A French Delivery Story

3rd July 2024 in La Rochelle, France

Click here to see more details for ‘Meerkat’ and to check availability for 2024 or 2024

We will be updating this blog when Jan & Jo leave La Rochelle with regular posts detailing the long delivery trip, check back for updates soon!

RYA SafeTrx. Click to follow the trip live.

‘Meerkat’ a brand new Nautitech Open 40 catamaran has left the factory in La Rochelle and is ready to be sailed to Greece to join the charter fleet for the summer of 2024!

New owners Jan & Jo have traveled to France to take possession of ‘Meerkat’ and prepare for the long delivery trip across the Mediterranean to Greece.

Day 3- knocked off most of the jobs on the to do list and said goodbye to Chris at lunchtime. Tender engine run in by Will, and then tender lashed onto the davits good and proper…

Finished the day with a lovely dinner cooked by Jo and chatting with Dusan and crew about the plans for tomorrow

Meerkat have just left France headed for A Coruna in north west Spain – they will cross Biscay and expect to arrive on Saturday!

A good run across Biscay – boat performing v well. 20-24knots on beat/fetch in big waves for last 24 hours, so not a lot of sleep on board! Motor sailing at first, but then a great sail since early hours of this morning, much at 8kts

Safely moored in A Coruna!
A screenshot of a trip summary map displaying a route over Northwestern Spain and the Bay of Biscay. The journey starts from a point marked in the sea and heads towards land, with the cities of A Coruña, Oviedo, and Bilbao visible. The date is 04 July 2024, distance is 343.5 NM, journey time is 64:58:19, and average speed is 5.2 Kts.
A marina on a sunny day with several sailboats docked. A large cruise ship is in the background, towering over the smaller vessels. Walkways and piers extend between the boats, and a few people are seen walking and working around the marina.
A marina with multiple sailboats docked in clear, sunny weather. A person is seen on the deck of a white catamaran in the foreground. The water reflects the masts and the blue sky with minimal clouds, while a boardwalk runs along the left side of the image.
A marina filled with numerous sailboats and yachts docked in calm waters. In the background, a cityscape with white and red-roofed buildings is visible under a blue sky with scattered clouds and contrails. Stone pavement lines the foreground.

Finally some R&R in A Coruna!

The crew have left A Coruna to sail down the Portuguese coast in little wind but with a substantial swell.

A rocky coastline with a tall lighthouse standing on a cliff, surrounded by the sea under a cloudy sky. The lighthouse is positioned on the right cliff, while smaller rock formations are seen on the left. Waves gently crash against the rocks.
Three people sit around a table on a boat, sharing a meal of noodles. One man in a vest is smiling and giving a thumbs up while holding a bowl. The table is covered with a blue tablecloth, and a hatch window above shows a rainy outside.
View from inside a boat cabin looking out a window towards the ocean. The window is slightly open, with raindrops on the glass. The cabin has navigation equipment and a small potted plant on the left. The sky is mostly cloudy, with a dim light coming through.

Update from Jan before they lose STARLINK signal which is intermittent as they go farther off shore.

Bit less tired now-alas still bashing into wind and waves and looks like another day of it. We are further offshore now to position for a hoped-for wind change, so starlink now intermittent and no phone. Will send update later today if possible. Will get closer coast again around Lisbon on Thursday!

Starlink just about hanging on… getting a bit brighter here (the weather) and hoping that the wind shift will come through tonight so hopefully not too much more upwind. Dolphin escort still checking on us every day 😄 just about to sit down for a French cheese and Spanish charcuterie lunch. How very international!

Quick update: Quick data blurt as on the expensive service! Passed Porto at 1700, wind dropping and shifting as we hoped so tonight will be motor sailing and better sleep! Tried fishing but no luck

Quick update on the expensive starlink! 20:50 BST. Just passing Aveiro and will approach the coast as we get closer to Peniche in the morning. Nice dinner had, no fish caught!

Morning all! Nice night deep reaching at between 6&7knots under single reefed main alone. Lovely stars and moon. Charlie and i back on at 4am. Gybed at 530am for a fishing boat, breakfast at 6am. Wind down to 17kts now and some blue in the sky Should be gybing around the corner late morning 

A busy afternoon playing with string and sails…in the lower wind period we had the Gennaker up for the first time- probably a bit deep for it but we have ideas re how to sort that….now the wind is back up to 21ish true so we are back to white sails/goosewing, with the help of some extra knitting to make the jib happy. Pushing on past Faro to hit Cadiz in the morning, then we sail along the surfline to avoid the angry dolphins!

Safely moored up in La Linea marina Gib! No orcas today, just dolphins and tuna luckily!

Max speed so far 11kts.

Bye bye Gib! Departed 1215 via fuel dock, now aiming at Almeria – broad reach, full sail and sun! Perfect conditions!

After a morning of motor sailing the wind kicked in for our turn north up the Spanish coast- perfect conditions- sun, waves and 20-24kts 

Max speed 13.2kts….all whilst i was doing a work call down below- design spec met! 😂

Nothing like an early morning coffee!

North winds coming so we are stopping at Santa Pola marina to let them pass. Hopefully one night only we will see. Arrival approx 1pm

All arrived Santa Pola- lovely marina albeit not cheap- maybe something to do with being put on the 80footer dock!
The wind held at 18-20kts through to midnight last night so was a super fast 12 hours and meerkat handling the waves beautifully 

Jo’s 2nd watch and her first night time de-reefing👍🏼

Setting off in a few minutes. Should. E heading past ibiza in 24 hours then onto mallorca for fuel, then to sardinia – likely arrival late Sunday night/Monday morning. Will aim to update the tracker every day, but wont be continuous when we are more than 10 miles offshore.

RYA SafeTrx. Click to follow the trip live.

Back online as we approach Ibiza!
Bumpy first night at see as we motored into 15kts, although we had a lovely sunset. Lovely sail for first part of morning, fetching along at 8kts for a while before backing onto our nose again- currently motoring the last 15 miles to the gap between Ibiza and formentera which we will nip through before heading onto southern tip of mallorca for fuel. Crew has been catching up on sleep this pm, but alas no fish!

This post was written by Tom Fletcher

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