Échange culturel en Érythrée

Après vingt-cinq jours de mer, Obélix est enfin immobile, ancré devant Mojeidi, une île déserte au large des côtes érythréennes, en mer Rouge. Nos amis de WOLO, qui nous ont précédés de quelques jours, nous ont informés que l’île abrite une base militaire, mais que les officiers en poste y sont curieux, aimables, et fermentContinue reading “Échange culturel en Érythrée”

Cultural exchange in Eritrea

After twenty-five days at sea, Obelix is finally still, anchored in front of Mojeidi, a desert Island off the Eritrean coast, in the Red Sea. We have been advised by our friends on WOLO, preceding us by a few days, that the island hosts a military base, but the officers are curious, amiable, and turnContinue reading “Cultural exchange in Eritrea”

Il pleut, il flotte à Nouméa

On dit que c’est à cause de La Niña, toute cette pluie. Mais après un an et demi d’un temps épouvantable, parfois interrompu par quelques jours de soleil – on a intérêt à ne pas se planter sur le timing des machines pour avoir une chance de faire sécher son linge, les habitants s’accordent àContinue reading “Il pleut, il flotte à Nouméa”

Another rainy day in Noumea

They say it’s because of La Niña, all this rain. But after a year and a half of dreadful weather occasionally interrupted by some sunny days – one must time their laundry right for it to have a chance to dry – locals agree that la Niña has extended its welcome to New Caledonia. AndContinue reading “Another rainy day in Noumea”

Obelix’ crew turns 100

Friendship is definitely one of our family’s primary values, and one has to admit friends come particularly handy when comes time to celebrate one’s birthday. Azur being Mr. Future, as soon as his 8th birthday party was over, he started drafting up invites for his 9th and was somehow troubled when he realised our plansContinue reading “Obelix’ crew turns 100”

Fiji: Obelix fou de bananes!

Certains jours, nous ne posons même pas le pied sur la terre ferme, nous sommes soit dans l’eau (plongée libre, kayak, stand-up-paddle), soit sur le bateau (lecture, enseignement, repas, jeux, détente), soit entre le bateau et l’eau, suspendus dans les airs à pratiquer nos plongeons, nos flips et sauts périlleux. Mon corps manque ses pasContinue reading “Fiji: Obelix fou de bananes!”

Fiji: Obelix goes bananas!

Some days we don’t even set foot on land, we’re either in the water (snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up-paddling), on the boat (reading, teaching, eating, playing, chilling), or between the boat and water, suspended in mid-air practicing our dives, flips and somersaults. My body misses its daily steps to activate its digestive system, as I’m reminded whileContinue reading “Fiji: Obelix goes bananas!”

Rituel d’ablution sur Obélix

Les douches chaudes sont désormais possibles sur Obélix ! Mais attention, loin d’être un acquit de la vie moderne, prendre une douche chaude sur notre bateau est une récompense bien méritée qui n’arrive qu’après avoir suivi un protocole précis, impliquant beaucoup d’étapes, et une bonne dose de pompage, qui a, disons-le, les bénéfices indirects d’exercerContinue reading “Rituel d’ablution sur Obélix”

Combien de Jedis Obelix peut-il engouffrer ?

Désireux de le savoir, nous avons organisé la fête d’anniversaire d’Azur à la marina, sans autre plan B que d’utiliser Obélix et le salon de la marina comme abri en cas de météo pourrie. Inutile de dire qu’à l’approche du week-end et de ses prévisions météo non optimales, la faiblesse de notre plan B m’aContinue reading “Combien de Jedis Obelix peut-il engouffrer ?”

How many Jedis can Obelix swallow?

Eager to find out, we organised Azur’s birthday party at the marina, with no other plan B than using Obelix and the marina lounge for shelter in case of extreme weather. Needless to say that as the week-end approached, and, with it, its sub-optimal forecast, the weakness of our plan B kept me up allContinue reading “How many Jedis can Obelix swallow?”

Making our bubble great again

Free-range kids As lock-down 2.0 was announced on August 13th, Auckland schools closed, and we retreated back to our bubbles, we decided not to add any complexity to the ever changing and (sometimes) absurd rules that governed our strange world, and let our children be free-range. No virtual hui. No homework. No schedule. No pressure.Continue reading “Making our bubble great again”

Scrapes, scratches & silver linings

“It’s alright mum, our boat isn’t badly damaged, just a few small repairs and we’ll be off again”, wrote Zephyr on the day of our incident… (cf. Obelix on the rocks) The small repairs took three weeks, and, thankfully, no one dared tell me at the time it would take so long! Apart from theContinue reading “Scrapes, scratches & silver linings”

Obelix on the rocks

No it is not the name of the latest trendy cocktail, although I wish. This is how I miserably ended an otherwise gorgeous long week-end sailing with friends. I’ve tried to find myself excuses, or blame others, or circumstances for the accident, nothing softens that overwhelming feeling of shame and guilt. I was at theContinue reading “Obelix on the rocks”

Fare-whale decade!

Recipe for the best day of 2019 Ingredients 1 handsome multi-talented man 2 kind, fun, resilient boys 1 sturdy sail boat 1 pinch of wind (not too strong, not too light, and preferably in the right direction) slight sea 1 whale 1 island (not too far, not too close, and preferably with an iconic bay)Continue reading “Fare-whale decade!”

Christmas in the engine room

Tuesday 24th December 2019 6:00am. We’re raising anchor from Bon Accord – Kawau, perfectly synchronised with our friends Marion & Borja on Ad Hoc, ready to sail to Great Barrier Island for Christmas. We’ve set our alarm early to strategically leave at dawn, kids still asleep in their cabin, sea still undisturbed by the sun’sContinue reading “Christmas in the engine room”

Obelix itchy feet

And crew on edge… More than a month has passed since Obelix’ last sailing adventure and this meant countless week-ends watching, with envy, surrounding boats vacate their berth for a few days, and their crew coming back on Sunday with a tan and a beaming smile, while we were stuck at the marina with eitherContinue reading “Obelix itchy feet”

Serendipity galore

Family impressions (part 2/2) And what about us, the parents? What is our take on this new lifestyle? Thomas He’s a natural, he’s been drawn to the sea his whole life, so, one might say he’s like a fish in the water! Being on a boat, stepping on the floating deck each morning, looking atContinue reading “Serendipity galore”

Floor is lava in 3, 2, 1, 0!

Family impressions (part 1/2) One month in. Time to reflect: How is the family rating their new life aboard?To get a qualitative answer to this, I asked each one of us to come up with our top likes and dislikes. The first answer I got from Azur, was “But there is nothing that I don’tContinue reading “Floor is lava in 3, 2, 1, 0!”

Magic moments in Kawau

Initially, our ambitious plans for the Labour week-end was to go to Great Barrier Island… Thomas had even taken his Friday off to give us four full days of adventures. However, our religiously watching the weather situation the week leading up to our mini-holidays, did nothing to slow down the wind, which was still howlingContinue reading “Magic moments in Kawau”

Happy Bday Obelix!

At 8 am on Sunday the 13th, at high tide, after a full-moon night, our dear friend Naomi rocked up all dressed up with orchids and hibiscus flowers around her neck and arms ready to lead Obelix’ blessing ceremony. We showed her and Dave around, had a quick chat, and finished to prepare ourselves. OurContinue reading “Happy Bday Obelix!”

Bye-bye St Heliers!

Last week-end was one of transition, endings and new beginnings. Marcia and Camille, neighbours and friends, took the kids for a sleepover on Friday so we could have the night off and release a bit of the pressure accumulated over the past few weeks. Watching The Dust Palace and the APO’s epic production ‘Dawn’, thenContinue reading “Bye-bye St Heliers!”

Spring cleaning in progress for imminent downsizing…

Obelix may be a fat bastard, but there is no way we could fit all the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years (and that will mainly have lived through the time of their negotiation*) on board. Nor is it our intention to keep things for later, when we decide to return to landbound life. IndeedContinue reading “Spring cleaning in progress for imminent downsizing…”

Celebrating Obelix first times

With a Margaux, Château Marquis De Terme, which was waiting all those years for the right occasion… First cruise on Obelix as a family, just the four of us, for the pleasure. First time without having to go all the way to the marina toilets to pooh. First time communicating on the VHF with anotherContinue reading “Celebrating Obelix first times”

Obelix now in Bayswater!!!

Two months after patiently checking the weather forecast every day on various websites, Thomas has finally spotted a fine weather window last week, quickly gathered a crew, found someone to drive them to Whangarei, and organised everything to attempt the voyage for the second time last Saturday 17 August. As a cautious skipper, he minimisedContinue reading “Obelix now in Bayswater!!!”

Butterfly in a chocolate pool

Scarface This week-end I’ve had to recount how I got my bruised face to many strangers and friends alike at the tango festival. People wanted to make sure I wasn’t a victim of domestic violence and needed to check for themselves if my story stacked up I told myself, so I complied. As I did,Continue reading “Butterfly in a chocolate pool”

No hummus at sea!

And other lessons learnt from a memorable maiden voyage on Obelix We were excited about this week-end, the stars had aligned and all the conditions were gathered for us to bring back Obelix safely from Whangarei to Auckland with the family: low tide around 10:30 to allow smooth motoring out of the river with theContinue reading “No hummus at sea!”

Obelix lift seen by Azur

I wish I could share more of Azur’s drawings but they’ve all stayed on the boat, I have just managed to take a picture of that one which I thought was too good to withhold. Seeing our journey through the eyes of our kids is precious, and insightful. For example, it made me realise thatContinue reading “Obelix lift seen by Azur”

Antifouling part I

Or when you learn the difference between epoxy and antifouling paint Just the antifouling left…So we were done with our seven coats of epoxy and, “only”, had to apply the antifouling. Two coats of primer, three coats of antifouling that is, but no mixing to do, no sticky sleeve to change every so often, noContinue reading “Antifouling part I”

Obelix – Mission ‘Epoxy’, la revancha

Or how it took seven of us to take care of Obelix’ “down there”… We had a mission: Covering Obelix’ hull, below the waterline, with 4-6 more coats of epoxy resin. May sound easy, but not so much when you consider that: the surface to cover was 43 sqm with all sorts of angles toContinue reading “Obelix – Mission ‘Epoxy’, la revancha”