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Great Passages

The time to leave has come...

The long duration of preparatory work has seen a change in the geopolitical situation of the Red Sea. The dangers are not just piracy, navigation technique and dangerous anchoring among coral reefs.
Yemen Houthi rebels began targeting foreign ships with drones at the beginning of December 2023.
After months of preparation, study of navigation documents and contacts with navigators and local agents we have to give up the Red Sea and Indian Ocean Project.
In 24 hours I drew up a new project that was equally or perhaps even more dreamlike: South America, Patagonia, Strait of Magellan and entry into the Pacific.

I immediately shared my new project with my co-teams.
Jean Marc (Belgian) proved, as per his nature, not particularly enthusiastic and this excluded him from being part of the crew. Olivier (French) and Marcello (Italian doctor) welcomed the proposal very favorably. General meeting for preparation and then the Big Departure on January 8th of the new year (2024) in Cervia.

Final preparations including, replacement of the entire rapid inflation system of all life jackets, sea test of the adjustment of the new rigging, installation of the new Bimini 'Tropic' and galley.

Departure scheduled for January 9th at 8am but things don't go as planned.
The canal port of Cervia suffers from shallow waters, rarely well dredged which, thanks to the low tide, often makes it impossible to enter or, like us, exit and be free to navigate.
Furthermore, on Tuesday 9th a long wave from the East prevents us from being able to go out respecting the draft of Pius (2.30m)... the bottom is only 2.40m!

Postponement to Thursday 11th for a short transfer to Ravenna at the large Marina with over 2000 berths but NOT a fuel station!
The bitter cold (5° C) tells us what the conditions will be in the first stages in order to arrive in Southern Italy.

This stop allows us the opportunity to visit the splendid Ravenna with its Byzantine churches and its mosaics.

Tuesday 16th  the date.... off we go!
Not exactly favorable conditions: Temperature -2°C and visibility of <10 meters for fog


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