising. That is super variety – a splendid adventure which we are very happy to navigate again and will visit – and report on facilities, prices etc – some favourite and some different ports en route.

As I write this, I can see the boat from the window. There is a lot to do before we go but that, I am told, is part of the fun. The buzz is beginning to happen. Six weeks to go. If you want to share the pleasures and the perils, log onto the Forum and contribute for us and for all the other readers. I am sure that we can help each other and have a lot of fun as well.