Paris: sailing trip aborted

July 21st,

Sofia and I landed here this morning. I love Paris, but the final outcome of my trip has been quite disappointing.  The last blow was the cancelation of the flights from the French islands to the US; we didn’t know when Sofia would be able to go back.  Natalia also informed me that it was likely that the Beirut airport closes again this weekend as people are not really doing social distancing and the numbers of cases and deaths are going up.  Plus, we still didn’t have a boat and things can only get worse.  So yesterday morning when I got the news I bought tickets to fly to Paris in the afternoon.  From here Sofia goes back to the US and I get back to Beirut. 


On July 18th I wrote:

Antares is still on the hard.  Apparently there was a mechanical problem with the crane and they need to get parts to fix it.  I was told Antares wouldn’t be on the water before Monday afternoon.  No choice but to extend my stay in this very expensive hotel.  If I was alone, I wouldn’t have stayed here in the first place.  

In addition, it is not clear I can sail to St Barths and Guadeloupe right away.  I might need to stay 14 days in St Martin and have a new COVID test. 

Granted, I much prefer to be here than in Washington DC. I am thankful to be able to submerge in these  tamed, exquisite, turquoise waters and feel the taste of salt in my mouth.  

I get up early and prepare coffee in our room.  While Sofia continues to sleep, I seat outside in the garden with my computer and respond to work related matters; just the minimum.  When she wakes up we get dressed and have breakfast at the hotel restaurant.  We swim, snorkel, read, walk to town for lunch, lie under the sun.  Eventually, it’s time for drinks (non-alcoholic for her) and we go back to town for dinner.  

Yesterday we discovered a remarkable restaurant:  Barranco. The combination of the location (right by the sea); a French country/bohemian decoration; and a chef who has artfully crafted its food and wine menus, mixing local ingredientes and recipes with French, Italian and Asian traditions. His name is Anthony Reixh.  If one day you are in St Martin go have dinner there. 

At the boatyard Antares mast and sails will be removed and she will be prepared for hurricane season.  I hope for the best.   Who knows when I will be back…


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