43° 30.8'N 6°56.1' E Port de la Rague & La Napoule, France
Silver Paws has arrived. Delivered safe and well first thing this morning on the truck. Arie de Boom is a dutch boatyard run with all the efficiency you’d expect. Within 45 minutes they had the boat hoisted back into the water where she belongs.
Our shrouds for the boat that Pierre from carteret Marine had kindly ordered to meet us in the south were also ready and waiting. I half expected them not to be and let out a surprised ‘it worked’ as Silvie (co-ordinator extradonaire) brought the package to us. Without the part we were going nowhere fast and it was such a relief both the boat and part had arrived safely.
Arie de Boom agreed to let us stay on the quay in the boatyard for the weekend. This is the first time Captain or I have re-rigged, re-stepped and prepared a boat for sail from bow to stern and they reassuringly gave us backup if needed.
Silver Paws was floated by 9a.m. Captain and I were left to prep the mast and at 2p.m, promptly following french lunchtime, they showed up to lift the mast into place.
Now it was down to us to put her all back together. Terrified our lack of experience would let us down we had taken photos of everything we took apart in Carteret, we’d name tagged, video’ed and snap-shotted every inch of her so although it was taking longer, it was working.
On Monday we left the reassuring grasp of Arie de Boom and Port de la Rague and motored the 800 yards to the large marina of La Napoule. Here we stayed for another three days. A lovely little town with a fantastic castle guarding the marina. The marina was quiet around us, our berth a foil of flurryness. From breakfast till dusk we beavered away, with ‘breaks’ to stock up on food & drink. I don’t even think we went swimming, in the heat of the day the marina water looked tempting but swimming in marinas is a no no and there was too much to do to seek out a swim. On the final day Captain hoisted me up the mast in the Bosuns Chair, our 14 meter mast was enough for a few butterflies in my tummy but I had ropes to rig, the view was great and the solitude was welcome, although every sway and movement of the boat was intensified and I can only imagine what it must by like up there on large yachts or out at sea!
We plodded through and by the end of day six we laid our exhausted heads in our pillow and got increasingly excited about casting the lines off the next day...