Corona Lock down in France

Mar 17th - May 28th, 2020

The “Run for the Batteries Story” before the French “lock-down”.

This is a story of French heroism, lack of obedience, and their customer focus.

Our batteries decided to die on us. Luckily right when we got in to Cogolin marina in the St Tropez bay in France.

We are now rebuilding S/V Horizon to Lithium batteries. Long story, short, our delivery was in danger after the President’s announcement that France were going into lock-down at noon today, Mar 17th. We were sad, but prepared to wait until after the lock-down for our material…

However, the supplier in La Rochelle (French Atlantic coast) emailed us and said, “Delivery will suck after this, so let’s meet somewhere so you can get your stuff. I’ll drive, you drive”. We’re 2,000 Km (or 1,250 miles apart) from him, so we were surprised. But excited. However, big problem, how to rent a car during lock-down??

The local dealer here "Code Bleu , who we bought all the materials from said “No problem, take my delivery van, no problem at all, it has good breaks, can do 130 Km/h, go for it”. Still worried about the lock-down at noon, we emailed the supplier, and his reply, “Let’s meet at noon, and then we will all be on our way back home, they cannot stop us then. How hard can it be. Go for it!”.

So we did. We started before 5am and drove for 7 hours straight, met our delivery-man within minutes at the “rendezvous-place” (at 11:45), and then turned back and drove for 7 hours straight, without meeting anybody or interact with anyone.

Mission impossible accomplished Installation started the next morning. And yes, we did wash our hands.

On our way...Bordeaux here we come

Our precious goods loaded and secured in the van

Better safe than sorry, didn't wan't to use a public restroom so a bush had to do

Google " Code Blue" and you understand how this van is perfect for our mission

We're lucky that the weather is pretty nice here. We walked around the whole marina, again! Glad that it's a big marina. Not many people out. But, the ones we meet are really good at distancing. Saw some fish and crabs. Unfortunately we are not aloud to fish. I wonder if I accidentally falling in and grab one is considered fishing


We picked up our online grocery shopping yesterday. Interesting to see what we get compared to what we thought we ordered. Some things were substituted and some things we didn't get. And it's not that easy with French online shopping. But it's all good and very convenient

Gloves and hand sanitizer, I'm ready to pick up our groceries

Hm, I think we're good with potatoes for a while

Curbside. You just scan the barcode from your phone

Back home we washed all packages of the cold food that needed to go in to the fridge and freezer right away. The rest we left in the van for 24 hours.

Some of the chores we do during lock down.

Cooking, laundry, boat projects...

Gel coat repair on the transom, Finally, it was way overdue

What a treat. We ordered Pizza from our local Pizza store. It was almost like going out for dinner. Also felt good to support the local business.

Walked by this Easter looking bush on our 10000 steps walk around the marina today, Happy Easter !

Spring time in Les marinas de Cogolin

This little bird said Hi on our daily walk around the marina

Well needed hair cut!

This was a fun evening with Tina & Sebastian and Caroline & Jan (Tina's parents). We played Pictionary together via Zoom :-)

Today's project (half a day); Grocery shopping, online and then curbside pickup. Very convenient.

Back at the boat we wash most things with soap.

I think we're good on fruit for a while now

It's a rainy and windy day here in Cogolin. First time in a very long time we're pretty happy not being out sailing. This is what we did onboard Horizon. Exercising, boat projects and movie time

Don't have any dumbbells onboard! No problem, we have plenty of wine

Movie time

Today's boat project, Calibrate the waste water tank meter

Perfect lunch to boost our immune system

Some pictures from our daily walk around the marina

View from one of the apartment complex

We found a pool in the complex

When you think you seen it all...

Of course you need a big motorcycle on your yacht ;-)

Still keeping busy with boat projects. Week #7 of lock down.

Anders is highly elevated today... Fixing a questionable installation a rigger in Fort Lauderdale did on our tri-color masthead light. Great day to do it...

Last winch, the manual one under the dodger, is now cleaned and greased.

Here we are cleaning and maintaining the windlass

Very much overdue of trimming the bang

Cleaned the dinghy and took it out for a spin. Felt really good to be moving on the water, even for this short time :-)

How you distance socializing with family. Family Zoom video chatting and playing a fun version of pictionary. A really fun evening had of all :-)

We try to support the local business. We're buying fresh fish from the local fisherman and fresh locally grown veggies and fruit from one of the restaurants here in the Marina. Yummy :-)

Anders is on his way up in the mast again. This time to move the AIS antenna away from the mast, and the GPS antenna. That way we will get rid of the interference between those, that makes the AIS suddenly loose targets,

Before and after picture of the AIS antenna !

Another project is done. We sometimes, when it's cold and humid, gets moisture under the mattress. After coming up with a lot of different ideas to solve this we settled with this pretty easy solution. We insulated under the bed with Styrofoam. Happy with the result :-)

The world’s best insulation team :-)

In action under the bed…. with the insulation attached above.

We also got a very well needed bottom cleaning done from a local diver. Since we've been stuck in this marina for so long it's been growing much more than we are used to when we're out sailing and moving all the time

We found our selfie stick in one of the bags. First time using it

Took the bikes out for a ride again after seven weeks since last time. Fun time

Maybe you remember our story "The run for the batteries" two months ago. Code Bleu, the company that we bought the batteries through lended us their van. When we returned he said that we could keep it as long as we want. So we still have it and now we have a perfect garage for the bikes, Yay!

Sailing less than 100km from home port

Yay, we’re out sailing again We will anchor out a couple of nights before heading back to the marina again

France is taking the rules serious. On our fist sail after 62 days lockdown we got approached and called up by the French custom/coastguard. A little scary, but they spoke very good English and they were very polite and just did their job

Happy nartional Norwegian day! We hoisted the Norwegian flag to celebrate 17th of May, We anchored in front of Fort de Bregancon which is the presidents summer residence. Kind of fun, we hoisted three flags, all are red white and blue

Anchored at the island of Porquerolles we got boarded by the Douane, the custom. They were very polity but thorough.

We hiked up to the tallest hill, where we found this old fort. Unfortunately closed but the views were nice. Behind us is the main town and harbor on the island

Very nice anchorage. Nice to see so many boats out. Even though a lot left when the night fell

Another beautiful sunset :-)

Beautiful anchorage by Ile de Port Cross, Another beautiful island outside this part of the French Riviera.

Nice swim from the beach

We hiked around the whole island.

Beautiful Forrest on this stretch of the hike

Pretty steps down to the beach

A nice lunch stop around the route. by this secluded beach

We reached the highest point on the island. And of course there is a strategic fort up here

Lots of fish around the boat...

Another beautiful anchorage along this coast, Cap Taillat!

Lots of spring flowers

Amazingly clear blue water

Horizon is behind us in this amazing anchorage on one of the most beautiful beaches on the riviera, Pampelonne.

Oh Yeah, Crystal clear water...On our hike along the coast

A nice refreshing swim after a hot hike

This has been our "home port" during the Lock down. It's been a great place to be stuck in. We will miss this place, now we know where we can find everything and we have had a car for free the whole time. Super nice and helpful people here in the marina... We will miss you...

....But we are very excited to finally get going. We will start to sail north along the coast tomorrow, 28th of May.Then we have to wait and see what opens up on the 3rd of June...Cross our fingers that we can sail to Corsica. or Sardinia..Follow...