Hello Family and Friends,
Once again it will soon be that most joyous time of the year for me. I will return to Italy and Heldeleine to resume sailing in the Mediterranean Sea. This summer’s plans are part of a grand plan to return Heldeleine to the USA over the next year or so. During the last couple years the family has missed not having Heldeleine nearby. A long weekend to Northport, a week to Martha’s Vineyard or a month to Nova Scotia. We have missed the spontaneity of having the boat at home. With Maddy going to college (at Barnard in NYC) and Helen still in high school, the idea of having Heldeleine close for a weekend here and there is compelling. I, particularly, have missed the chance to fix crap (literally at times!). Yup, I thoroughly enjoy working a problem and finding a solution. Sure it can be a pain in the ass but a life without challenges sounds pretty damn boring. But I must say that cruising last summer in Italy was simply perfect. The friends who shared so generously and the places we visited are etched in all our minds. We are so thankful. So, this summer, the PLAN….
Leg 1- I will fly first to Rome and then arrive in Gaeta, Italy on July 3rd to make Heldeleine into a voyaging, sailing vessel again. Over the next several days I will be joined first by my sister Laurie then by Uncle Pete and his son, my cousin, Will. With the boat primped and prepped the 4 of us will depart Gaeta on July 10 bound for….wait for it….Marina Smir, Morocco. The sail is basically due west 1,000 miles across the Mediterranean. We might stop at Ventotene or Ischia or the southern tip of Sardinia on the way but we shall see. The trip should take 7-10 days and will be challenging with many vessels afloat in our path. With Radar, AIS, 2 independent Chartplotters and 4 attentively motivated crew aboard, things should proceed as planned. We will watch the weather fronts carefully and try to catch some fish (Hey, hope springs eternal!). We will dock Heldeleine at Marina Smir for 10 days as we move on to:
Leg 2- From Heldeleine we 4 will travel overland across Morocco and meet up with 7 additional Family members in Marrakech for 10 days of Riads, Medinas, Fantastic scenery and, of course, the 11 Camel Culpepper Caravan to the Erg Chebbi dunes. Watch for more details to come.
Leg 3- After the land fun, 6 will fly home and the immediate family including Uncle Pete will return to Heldeleine and travel through the Strait of Gibraltar to Cadiz, Spain and then on to Lagos, Portugal. Lagos will be Heldeleine’s winter home and the departure port for next year’s trip to the Azores and the return to the USA.
I am sure there will be many updates and tracking points along the way so, follow us or just check in to share the adventure. I can’t freakin’ wait!