John and Eva on the M/Y 'Destiny'. Contact Us Phone: 0044 (0)787 222 69 65 or 0033 (0)620 719 335

DESTINY DIARY 2008, A Steep Learning Curve, Part 1

Since we sold our business we have been looking for a boat to go cruising and see the world, before we were too old to do it. Having finally sold the house at 'Les Vernades' we had the finance available; now we needed to find the boat. We have been looking for some time but so far our budget did not allow to buy the type of boats we like. Then in April, John, surfing the internet found a US registered 'Diesel Duck' lying in France. With the euro being strong the price was attractive, more than the boat, which Dick had told John about. We went to see the boat, sold by the US agent Ed; a very nice man who convinced us that Nomad (that was her name) was made for us. That was the beginning of our affair with Destiny as we named her. Later, we met her owner Jurgen and who with his crew Del and Fel, brought her all the way from China to the Mediterranean. She had proved herself to be a good sea boat.So after a little negotiation and lots of paper work on June 3rd 2008 John became the proud owner of a motor boat strong enough to take any seas, and big enough and comfortable for the two of us with space for occasional guests. So now we can start our voyage on Destiny, and if you would like to share our adventure I will try to keep this diary up to date.

Captain For peace and quiet
Captain Kirk The Crew - Doing nothing as usual.

Please remember friends, that you are more than welcome to join us for a part of the voyage, just call and we will see what can be arranged - rates are reasonable!

Our first trip was to take her to Barcelone to meet the owner for the official sale on June 10. The 'mistral' had finally died out and the forecast was good. We started the engine, John called Jurgen just to make sure all was done properly, he needed to build up confidence. We left at 9.45 all went quite smoothly, although John was concerned - but no wind help. We cleared the golfe de Fos without any problem, the sea is flat calm, a miroir we could not have wished for a better day to start our first voyage on the boat, we saw some boats, some baleines (whales).

The night was not too bad, we shared the driving, John slept a bit and I slept a bit; we encountered some thunder storms, we could see them coming up from the south on the radar, so we dodged between them and avoided the rainand the lightning, the sea was very uncomfortable with a big swell right on the beam, with no wind, so the boat was rolling a lot and few things went flying. The autopilot had problem coping with it. We crossed a few big ships, the haIf moon was with us for a while which made the night bright. We finally reached Barcelone around 10am, and called Port Vell and went in, anxious, John's first parking, it actually went quite well and smooth and some lessons were learnt by both of us.By 11h we were parked. After sorting the marina registration we went to sleep. Port Vell is a very nice harbour located in the heart of Barcelone, a very interesting a cosmopolite town, but unfortunately we did not have much time to visit. My sister came to see us which allowed me to see some of the Alambra, beautiful avenues and great for shopping. A great market for food, fresh fish, seafood, fruits and veg, a dream, nice atmosphere. The boat moored next to us was American and the owner had met Jurgen in the Maldives. We spend more time than planned in Barcelona and John installed the new B&G electronics and autopilot, which involved taking the mast down, it went better than expected. I had to go for a dental appointment in home, and Ed happened to come for business in Barcelona with his wife Sue and young Taylor, so it was nice to see Sue again.

Sunrise Night Passage
Sunrise Night Passage

So came time to leave, to France first to bring more of our private stuff from home. We went back up the coast of Spain, but the air was still cool and the water cold, so we ended up doing another night passage to Port Napoleon. Being a full moon I expected a nice crossing, but we had thick fog, 10 knt of wind on the beam ’ the roll was not too uncomfortable and DESTINY took the waves nicely. We did a 2 hours shift but the fog did not clear until dawn. I took the early morning shift and saw the sun rise, surrounded by fishing boats! Gradually, the wind died and we arrived in French waters in flat calm just like when we left.

We arrived in Port Napoleon at 13h.

Friday 25 june.

It was 11h11 by the time we left the house, having emptied the fridge and freezer and given instructions to Hajiba about the house ’ we said goodbye to Heidi and Andr (Chassor the sailorman:) ), they might join us in Sept or Oct. It was 16h by the time we reached the boat. The mistral is really blowing strong. We left on Sunday, heading to La Ciotat where we hope to see Steffen from Ebacos. Nice to be at sea again, with cooler air.

We drove until 3.00 then stopped for a swim off the calanques past Cassis, very interesting rock forms, we dropped anchor off Ile Vert for a swim again, then after dinner we moved on the other side of the bay towards the towwn as John was not happy with the anchorage and some wind was forecasted for the morning. We spoke to Peter and Coralie and suggested they meet us somewhere around Hyeres and sail back with us to PG. I also received a call from Patrick – always nice to hear from him – hope they will come on board to see us. Giles also responded to my Email but they’re off on Wednesday.

Qwat engineer
Huh? Now, how do you start this thing?

Monday 30th Juin we went into La Ciotat and Steffen came on board and we had a nice chat, I think he liked the boat . We left by 11:00 and headed for Hyeres. I hoped to do some shopping but there was nothing in the marina area. The following day Peter and Coralie and friends arrived at lunch time and we went and anchored for a swim and lunch at the end of the presqu’ile. We decided to spend the night anchored off Porquerolles. I like this part of the world and the sea was great, 25; even Peter went for a swim. Dinner on bboard rougets) a glass of wine and a nice evening with friends. We spent the next two days going back to Port Grimaud via le Fort de Brganon, nice anchorage, and la baie de Canebier. Finally on Friday we took Peter and Coralie back to Port Grimaud and ted up in Marines de Cogolin for the night. We saw Philip and Vanda and caught up on some gossip. On Saturday morning,we found a new Zodiac dinghy in Monaco Marine, as ours was really falling apart. We left the Golfe St Tropez which is really not a nice place heading East. Stopped in Mandelieu La Napoule for the night. I took the opportunity to find a hairdresser; big relief. Dinner on board, it is hot tonight.

Peter Cooks
The Right Hon. Peter aka Moffy Danger - Cooks at Work

Sunday 6th July

We couldn't stay longer, so we are on the move. We went up the coast and finally anchored on the bay outside Antibes – it took a few attempts until John was happy with the anchoring. We put a ’flopper stopper’ ’fish’ in the water to see if it makes a difference to the rolling – it did help. The forecast for the next few days not good. Did not sleep well; too many moustiques.

Monday 7th July.

A thunderstorm wake us up at 7.00! We decided to go into Antibes and got a place for 2 days. We found a ciber cafe where we could go on the internet, Gal had replied, Ok to see him. John arranged for the order of an AIS (identifies the shipping on the radar). We spent the rest of the day doing a few jobs that needed doing such as changing the gaz nozzle on the cooker and trying to sort out the freezer lid and the fridge ventilation. Tonight working on updating the site

relax Sunset
Relaxing at Home Sunset


SEASON 2008.

Part Two.

Ruin View from the Castle
Property for Sale - Need's modernisation Look Carefully - Destiny's down there

We left Cogolin early Saturday monning (5 July) and stopped in Mandelieu la Napoule, where I took the opportunity to have a ‘summer’ hair cut. Then continued to Antibes to collect the forwarded mail from home. We anchored outside the bay for the night and were awoken by a big thunderstorm, so we drove into Port Vauban (Antibes) and found a place for 2 nights. We found the town very useful as a ‘yachty’ much to John‘s amazement, you can get anything for your boat, but the marina staff are not friendly at all.

Sewing Flopper Display
A Bit of Couture! Showing off my Floppers
We found a wifi connexion for Internet and parts for the black tank as it would be needed in Italy. Then it was time to leave France, the wind was fair, but there was an uncomfortable swell, again we lowered the flopper and the fish reduced the motion.
Santa Margarita Porto Venere Entrance
Santa Margarita - Wines eye view Where's the entrance?
We stopped in San Remo, very helpful people on the quay, and stayed for 2 nights, got some internet connexion for mail and keeping in touch with friends, few jobs were crossed out of the long list, including fitting the pump in the forward heads for the black tank, better for swimming. John saw his friends on Dark Shadow (a big Wally yacht). On Friday 11th we continue south, passing the beautiful Cinque Terre, sea calm, I did some sewing. and by 19h45 we were anchored just outside the lovely town of Santa Margarita (near Portofino), all alone in our corner. Nice town, we might go ashore tomorrow, but it wasn‘t to be, we were awaken by a horrible swell, by 7h we were out at sea, wind on the nose and a big swell, Water came in through the port hole where John had left his computer:( Not a happy Johnny, he had the PC in pieces trying to dry it and make it work. Early afternoon we dropped the anchor in Isola Palmaria outside Porto Venere, looking for shelter as the forecast wasn‘t good.
Porto Venere John with Castle
Porto Venere, Beach A Hold Up!
Porto Venere is a very nice little town with an old castle, and a very narrow passage through to the bay. We launched our little dinghy and went ashore for shopping and postcards. The wind picked up in the middle of the night with drizzle. Sunday night was the worst with wind gusting over 30kts.On Monday we treated ourselves with a nice lunch ashore and walked to the top of the castle watching waves breaking at the entrance of the passage. We stayed until Tuesday morning (15/7) heading south again, we used the floppers because the swell from the storm was still with us and we even tried the Jib sail, in 15 knots of breeze we can keep up a steady 0.4 knots - enough to get to America inside 3 years!! but we are now, officially a motor sailer.
We anchored for the night on Elba at Porto Azzurro; in the morning we drove around the corner to a little bay for a swim as we couldn‘t meet Gal until the Wednesday evening. Ing. Gal Rossi is the manager of La Marina di Scarlino yacht Service, a new ship yard near Punta Ala, where he kindly gave us a mooring for a few days. We had some good times together and Gal was very kind enough to let us have his car to visit Siena. I‘d recommend this amazing and beautiful medieval town, unfortunately we were both stupid enough to leave our cameras and the spare on the boat so no pictures for you to see.
Next we want to spend some time going around Elba.
Gael Porto Azzurro
Gael - Yard Manager and a Good Friend. Porto Azzurro, anchorage.
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