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  • Day0

    Getting underway

    September 7, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Well, we are almost 'off'. We are days back from finally getting on board our new RV 'Albert' in Sens, France. We sold our house in New Zealand, most of our stuff and we've moved to France. We bought our RV 'sight unseen' and equipped him for long-term travel with many upgrades. We decided on calling him 'Albert' because he's kind of a fatty, and the name is sort of 'French' to us. But so as not to insult him, we'll call the blog 'Fast Albert' instead of 'Fat' like the old TV series (for those of you who remember it!).

    Our start date marks the end of a 6-months long process of reflection, contemplation and decision-making. After our grand adventure aboard 'Small Cat Fun' we thought long and hard about buying another catamaran and sailing the Mediterranean Sea. But in the end, a number of factors turned us against that option. Financially it did not make sense to make such a huge commitment given the risks associated with buying and selling such a large asset. Second, reflecting on our previous time in Europe we determined that most of the amazing things about Europe are arguably 'land based' - like the history, food, culture, architecture etc. So being 'at sea' constantly would probably not have allowed us to optimize our trip. The nature of my job, needing to be at least reasonably 'close' to an airport with connections to the larger centers and flexibility for both Gin and I played a role as well.

    Some pictures of the RV are attached (I hope!). We opted for a medium size RV due to the practicalities of driving in Europe. We needed it to be totally 'self-sufficient' and large enough to 'live aboard' but small enough to keep costs reasonable, drive off the beaten track when necessary, and park single-handed. Albert had been used as a 'spare' for an RV rental company and was built in 2015. He was pretty basic, but we added an upgraded propane system, second house battery, solar system, security locks, a scooter lift system, bike racks, several alarms (smoke, gas, CO2) and a few other minor gadgets. He has 33,000 km on him and appears to be in good overall condition. Now packed full of our stuff and Gin's initial fit-out (sheets, towels, dishes etc.) he awaits us in Sens, France for pickup on Monday evening (10 Sept).

    So you're maybe wondering why I'm writing this from Greece? It's a long story that I'll try and weave into the next few entries. Bottom line is we're here attending a wedding of a work colleague of mine. We decided that we probably would never have another chance to attend a real 'Greek wedding' and all the chips fell into place to allow us to celebrate our friend's nuptials so we decided to just go for it. That decision has turned into a crazy travel story all it's own that has seen Gin go from Mt. Blanc in Switzerland, to Paris to Al Alamein in Egypt and me from Athens to Nuremberg to Cairo to Alamein and finally both of us to Athens again! So we are finally together and enjoying a breather before our final leg to meet Albert. Or as Gin calls him 'Albi'. :)

    There is much more to tell but I'll leave it there for now. I hope that those of you who enjoyed the Small Cat Fun blog will join in on this adventure with us. We loved to hear from you all on the boat and stay connected. We treasure all our relationships and hope to continue through this means to nurture them. Ride along with us as we explore the best of Europe - and perhaps beyond - for the next ??? years! Our first leg will take us from Paris south to Madrid and on to Vaelencia, Spain. Sign up to follow us and find out how it all 'rolls' out. Fa(s)t Albert here we come!
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