From La Rochelle to the Adriatic, it was a long, technical and demanding conveyance. While some sections of the route, such as the crossing of the Bay of Biscay, are in the field of offshore navigation, the main thing is done in very busy waters (Ah, the flotillas and their countless nets), and close to coasts Steeply suited to well-marked site effects.
This German-flagged catamaran, a brand new Nautitech Open 40, proved to be a pleasant surprise, both by its behaviour in the sea and by its performance under sail. Stiffness of the structure, which never gave me the impression of squirming in the formed Sea, center of gravity reasonably low, very logical position of the bars at the back of the shells, entrance of relatively fine waters but increased volume limiting the tendency to bake thanks to the hulls, the whole is coherent and seductive; We were able to offer ourselves some pretty averages and speed spikes without stress, without losing sight that in conveying-and even more so in reduced crew-you have to know constantly to keep under the pedal.
The choice of a gennaker on the storer as a bearing veil was also very relevant: The sail is large enough to ensure a very pleasant overpowering, while remaining very easy to maneuver and surface sufficiently Reasonable not to be caught when the wind rises. Remains the weak point, almost inherent to this type of sailboat: the angles of ascent to the near. If on a cruise the best is still to aim for destinations to which one lets themselves be carried, in conveying it is necessary to accept to consume gas oil under penalty of pulling square edges.
At the stopovers imposed by the weather were added the stops for crew change, the third man could never stay very long. It was obviously not a question of denying the owner the pleasure of having his friends succeed on board, but if it was to be done again I would prefer the choice of a permanent partner for the entire duration of the journey. These appointments imposed by airplane reservations are not always easy to manage, and sometimes contradictory with the weather requirements of the moment. We have also finished two, from Sardinia to the Adriatic. From this beautiful journey will remain (beyond the very rich human relations) the memories of the wild cliffs in Portugal, the Strait of Gibraltar by 35 knots of wind (in the nose!), the old town of Ibiza off-season, a breathtaking dive in the Transparent waters in the Sardinian reserve of Cape Carbonara, as well as some good tables: from Cascais to Brindisi, there is no shortage of places where you can cook and produce good wines.
For the record, I ensured this "old-fashioned" navigation, with sextant and bearing compass, in order to validate the practical part of my Ocean Yachtmaster patent, and to present the examination upon my return to France. I am more of those who think that it is a little cut the hair in four, that the GPS is reliable in all circumstances, and that in order to avoid the possibility of a failure of electrical resources simply embark a battery backup receiver. Nevertheless, I found this game very pleasant and rewarding, both for the aesthetics of this image in the telescope (the reflection of the star that is placed on the horizon) and for the satisfaction of positioning itself with a minimum margin of error without other Assistance than that of ephemeris and tables of calculation.