“This is it, our departure date!” Laurent, Bérengère and their two children have cast off on their sailboat, Zanzibar, a Sun Shine 36, to realise their life’s dream. Here is an account of the family’s last preparations and goodbyes that punctuated this day in Vannes.
This is it, our departure date! We have anticipated it, prepared for it… and here we are, April 17th, the day of our departure. We arrived at ten o’clock at the house to finish the cleaning and make our last run for provisions.
At one o'clock the last things were carried onto the boat. We had lunch on the fly in order to manage getting everything put away on board. It is a real puzzle finding places for everything on board!
It's already 5:30 PM, and the first guests arrived for our pre-departure gathering and drinks. Our Sun Shine 36 was dressed and waiting at the dock in the Port of Vannes.
The folding tables were set with bottles of cider and snacks. Friends, family, colleagues, our nanny, teachers, principals, former customers each came by to wish us ‘bon voyage’ and to say their goodbyes.
We were overwhelmed by all the attention, kindnesses and kind words, encouragement, and even congratulations, when we had not even left the dock yet. But thanks, all the same! What effervescence! What an atmosphere in the port!
Eight thirty PM, and we had prepared for over a year for this moment. But everything happened so quickly today that I had the impression I did not have enough time to prepare myself for our departure....It’s too late! We must go!
We gathered our few things that were scattered about the quay and recuperated our children. Some twenty people were still present, accompanying us over to Zanzibar. The last hugs were quick and joyous!
At eight forty-five PM, we cast off. Yann, Aurélie, Jérôme and Jean Baptiste accompanied us to the Île aux Moines, where we spent our first night.
It was not until after having turned around in the port to pass once more by all the people gathered on the dock, waving their goodbyes, that I finally realised that we were leaving.
The emotion, which I had held back until then, overcame me, not so much about leaving, but to know that all of the people who were present that evening encouraged and supported us.
We will miss you all. Some tears ran down my cheeks. We were far enough away from the dock, so no one could see me…
We are leaving on a very long voyage.