Change of Plans

It’s taken me three weeks to get my head around what’s happened and to be able to write this post. We’re in London, I have had three surgeries on my shoulder and Wildling is for sale!

My appointment with the shoulder specialist started out OK, he was thinking it was most likely a partial tear that would heal on its own, but based on the nature of the injury and the fact that I had pain in multiple locations, an MRI was required. The MRI showed extensive damage to my shoulder joint and tears in two of the rotator cuff tendons. It would not heal without surgery, and full recovery after surgery would take 1 year! It took three surgical procedures during a 3 hour operation to repair all the damage.

All our plans for sailing Wildling in the ARC in November and then across the Pacific next year are completely shot. Even if we postponed the Atlantic crossing for 1 year, it doesn’t work because we have to be back in Australia at the end of 2019 so Lindsay can go back to finish her last two years of high school. So that pushes a voyage of this magnitude off until after Lindsay starts university, 3-1/2 years from now. We bought Wildling to explore the Med for a few years and then sail over to the Pacific, but since that isn’t possible, we have decided it’s best to sell her in France and buy another boat in Australia when I am able to sail again. Robin and I still plan on exploring the Pacific once both the kids are in university, but we will be doing that from our home base in Australia.

One thing for sure, whoever buys Wildling is going to get an amazing boat! With all the upgrades we have done and taking care of the post delivery “new boat” repairs and getting her totally dialed in for world cruising, she’s even better now than when we took delivery of her in 2015.

I’m going to focus on shoulder rehab and Robin and I have a lot of thinking and planning to do as we decide what’s next for us. This will not stop our sailing adventures, that’s for certain, we just have to adapt to the new situation and move forward!


Meanwhile, in France…

It’s been a while since I posted, and mainly because we have been busy with work and getting our family established in Aix-en-Provence (near Marseille). Things are going well on both fronts, but it has been a bit crazy.

We spent some time at the Multihull boatshow in La Grande Motte, which was good, but I found out later that I missed out on seeing this amazing catamaran!!!! If we ever feel like Wildling is too small or too slow, I’m going to try and convince Robin we need one of these!

Outremer had quite a few boats on display at the show, including the new 4X, which is a performance version of the Outremer 45. They added carbon and changed the ratio of solid layup to foam sandwich in the hulls to remove weight, increased the power of the headsails and extended the transoms to increase waterline length. The 4X is now 47 feet long, faster than the 45 but still as seaworthy.

Also at the show was a new foredeck canopy manufactured by Delta-Voiles and on display on one of the new 5X boats. Great idea, especially at anchor in the tropics, we’re going to order one of these for Wildling.

This new canopy is made by Delta-Voiles in France for the Outremer 5X, great idea!

This foredeck canopy is made by Delta-Voiles in France for the Outremer 5X, great idea!

In between boatshows and starting new schools for the kids, we caught up with our friends in Marseille, who as usual blew us away with their seemingly endless supply of excellent wine, we loved this one!

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We’ve had some issues with our B&G instruments lately, I’m starting to worry a bit about our decision to go with B&G, as I’m not sure the reliability of the new H5000 equipment is as good as the older Hydra systems we had on our last boat, that were rock solid the entire time we owned it.

In the last three weeks, we had to replace the masthead sensor unit because we lost our wind direction information. Then we had a problem with the main chartplotter not retaining the configuration for the boat speed sensor, so we had no boat speed information. It seems this was an issue that occurred when the system software was updated. And this week, the sea water temperature went haywire, so we are going to have to replace the water temperature sensor. I hope we can get these systems stabilized soon!

I promise you the water temperature in the Med is a lot less than 49 degrees Celsius right now!

I promise you the water temperature in the Med is a lot less than 49 degrees Celsius right now!

The biggest headache we have had to deal with since arriving in France was to find a marina berth for Wildling closer to where we are living. I called nearly every marina between Marseille and Nice and nobody had any room for us. We owe a huge thanks to François from Outremer for recommending we try Port Corbières just west of Marseille, I called them and they found us a place, so we are all set! We visited the Port today and it’s a really nice and very well equipped marina, and it’s only 25 minutes drive from where we are living in Aix-en-Provence. Marseille is also a great base to keep the boat. There are lost of good cruising locations nearby and it’s a good departure point for Corsica and Sardinia, which is where we are planning on cruising this summer.

Wildling's new parking place in Port Corbières.

Wildling’s new parking place in Port Corbières.

Looking east from the dock, there's an excellent view of Marseille

Looking east from the dock, there’s a nice view of the city of Marseille.

I also talked with Sergio from EWOL today about our new, smaller diameter propellers. They are going to be ready in about two more weeks, so we will probably install them after we move Wildling over to the new marina, sometime after the Outremer Cup which is taking place next week in La Grande Motte.

Although we have been busy, we are still finding time to enjoy life in France!

Don’t worry, although we have been busy, we are still finding time to enjoy life in France!

Back to Wildling!

The wait is almost over, and we will be back on-board Wildling next week for a mini-voyage during the kid’s Autumn school vacation. This time we are planning to sail to the Balearic Islands of Majorca and Ibiza, then following the east coast of Spain northwards back to France.

In the meantime, Wildling has been representing Outremer at the Cannes boat show, under the watchful eyes of François and Jean-Pierre. She will be back in La Grande Motte this week, and should be all ready for us to leave for Majorca when we arrive on Wednesday.

Here are some photos that Matthieu took of Wildling at the Cannes Yachting Festival on September 12th.

Wildling at Yachting Festival de Cannes

Wildling at Yachting Festival de Cannes

Wildling at Yachting Festival de Cannes

Wildling at Yachting Festival de Cannes

While we’re waiting

We are coming up on 1 year of being “boatless”, so we’re all getting a bit anxious to go sailing again! Construction on Wildling is going really well, but the waiting is still a bit difficult. In the meantime, there are a few projects we’ve been working on so we’re ready to go sailing as soon as Wildling is finished.

Australian registration and flag

I submitted our application to register Wildling as an Australian vessel. The process involves many forms and is a bit mysterious, but I managed to “mostly” get it correct the first go. The good news is that we now have an official registered number with Australian Maritime Services, and we have secured our boat name, which is good, because coming up with a new name at this point would be a bummer.

The things I got wrong were not using my full middle name on two of the forms, and not having the correct construction type designation on the builder’s certificate. I had put “fiberglass layup” and they needed “molded”. They also need the original copy of the builder’s certificate, which is on it’s way over from France right now.

François at Outremer, was a big help with all of this! Australian shipping requires a bunch of measurements of the boat to figure out molded depth and tonnage, so he had to collect all the details for us, fill out a complicated form, get it certified and then send over to Australia. Thanks François!

The two remaining details to complete are to provide Australian Shipping with a “Certificate of Handover” in June when we take possession of Wildling. They also need us to mark the name and registration details on the boat in accordance with the “Marking Note” that they sent me. Once that’s done we will be fully registered and can voyage internationally under the Australian flag.

Wildling wear

We worked with Jess at Musto clothing to get custom logos printed on T-shirts, sunshirts, hats and jackets. Musto make really nice clothing for sailors and they did a great job on the clothes for our last boat, so we decided to use them again for Wildling. The sunshirts and jackets won’t be ready until next month, but we have the T-shirts and hats. Here are some pictures of Lindsay modeling our shirts!

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Robin is getting started on our bed linens and towels. These are very important details, and thankfully she has the expertise and motivation necessary to make sure everything is done correctly!