After a lazy start at 8H30 this morning, the day was hectic.
We start to unpack all the material in the closet to select what is to return to France Saturday with the team, the things that René and I will take to Madagascar and finally the last things that Serge will take on the boat. The room looks like a battle field. There is no time to finish; everything is left as is so we can go to the beach for a photo shoot for l’Ultramarin with Anne Landrein. Then we transfer the photos and videos. It is already 11H00, I have had no WIFI connection this morning (the first thing I do when I get up is turn on the computer, my best friend and my worst enemy).
I have a meeting with Anne Braudel, the webmaster of our site, to finalize a few points concerning the photos on the site and at 11H30 we spend an hour together to solve the problem of the network card. As of noon everything is working and it’s time to update the site. Thanks go to Anne, who finds a solution to ever problem. I’m able to take a deep breath!
At the same time, Monika leaves us to go to the airport, direction Paris, this evening and the coast road is closed. It takes 3H to reach the airport via the road over the mountains. It will be the same for the family and the team that leave Saturday and Sunday. What a nightmare!
The coast road, the only direct connection with Saint-Denis, should be open Monday morning. It’s an impossible situation for the people who drive to work every day from the west to the island’s capital.
It’s 14H00 and I join Serge and Bertrand at the marina. At 15H00 we have a meeting at Middleton’s dock with Mr. de La Brosse, director of operations of CROSS Réunion. Mr. de La Brosse is a precious ally in all matters of security for the departure from the marina. CROSS means Regional Operational Center for Surveillance and Rescue (I give this info for novices like me)
Bertrand and Serge leave for the marina to see Middleton after the photo shoot. They have a few adjustments to make: fastenings for the oars, change of the end of the rudder to prevent water seepage at that point, addition of pad eyes to secure all the bags (we still have to fill the bag with clothing, bed sheets, toilet articles and the computer).
We are keeping for tomorrow the tests of the Fleet Broad Band with the PC and telephone which will enable Serge to have Internet and WIFI connections, as well as satellite telephone on his boat.
The ATA book (temporary import of the boat) will be signed tomorrow for exit from the French territory, planned for we don’t know when: the 15, 16, 17 ……..
Finalizing of different papers which Serge will take on board: the very detailed and precise list of everything stowed. Bertrand has prepared an Excel spread sheet per cabin indicating “rear right hand chest,” “forward left hand chest,” etc. In every nook and cranny of the boat there are vital goods which may be needed at a given moment and time cannot be wasted looking for an item. There has to be order on board.
For my part, I finish my lists of contacts : security, medical, important contacts such as the routers, technical charts of the electronic equipment, with a computer back up, but everything has a paper copy placed in waterproof bags because once at sea there will be water and dampness everywhere!
Tomorrow I must go to Saint-Denis to pick up the visas for Madagascar; however, I really have better things to do than spend 5 to 6 hours on the road, especially because on Saturday we will have to go to the airport and back and Serge’s departure is pushed forward every 12 hours.
I’m demoralized by the thought that our family and friends will leave without seeing Serge leave by boat. Today should have been the day when we accompanied him by boat on his departure. Even though we knew it, it makes me irritable. Haliba was not planned and I think there will be many things in the future that are not planned. We are going to have to be very adaptable and today my adaptability is close to zero.
Serge will wait the time it takes because no risks can be taken. Coastal navigation is always the most risky and difficult for his row boat. Patience, patience.
Maxime and Xavier of SatOcean explain why Serge did not leave today: By March 12, the tropical storm Haliba was losing strength as it headed south. Its passage left its mark on the ocean. The combination of strong winds and barometric instability created heavy waves. The height of the waves expected at Reunion Island Friday 13th is more than 2 meters. Conditions will improve; the ocean waves will decrease slowly and should reach a height of 1.5 meters by Monday. Delaying departure was obvious because of the ocean conditions. The situation seems to be improving which is good news for the first sea crossing
Forecast by Sea Rout (Michel)
For Saturday 14 March
Wind S to SSE 8-10 knots
Swell SSE 2.2 meters 13 seconds
Current SE to WSW 0.2 knots
For Sunday 15 March
Winds SE to SSE 8-12 knots
Swell SSE 2 to 1.9 meters 12 seconds
Winds 0 to 3-4 knots Swell SSE 1.7 meters 11 seconds
Eclectic photos today sent by SeaRout and SatOcean, beautiful photos of l’Entre Deux which part of the team visited today, Serge and Bertrand playing with a kite and Monika who is leaving us.
The photo of the little red bird of Day 3 is a cardinal. Merci Eliane.