For the Nautical Nomad, the last month went something like this: Newport - Boston - Bermuda - Boston - Newport - Boston - London - Southampton - London - Palma. For Dorade, the journey from Bermuda to Palma was a little more relaxing. Rather than add a few extra thousand miles of wear and tear, we decided to ship the boat to the Mediterranean. Apart from a forest's worth of paperwork and both departure and arrival being on the early side of prompt, this decision was a great one.
The initial plan was to load around the 28th-29th June in Bermuda, but at 10pm on the 26th (and just after a final round of Dark and Stormys to celebrate our class victory in the Bermuda Race), I was informed that we would be hauled onboard the MV Stadiongracht the very next day. That particular next day also happened to be the Onion Patch Regatta, which left us with two unfavourable options. We could let down our teammates and pull out of the regatta, or we could cough up a mere $25,000 to delay the ship for a day.
Since boats take a little packing up before they are ready for transport, the regatta was canned and the Bermuda race crew got to hang out with their wives instead of sail (I assume the wives were pleased with this). With a knot in my stomach I drove this vintage piece of yachting history alongside an unforgiving hulk of steel, but all went well. Credit to the loadmaster, as Dorade was hauled up onto the deck of the ship and strapped down very professionally and efficiently.
Just ten days later, I was sitting in London's Gatwick airport waiting to fly to Palma when my phone buzzed with an email: "Where are you? Ship is offloading." This was a touch surprising as several requests for arrival dates had gone unanswered, and according to the original schedule I still had a day to spare. So in what might be called either perfect timing or too close for comfort, we stepped off the plane, into a taxi, onto the ship, and were lowered back down to sea level on Dorade. By the time we had made the short fifteen minute trip around to the boatyard, the MV Stadiongracht was already steaming over the horizon.
So here in the beautiful Mediterranean island of Mallorca, we have a month of work to do before heading off to race around another beautiful little island, Corsica. The two masts are out, the hull is surrounded by scaffolding, paint is being sanded off, and every system is getting the once over. She will be good to go and ready to race in a Med series being referred to as "The Daughters of Dorade." Not bad for an 85 year old lady.
For more information, visit the Dorade website. And stand by for more Nautical Nomad reports.