A Roller Coaster Day
By Lois Joy
After having lunch with Helga at the Perpignan airport and seeing her
off, we went on to the Catana factory to meet Frederic, the surveyor
from St. Cyprien that we had hired and met for the first time in his
office last week. At that time, we had been told that all of the
finishing would be completed by October 6th, and even though the mast
delivery was delayed, he could begin to survey the interior of the boat.
Such was not the case.
Catana workers had discovered a leak after launching Pacific Bliss.
Tracing that leak took four days to find, according to Pierre. Now the
port bow cabin is all torn up, requiring replacement of some wall panels,
etc. When we boarded, we had the sinking feeling that things were
in motion all right--only backwards!
The good news is that the quality of Catana's finishing work has improved,
and the finishing so far on our boat is excellent, according to Frederic's
mother, who should know. She is a dynamite lady, who has an excellent
reputation for catching anything wrong with a yacht. Tall, trim,
and lanky, in blue jeans and a nautical blue & white striped knit
top, her long blonde hair swept upward into a severe bun, she boarded
with a serious, determined look--springing onto the platform covering
the motor, frowning as it gave in a little. I was immediately impressed.
The rollercoaster effect on our stomachs was caused by confusion over
the mast situation. Upon boarding, Pierre first told us that the
mast had already arrived. We were elated. Upon conveying
this good news to Frederic, he replied, "Have you actually seen
this mast?" We became anxious. Next, Frederic
talked to Pierre and then he explained to us that our mast would arrive
on the 28th because one mast that had already arrived from the manufacturer
had been rejected as defective.
At that point, Gunter and I, in despair, began to think of alternatives
to crossing the Atlantic by November 19th! But, the fact is, we
are not prepared to winter in the Med. Psychologically, we are
prepared for warmer climes. In the Pacific. To experience
Moments of Bliss. Pacific Bliss. That's our dream.
Then after Frederic talked to the scheduler, Tanguy, he came back to
us, sitting worriedly in the PB cockpit, with the good news. Our
mast would arrive on October 11th as planned.
Tomorrow is another day. We shall see.
Meanwhile, we are settling in here in Canet, and are growing to like
this little partially deserted beach town--our current home. Yesterday,
we purchased a little electric space heater at the CarreFour, our local
provisioning store (it's similar to a WalMart). We also stocked
up on other little comforts, such as a much-needed dish drainer, laundry
supplies, warm pajamas and slippers, and French lavender soap. Prices
in franks or euros are very reasonable here, less than in the States
with the current, favorable exchange rate.
Although English newspapers are rare in Canet, we purchased The Herald
Tribune (from London) yesterday at the airport and we are still enjoying
the latest issue of The Economist purchased during our trip last weekend
to Barcelona, Spain. We can obtain BBC broadcasts through our
Sony worldwide radio receiver. Without a TV, we are still in touch
with the good news from Serbia and the discouraging news from the Middle
We are quite 'appy 'ere.