our Journey

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Sunday, May 6, 2012


Avignon to Port St Louis De Rhone, was our last inland leg, and in hindsight difficult and disappointing.

The weather really dented our spirits and for much of the journey prevented us from totally immersing ourselves in the culture and atmosphere of the the towns we passed through. The trip from Avignon through Arles was hard, with strong currents, waves and head winds and the occasional glimpse of sun peeping through grey clouds in a fairly empty landscape.

The one consolation was making friends and enjoying the company of fellow sailors. Brits,Tim and Georgina, had a memorable dinner with us on 'Austral' on our last night in Port St Louis De Rhone. Hopefully we can continue to keep in touch once we go our separate ways.

Dinner was even more enjoyable with these two  French wines - smooth and very drinkable.

Once through the last lock at the Rhone mouth we moored at the St Louis De Rhone marina and made preparations to put the mast back on the boat. The thought of having sails again was exciting and at the same time stressful as we had no idea of the condition of our mast and whether  it would go back on, problem free.
leaving St Louis De Rhone
We left St Louis De Rhone the next morning and reached 'Navy Service', a massive shipyard of 1000s of yachts on 'the hard', and set about readying the mast. Our mast and rigging had mostly survived being stored for the 11 months, although a few pieces of equipment had been pilfered. Fortunately, the local workshops had parts we could use. Our main sail and genoa were given to the local sailmaker to make some small repairs and were ready to rig after the mast was stepped.

lifting the mast from it's stand
guiding the mast
setting it in place

With amazing skill 3 men picked up our mast and with David's help, guided it onto the mast base. The shrouds and stays were put in place, tightened and we were nearly ready to sail.

We decided to return for the night to the the St Louis De Rhone marina, sleep happy in the thought that all was well, ready to set of the next morning.

At last the 'Austral' was back as it should be...........

1 comment:

tom said...

Congratulations on replacing your mast and sails. Hope the weather improves for your sailing in the near future.