July 26, 2011

caen, france

We left Cherbourg Sunday morning at 8 AM for a favorable tide (http://www.previmer.org/) and arrived at the West Lock of Ouistreham at 6 PM.  It was our first time in the canal.  We entered the lock at 7:30, a bit nervous about tying up to the concrete wall. Unfortunately our big red balls were in our 20' sea container next to Manuel Mendes' workshop in South Africa.  Anasazi Girl only had two tiny fenders for our Transatlantic voyage.

We side-tied to a friendly French fishing boat.  They helped us with our lines, showed us their catch of the day, offered us fish, wine, and calvadose - an intense apple brandy from the rĂ©gion of Basse-Normandie - guaranteed to make you breathe fire.  With calvadose on our tongues, we waited for the water to rise, and entered Napolean's canal in easier spirits.

Motored gently to the famous Pegasus Bridge, which was closed for the night.  We met a family with 5 children on board, en route to the Channel Islands.  They helped us dock the boat and gave us information about the canal.

More local hospitality as we were invited on board for wine, bread, cheese, ravioli, and dessert.  With us and their friends on board, there were a total of 6 adults and 10 children!  Tormentina in heaven to be with so many other kids.  We spent the night there, ready for the bridge to open the next morning (http://www.yachtpilot.net/ouistreham.html).

We are now in Caen at the Nouveau Basin, tied up near V1D2.  Our firend Jean-Francois Lilti (owner of the Avocet 50) hooked us up with our location, a flat, and a car to use while in Caen.

July 23, 2011

normandy galley

We are leaving Cherbourg in the early AM with the tide providing us favorable current, 80 miles to Caen.
Finally feeling rested, and pleasantly surprised by all the positive feedback about our voyage.
The wheels of thought are turning for our next adventure on the boat.

Met my Cambodian relatives living in France for the first time:  Putry Tot, husband Mum, and their son Saang. They brought us fresh local strawberries, plums, raspberries, pineapple and a Bloc de Foie Gras d'Oie and took us out for a Normandy dinner complete with Cidre.

We have been enjoying fresh food again here in Normandy, esp. the cheese.  Here is what our galley looked  like yesterday.

July 21, 2011

transatlantic family voyage 2011

port of chantereyne

We are tied up to Pontoon G, at the Cherbourg Marina, Port of Chantereyne.  Easy to find us, as we are the only boat in the marina with red and white stripes at the top of the mast.  Very peaceful here, and everything in town is within easy walking distance from the port.  Today the sun finally came out after several days of rain, and we were able to dry out the boat and the sails.
Tormentina and Raivo visited their first castle this afternoon - Chateau des Ravalet - with our friend Matthieu Feron (designed of the Avocet 50:  http://www.grandlarguecomposites.com/Avocet%2050/Avocet%2050.html)  and his beautiful children Issac and Ana.

We are enjoying the fresh bread and cheese, working on the boat list, and starting to get through the footage of HD photo and video we shot for 21 days.  

Here is a teaser that James uploaded:

July 20, 2011

cherbourg, france

Arrived at the Port of Cherbourg, France on 17 July 2011 around 5:30 am UTC.
21 days at sea with James and my two beautiful babies.
Absolutely exhausted + elated, floating on the land now as we wake up slowly from our dream life across the North Atlantic on a 40' sailboat powered only by the wind.

Lots of video footage and stills.
More soon to come...