AFTER SEVEN MONTHS SPENT IN THE DRY, ESTRELLA HAS FINALLY FOUND HER ELEMENT! ONE PAGE IS TURNED, ANOTHER IS OPENED...
VIDÉO ACCÉLÉRÉE DE LA MISE À L'EAU :
Last week was intense and full of emotion. We have dreamed of this launch more than once over the last few months. We have often touched it with our fingers, only to see it slip away with the many unforeseen events that we have encountered. If the work is far from over, I think we can say that the hardest part is over...
A look back at the last seven months:
Last February, with the help of Fred from Boyard Croisière and part of his team (you know, the catamaran access which offers trips from Fouras) and Brice from Bd Composit, we took Estrella out of the water for a refit (i.e. to get the boat back into shape) which turned out to be much longer and more laborious than expected.
Since then, the team has grown little by little, joined by enthusiasts who have fallen in love with Estrella and the project. That's the effect our star can have ;-)
If the first months were the hardest, it was also at this time that the team came together.
I'm thinking here of Cathy, Valou, Matthieu and Marc who, when I found myself in hospital, took care of Estrella without really knowing where to go but going there all the same, because for them it was out of the question to leave the boat alone.
While still at the hospital, I received a providential e-mail from Christophe Gireau. Formerly a préparateur on Louis Burton's Bureau Vallée 2 (last Vendée Globe), he passed by the boat and wanted to work on the project.
I called him from my hospital bed and told him straight out that there is a huge job to be done, we have a very tight budget and at the moment we are in a bit of a bind.
Not even afraid! Quite the opposite in fact. Here he is, embarking on the adventure, taking the lead of the project by accompanying the team, largely boosted by the arrival of the "mono" as they now call it.
Dismantling the mast, deck, rudder... here we go again!
We take hope again in spite of the numerous obstacles (engine out of order, rudder to be completely rebuilt, insulation to be reviewed, lack of raw material, propeller out of order, budget that is getting heavier every day and so on....)
The more the days go by, the more we discover new files to deal with. But we don't give up. Then Benoît arrived, who fell in love with Estrella at first sight.
Then came Hubert Delahaye, maritime expert and expedition boat preparer at Imaqa Marine.
It started with private technical lessons (I might as well tell you that I was starting from scratch) in order to try and keep up with the various people involved - whom I thank in passing for their patience, mainly for the rigging, fenders, mechanics... , hello Navtec, Maréchal, Serge, Jean-François, Julien, Mécanique Plaisance :-)
To achieve total involvement, especially on the hidden sides of the boat. And believe me, there's a lot of work to be done!
Then, one fine morning, we discover that Estrella has been visited during the weekend, victim of incomprehensible acts of vandalism.
Forced descent, broken deck hatch, fire extinguisher smashed all over the saloon, sprayed on the electronics in particular, all the screens smashed with sledgehammers and circular saws, rope used for the disabled access platform cut, attempted fire, theft of portable tools...
Enough to seriously make you lose faith in humanity...
We decide not to dwell on this and to continue to advance headlong without letting ourselves be affected by these idiots.
That's the strength of this team. Solid and united.
Just a few weeks later, as if that wasn't enough, Matthieu, our "chief volunteer", seriously injured himself while descending the boat. The verdict: 6 months in a cast. A big blow for Matthieu and the team.
Sometimes you wonder if there isn't a black cat roaming around Estrella...
Once again, we're not letting ourselves be discouraged and we're following our objectives, guided by the common desire to get this boat back in the water and see this difficult project through to the end.
Thierry then joins us, ready to tackle the mast and the fittings. One more star arrived at the right time!
"We must keep our dreams in mind, with the rigour of the sailor who keeps his eye on the stars. Then we must devote every hour of our lives to doing everything in our power to get closer to them, because nothing is worse than resignation." G. Sinoué
In addition, the arrival of technical partners gives us renewed confidence: if we succeed in convincing people despite our difficulties, it means that the project is solid!
And the wheel begins to turn timidly...
Nautix first of all, which accompanies us on the antifouling but not only.
Facnor, thanks to whom we have two new reefing systems! And that's no mean feat. We can't wait to try them...
Seaview Progress joined the adventure, providing us with a new gland, a rope cutter (positioned in extremis four minutes before the launch!) and supplies us with Tefgel, the best friend of aluminium boats...
Thanks to them, not only is it a relief on the budget (I don't hide that
It's starting to get hot), but it's also a sign of confidence that we're going in the right direction!
In addition to this, there is the kindness of the neighbouring yards who give us precious help: resin, fibre recovery, scaffolding, polisher, container, tools, advice, mould cutting...
We must thank Despierre Charpente Marine with a special mention for the re-masting, Neel, Prépa Nautic, Candela, the former Naval Force 3 taken over by a serious team...
We ended up feeling at home in our place on the open sea.
And if we are more than happy to get back in the water, we will miss this particular atmosphere!
In short, to sum up this first chapter, celebrated with dignity alongside Notre Dame des Flots (supporter since the beginning), there have been laughs, tears, disappointments, hopes, anxieties, great encounters, insomnia, a lot of learning, a lot of hard work, pride, accidents, mistakes, an unfailing solidarity in the Dream Team that we will try to keep, and an ever stronger desire to complete this project!
We still have a lot of fine-tuning to do before we can resume sailing, but we'll keep you posted!
In the meantime, we invite you to join us on Tuesday 7 September at 7.30pm with Explorer, L'incubateur rochelais and We Wheel Rock You at the Cabanes Urbaines, for the screening of Boat-trip de tous les possibles, in the presence of the director Mathilde AT who, for the occasion, will exhibit her iodized illustrations.
The film (28mn) will be audio-described live by Giacomina, deputy treasurer of the association ;-)
Because "a ship that has not tasted wine will taste blood" first (of a long series, we're not going to take any risks ;-) ) champagne inauguration on the deck of Estrella !
Watch the video :
SHOW MUST GO ON !!!
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