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Laurent and Cathy – French Indies

19 November 2015, the reception of our NEEL 45, its name Ti’foufou. It is beautiful with its yellow foresails and lazybag. We immediately appreciate life on board facilitated by the original design of the boat.

Fortunately, the weather is pleasant in La Rochelle, which is great for completing the final preparations. 2 December 2015, 1815, after a nice Ti-punch with the Neel team, the bridge is raised and we depart for the crossing of the Bay of Biscay. Good wind, beautiful sea, Ti’foufou is making good progress After just 5 days of motoring against 3 meter waves, we arrive at La Corogne. Docking under motor for the novices that we are and in the strong winds goes well in the end thanks to ‘our second engine’ the bow thruster 5 December 2015, we’re leaving with a minimal crew, there are 2 of us on board!Passage from Cape Finisterre under motor in lovely weather Despite the headwind, we advance well but St Barts is still far away …

Very pleasant stopover at Douro marina in Porto Spectacular arrival surfing into the entrance of the port still on 3 meter waves 10 December 2015, depart towards Lanzarote, the Canary Islands. Arrival at the beautiful Rubicon marina, where Ti-foufou was a big hit The mooring manoeuvres are improving. We take advantage of this stop to refill the tanks. The economy of the Volvo diesel engine is quite incredible; it consumes virtually nothing.

16 December 2015, depart for the Atlantic in 25 knots We are doing 8 knots upwind. We continue towards Cape Verde to find the trade winds We will have about 20 knots from the east all the way across, with rough seas on the beam caused by swell rolling in from the North Atlantic. Ti-foufou does an average of 8 knots in choppy seas whilst always maintaining a smooth ride We arrive in St. Barts on a sunny New Year’s day after a passage of long surf and many gybes.

We then spent all winter in the Caribbean with friends aboard who really enjoyed the boats comfort, both when moored and underway. I’m starting to have Ti’foufou well in hand, it is very easy both under sail and for mooring manoeuvres It’s a real pleasure to sail on a boat that’s beautiful, fast and light!

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