BRAVO was launched on February 18, and we moved aboard about 2 weeks ago. There is still some work to do, but it's getting there. Everyone from the boatyard has been great to work with, trying hard to get all completed. She's a complex boat, with an amazing amount of detail. We've been using the time to settle in, and store the gear that we shipped from both the US and old BRAVO in Australia.
Unfortunately, this Covid-19 virus has stopped us, and Boreal, and the rest of the world in our tracks. Though we're living aboard, we've still not even been for a test sail!!! Amazingly frustrating. France is now on full lockdown, in it's 8th day. So everyone is confined to their homes; in our case, the boat. The nearest supermarket is only about 1 km from here so a nice walk. And there's a health food coop right at the marina. (we try to only go to the Coop, as they only allow 5 people in the store at a time). Trips to buy food or exercise are allowed, but you need to print out a form to show police if stopped. Otherwise a €38-150 fine, makes for an expensive baguette! Exercise is limited to 1 km max from home, walking or running, and for a maximum of 1 hour away from home per day. We can't even use our brand new folding bikes, which arrived the day before the lockdown started. Sometimes, at low tide, we do "laps" of the marina ramp. The spring tides here are over 10 meters, so the ramp is a good workout. But it takes 50 laps to equal 1 mile!!!!!
|Someone wrote on the ramp, about midway up "Cheer up, Sir Edmund Hillary, you're 1/2 way to the top"!!!!!|
|A low spring tide.....happily we're tied to the very outside end of the dock, so we always have water under us!!!|
Things keep getting tighter here...no recreational boating of any sort is allowed in the country. Marinas are all closed, as are marine businesses. We've even had two visits from the gendarmes to see why we are on the dock!!! We told them the boat is our home, and they said ok. But we're the only folks in the whole marina! Literally!!! If we go to get groceries, we need to go solo. As far as DIY projects, I need some parts for all of them, and all marine stores are closed. Also need a bit of fabrication by Boreal for the watermaker install, but they're understandably closed for the foreseeable future. Lousy timing indeed!!!
At this point, our plans for cruising this summer are pretty much on hold. It's impossible to plan anything, really. Though the country is locked down for 15 days, with about 1 week to go, everyone feels that it will be extended, possibly for weeks!!! We wish we were allowed to leave the dock with the boat, but the rationale is that in case of a need for rescue, folks could be put at risk. Applies all recreational boating, whether it's sailing, fishing, kiting, even kayaking or paddle boarding. Hopefully this strict approach will have some effect. We learned a few days ago about our little district here in rural Brittany (a popular summer holiday retreat). 4 cases went to 12 overnight. All from Paris, who had escaped to their 2nd homes the night before the lockdown started! We have no idea what the local count is now. We're glad to be the only folks allowed in the marina, and we're all the way out on the end of a long dock!!! About as isolated as you can be!
So that's about it from here. We are healthy, and really want to stay that way! Yes, the lockdown is definitely boring. But as cruising mates Peter and Ginger on IRENE, now quarantined in Turkey said, it's not much different than being on a passage, but with internet, and more sleep between watches!!! The new Bravo is absolutely beautiful, we're thrilled with the way she is turning out. Not bad digs to spend in isolation.
Here are some photos of BRAVO, including the launch, mast stepping, and a few interior views:
Launching these boats is a rather amazing process. At the yard, it is put on a trailer. From there, a tractor pulls the boat about 2 miles to the launch ramp at the marina.
|Final wash down before the parade begins.|
|Maneuvering one of the tight round abouts.|
|Backing down the launch ramp.....Yikes, not for the faint-of-heart!|
|A tight squeeze past this sign.....no problem!|
|Boreal firm partner Jean Francois Eeman checks for engine cooling water is running before the final push into the river.|
|Our new home. Though we didn't know it at the time, we'll now likely be here for many more weeks to come.|
Stepping the rig:
Usually the rig is stepped as soon as the boat is launched. In our case, a few final rigging touches were needed, so the rig was stepped a week later.
|Rig arrived by trailer from the yard, where the crane was waiting|
|A well rehearsed team, they've done this many times before. Second from the right is Jean Francois Delvoye, architect of these boats and one of the two partners in the firm.|
|All went smoothly, as here the mast is lowering down into place|
Many have asked what the inside of our new home looks like.....here she is:
|The "doghouse". Truly one of the great features of all Boreal models, here is the perfect place to be on watch in snotty weather.....warm and dry!!!|
|Galley in the background. We're very happy with the stainless steel counters, a Boreal first!!! Centerboard is housed under the cushion on the left. Electrical gear, including the 600Ah lithium batteries, live under the cushion in the foreground.|
|Door on the right leads to the port aft cabin.|
|All of the electrical detailing and installation is a work of art!|
|Port side aft cabin|
|Looking aft from bed. Door on left goes out to the salon past the workshop, the door on the right is the forward head.|