We are Nelly and Jacques. We are French citizens. We lived in Paris most of our working life, and it is there that we raised our 3 sons. We chose to retire in Brittany, where we’ve had a summer house for the last 20 years. In fact, when the time came to “retire”, Nelly in particular refused to settle down into what she thought would be a boring life. So instead we decided to go boating, full-time.
We did The Great Loop. More than 6,000 miles along the East coast of the USA, on the rivers and canals of Canada, across the Great Lakes to Chicago, down the rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, and back to our starting point. It took us the best part of a year to prepare. We obtained or renewed our official international cruising licences. We carefully selected, and finally purchased a PDQ 34 power catamaran in Virginia in September 2016.
As a shake-down cruise, we went to the West coast of Florida via the Okeechobee Lake. We officially started our Loop from Clearwater, FL, and we “crossed our wake” in November, 2017, apparently becoming the first Frenchies to finish the Loop. Our blog and the chart of our zigzags bear witness to the wonderful time we had, and to the great friends we made along the way. It was beyond all our expectations (including budget-wise).
So far so good, but what next? We were eager to keep boating while we were still in a relatively good shape. But with a more flexible time schedule. We wanted to discover new cruising grounds instead of doing a second Loop. We had enjoyed sharing our time between the USA and Canada, and we wanted to renew the experience. Finally, we wanted to cruise and live-aboard only part-time, maybe 6 months a year, in order to devote more time to our families, our friends, and… our doctors.
Rapidly, the choice of the Pacific Northwest became obvious. Searching the web, reading a few books, and meeting with Loopers who had been there, and done that, only confirmed our plans. Of course, we then needed a boat. Our catamaran Magic? The cost of transportation was somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000! Some adaptations would be needed: anchoring equipment, a heating solution… And finally, the local market for catamarans looked about non-existent, a bad perspective when the time would come to sell our boat, in 3 to 5 years from now.
We reconnected with someone we had met even before starting our Loop, and who had shown interest in purchasing Magic. We had tough discussions over the price we were asking, we arranged for a survey and a sea trial, and we completed the final maintenance work at River Forest Yachting Center in Stuart, FL. We spent our last (hot) 4 days in Florida passing along to Gerry everything he should know about the boat. Whithin less than a month, we had put an end to our Loop and Magic, and we were flying back to France to get our next project under way.
We have started this new blog to keep our family and friends posted on our progress. Don’t hesitate to subscribe to the coming posts (at the bottom of this page), or to contact us.