Sunday, 21 June 2015

Inside Mareda at Lands End

Greetings from Aber Wrac’h on the northwestern tip of Finistere, or Lands End in French.  We’ve had a beautiful couple of days sailing around the tip of Brittany, including two tricky tidal passages (Raz de Sein and Four Channel) that were unbelievably smooth.  

Local tradition says that when you round the Raz de Sein and align two light houses (the Plate and the Vielle), you take a swig of rum.  Not ones to snub tradition, we had rum from Guadaloupe ready and waiting.

almost aligned...

lined up

aaaaaand swig !
On the day we rounded the Raz de Sein, the French marine traffic control reminded sailors in the area to make way for the Solitaire de Figaro race.  I quickly jotted down the latitude and longitude positions and estimated that they were a few miles west of us.  I couldn’t see them but when I looked at the Automatic Identification System (AIS) on the chart plotter, it wasn’t hard to tell where they were.    

anyone seen the Solitaire de Figaro around here?  (That's us in the Raz de Sein)

We’re really thrilled with the boat, inside and out.  The performance and stability of the boat are really impressive.  With the currents in the Four Channel, we hit 8.9 knots with just the mainsail and the genoa.   

It has taken us awhile to post photos of the interior of Mareda, since I was waiting to have everything neat and tidy.  I realized after 2 weeks of living aboard that things will never be as photogenic as I would like, so without further delay, here is the interior on an ordinary day.

The interior is comfortable, spacious, and chic.  It’s hard to refer to such interior spaces as the galley, or the head, or the cabins.  On Mareda, we have a kitchen, a bathroom, and bedrooms.  The “water closet” part of the bathroom is as big as our wc at home.  The two bedrooms have real mattresses, not foam pads.  We have more hanging space on the boat that in our home bedroom.  The refrigerator capacity is as big as our home frige.  We love having hot water on demand.  We also love our black water tank (means we don’t have to use the public toilets in port anymore).  Patrick’s “home-boat cinema” is impressive, and although we said we never listen to music in the cockpit while underway, we tried out the sound system on the water yesterday and it rocks !  On a sunny day, the solar panels charge enough for the navigation system, the auto pilot, and the refrigerator.  The table in the salon (er, uh…living room) is huge.  We have tons of storage space, although much of that space is underneath the salon seating area cushions and getting to things can be a bit of a chore.

So far, our only complaint about the interior is that the water pump is LOUD.  I don’t know if that’s normal.  We’ll have it checked out at the end of the season.  We’re still having a bit of a problem with our genoa furler.  We can furl it without the winch when there’s no strain on it, but when we want to partially roll it up during high winds, even if we let the sheets out fully, there’s still too much stress on the sail to get it to furl without using the winch.  That’s not great during a stiff breeze.  We’ve put in a call to the boatyard to see if we can have someone look at that along the way in the next week.

Tomorrow we’re headed off to Batz Island where we MAY attempt our first drying-out (echouage) with Mareda.  Unfortunately, we’ll touch down at 11:30 pm and lift off at 6:30 pm, so I’ll have to be really motivated to get out and photograph the event.

Internet is LOWSY and the blog will be delayed by a week or more as I try to catch up when we DO get a good connection.  More updates coming over the next 24 hours while we have a decent connection...


Astrolabe Sailing said...

She is so beautiful!