24 June 2013 | Frejus, France
04 June 2013 | Antibes, France
19 May 2013 | Off the coast of Tunisia
24 February 2013 | Tunisia
17 February 2013 | Tunisia
10 February 2013 | France
04 February 2013 | France
27 January 2013 | Tunisia
24 June 2013 | Frejus, France
Life is good! We made it to Antibes with a whole two days to spare and finished third in class after our first ever four days of sailing Chinook! Not too bad for starters. Thanks to all the crew for putting up with Chinook’s grumpy skipper and making it a memorable first regatta. We look forward to the rest of our season which will kick off with Mahon at the end of August, followed by Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez.
We are resting up a bit now that the main pressure is off and we are slowly getting used to our life in France again. Chinook is berthed in Frejus for the summer and we have begun to get stuck into the nitty gritty. There is quite a lot of painting, varnishing and detailing to get through to bring her up to the standard that we find acceptable. Having done a few days sailing, we also have a good idea where to put chafe protection and the sails are on their way for a few touch ups. The cover making has begun with the first covers having arrived today. Next is the awning, which will be very welcome as it is already very hot down here. Much sanding is going on both below and above deck and we hope to have the interior looking tip top soonest.
Chinook’s famous sister, Rowdy, left St. Tropez on Saturday last in search of her third victory in the Bailli de Suffren offshore race to Malta. She acquitted herself extremely well during the first leg to Porto Rotondo in Sardinia, finishing second in class and we hope for lighter winds, in which she excels, for the next two legs. Congrats to Marco, Manu and all the crew on a job well done.
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Live tracking here (type in SNST to log on): http://www.sat-view.fr/interface/interface.php
Follow Chinook's Facebook page by clicking the Facebook logo at the top right of this blog page.
All the best for now,
Chinook at "Les Voiles d'Antibes"
04 June 2013 | Antibes, France
A lot has happened since I last posted and unfortunately we had a bit too much to do for me to find time to update you all.
The delivery to Ajaccio in Corsica, 380 miles, took the expected 48 hours and we only had a couple of very minor problems so we were very happy about that. We hoisted the mainsail and boomed jib for the first time of the south east coast of Sardinia. It was a beautiful morning with a flat sea and about 8 knots of breeze. Chinook enjoyed it enormously as she gathered up her skirts and took off at 6.5 knots and even though loaded to the gills with a couple of tons of tools and other equipment. We arrived in Ajaccio just as the yachts were crossing the finish line after the first race of ”Les Regates Imperiales” to a great welcome from our friends in the classic fleet. We were offered a berth with the yachts and were treated to Imperial hospitality at the regatta village and we would like to thank Stephane Meil and his team for their welcome for the six days that we were there. We were locked in for this time due to violent westerlies blowing continually, so we carried on with our preparations for “Les Voiles d’Antibes” as best as we could and finally departed for Antibes on Monday 27th May to arrive in the early hours of Tuesday morning and only two days before the first race. We decided that we would not race an untried yacht in anything over 10 knots but the weather was kind to us and we made the first start but without the jackyard as we hadn’t time to figure it all out that morning. We hoisted the working topsail for a bit more power in the light stuff but as you will see from the photos, it needs some more work and makes the sail plan look a bit stumpy! I doubt we will use it much for racing but it will be a very useful delivery sail. We took a creditable fourth in that race but we, the crew, were all a bit lost sailing her for the first time and in a race! The following morning we set to a little earlier with our preparations and bent on the jackyard, wooled it and hoisted it at the dock. Now we were really ready to do battle. We took second on that day and were all much more relaxed and Chinook was transformed form the ugly duckling of the previous day into the beautiful swan that she is! On the third day we did an involuntary 360 due to waves and no wind and only managed 5th but on the last day we pulled out all the stops and and beat our little sister, the New York 30, “Oriole” to take a very unexpected 3rd place in our class. There was relief all round, smiles, champagne, a lot of back slapping and grown men hugging each other.
Now, finally after 12 weeks on the trot and an ample level of utter exhaustion, Sandra and I have returned to the jungle that used to be our home to evict the new multi legged lodgers who figured that we weren’t coming back and decided to do a bit of renovation of their own.
I have posted a heap of pictures for your pleasure and in amongst the photos is a short video that I threw together this morning. Enjoy!
19 May 2013 | Off the coast of Tunisia
We are at sea!!! Left Tunisia at 1600 local time and slowly making our way towards southern Sardinia. Hope to make Ajaccio, Corsica in 48 hrs. Then on to our home waters of the French Riviera.
13 May 2013 | Tunisia
It is all happening so fast that I haven’t noticed the time passing and the days run into weeks and then I am lost! So, sorry I’m late but here is the news for the past week. We are now living aboard and believe me, it is a nice feeling. All systems are up and running and the first teething problems are rearing their ugly heads. Nothing major so far and it is a real pleasure to cook, shower and sleep aboard. We are still doing lots of woodwork, so trying to keep the place clean and the bilge free of dust and shavings is a full time job. That said, we are keeping head above water and making great inroads towards our departure for France this coming weekend. Tomorrow we bend on the mainsail and boomed jib and the stowing of gear continues amongst the fabrication of last minute bits of hardware using only authentic bits and pieces of the older Chinook. I will leave you now, having just stuffed myself full of chicken and mushroom pie cooked by Andrew on Chinook’s old alcohol Shipmate stove. A special pie, dedicated to this old lady as you can see, and who has been the centre of our attention for a few years already. We very much look forward to seeing you all very soon. There is much to talk about!
05 May 2013 | Tunisia
This past week has been an even bigger week than the last and the levels of stress and fatigue are increasing with each day that passes and that draws us ever closer to our inevitable departure towards the south of France in a couple of weeks. Time is short and we are expected on the start line at the end of the month in Antibes. I am guilty of neglecting friends and family these past few months and for that I am very sorry, but we have the bit between our teeth and it is hard to do everything and be everywhere all at once and I really think that what we are doing is worthwhile and important, so I would ask you all to forgive my long absence and rest assured that I will return soon.
We stepped the mast on Tuesday and it was a successful operation. I am happy to report that there were no major hiccups and that it was well planned. JC, our rigger, came out from France for the occasion and did sterling work for the three and a half days that he was on site. Meanwhile we have been laying all the deck hardware, plumbing, wiring, painting, varnishing, drilling etc etc. We have a lot left to do , but we will be ready to deliver to France in a couple of weeks. I haven’t taken many photos of the progress this week but I will post some more tomorrow. The photos of the stepping of the mast are now online.
Best regards to all and thank you for all the congrat’s, comments and general moral support.
28 April 2013 | Tunisia
Big week, big fatigue. I'll leave you to enjoy the photos and if I find some inspiration during the week I will write a bit of blurb.
23 April 2013 | Tunisia
Chinook re-joined her natural element this evening (too dark for a floating photo) and is now bobbing around nicely in the brackish water of the lagoon. She behaved admirably and gracefully, which is more than I can say for some! We are now preparing our first meal aboard and readying our sleeping quarters for a night that promises to be quite different from what we have been accustomed to.
I will post all photos and videos as soon as possible.
Best regards to all our readers,
Jono, Sandra and Guillaume.
Oops, no photos!
22 April 2013
Sorry folks, I forgot to post the link to the photos.! Here it is.
21 April 2013 | Tunisia
After 60 weeks of intensive labour, to use but one adjective to save time because we don't have any left and I really want to go to bed, we have arrived at the crucial moment of this moment in time............and that is the launching of "Chinook". It is tomorrow and that is soon! But we are ready in a very optimistic sort of way as one can only be having spent over a year here where we are! There is one picture in the photo album that says it all. I wonder if anyone can pick it out? I will relate that story at a later date as it tells the story of what we have been through this past year and a bit. Tomorrow is D Day. The day when we find out if what we did was good or bad. The day when I go completely grey and shorten the length of my fingers, the nails being long gone and the day when I have to offer presents to all the yardies because something good happened to me, a local custom probably loosely connected to that other annoying custom of theirs involving money. So enough said.
I will leave you to look at the photos and be astonished by what we have achieved this past week and perhaps you might even be impressed a little by the being as she is reborn from the dust filled cocoon that has nurtured her these long months.
14 April 2013 | Tunisia
Chinook is really starting to come together. Have a look at the photos and you will see what I mean.
The topsides have been faired, after a fashion (and apparently the in fashion at the moment is “lumpy”), and painted and it is strange to see the hull in white after looking at bare wood for so long. The waterline will go on next week and the final fairing to the under body before the antifouling paint. The new P bracket is in place and I just have to get the shaft shortened before being able to fit the prop and do the final engine alignment. We are also now ready to fit the rudder stock and the steering pedestal. So far it has been challenging to say the least but we are finding that our measurements concur with the original drawings which is nice. I am also very happy that we have got the sheer just right and the many hours of scrabbling in the boat in flip flops in the burning heat of the Tunisian summer finally paid off.
The mast had its final coat of varnish on Friday and is looking pretty nice and chocks and fittings are being rapidly placed not only on the mast but the other spars too. Guillaume has really got the bit between his teeth and has 80% of the plumbing finished and piles into the jobs like a man possessed. He has built a jig to drill the hole for the rudder stock that would put NASA to shame. I told him when he has finished with it we should send it up to Mars so the Mars Rover can drill some wonderfully funky holes in those red rocks of theirs!
The interior is taking shape too, but much detail remains to be finalised and these guys are not much good at finishing work. We will have a lot to do after the boat arrives in France.
It is all happening way too fast and we are all high on lack of pork (and all derivative products), alcohol, sleep, Provençale tiled roofs, days off, music while we work, a pub to go to and have a pint, friendly faces, bells ringing every half hour, et al and have been subjected to way too much Harissa, Mint tea, and fecking chicken to be of much use. Sometimes I wonder at the human body and how it is able to adapt to change and its unerring desire to return to what it started with!
I’ve probably left out a whole heap of interesting things that we have done this past week but I hope the photos will fill the gaps and if they don’t I promise to give the official restoration photographer good bollocking on your behalf!
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