I am now back in Seattle and getting adjusted to this time zone.
Overall the last six weeks were very productive despite the original plan going out the window along with a few revisions too. I am somewhat disappointed with my race results but I am been able to learn some valuable things about both myself and the boat which will help down the road.
The to-do list on the boat is fairly short; sort out the VHF reception issue, modify the solar panel mounts and some sail recuts. The only item I broke was a single Harken 29mm block for the spinnaker tweaker, it likely hooked a lifeline and split so no fault of the block.
I head back to France the end of the month for the MAP and then to do my 1000 Mile qualifier. The qualifier has to be done before June 30 so things are starting to get a little close here but not too critical.
Probably the best part of the whole trip was all the great people I have met: the sailors, the race organizers, the people from Classe Mini and just people I met along the way. Everyone was absolutely great and made me, as a newcomer to both the Mini Classe and Europe, feel very welcome. I know I have made some fabulous new friends. A good example was my last Saturday in Lorient, a large group of us went out to dinner. By my count there were at least 7 countries at the table: Italy, France, New Zealand, UK, South Africa, The Netherlands and USA. Sitting in the middle of the table hearing conversions in a mix and variety of languages was pretty interesting and a great thing.
So now it is back to work here and get ready for the next trip and putting what I have learned to good use.
I have a bunch of new pics which I need to post, some from the sailing and from Monday when I walked around Paris. I had never been to Paris before (on the inbound leg of the trip I went straight to the train) so it was great to see with my own eyes all the sights I have only seen in books and on TV.