Giulia is a Contessa 32, built in 1978 with a design of David Sadler at the Jeremy Rogers boatyards in Lymington, Solent UK
Length : 9,75m
Beam : 2,90m
Photo: Claire Ozenne
I bought Giulia in March 2017.
I knew her already as she was at the time the yacht of my friend Erik. We had planned to sail her around the world, but breast cancer changed the plan, and we split. He always tells me he bought her because I was so enthusiastic after sailing her with the previous owner Ad.
The story between Giulia and me is a love story
So when Erik proposed me to buy her I was thrilled.
It was a big step for me, I had never skippered a boat, and even less my own. The challenge was big, as the desire to sail was.
At that time I had been crewing on friend's yachts and taking many sailing course with Les Glénans sailingschool.
I took a private skipper course to feel more comfortable, yet I was very afraid when I received Giulia's keys.
The first month I invited friends to go sailing with me. However very quickly I did not find crew anymore. I didn't want to wait for potential crews in the marina, and was lucky to find support of friends who sail solo: they were thrilled to teach me how to do it myself.
I sailed in the Netherlands, first close to the Delta Marina in Kortgene on the Veerse Meer to finish with a three weeks solotrip to the island of Texel in the North of the Netherlands.
This trip convinced me I could sail solo further and for longer on the Ocean.
After preparing Giulia all the winter, I cast off the day I celebrated my fiftieth birthday, with the island of Flores, in the Azores as final destination.
I hopped along the Belgian and French coast until Boulogne-sur-mer where I decided to cross the channel to the Solent. It was my first time out of the sight of land and a pure bliss. I visited the Jeremy Rogers boatyard, and met many lovely Contessa 32 owners.
In August, I felt I could go for my first long passage. It was a big jump into the unknown. Until then I had been at most 20 hours at sea. Thirteen days and 7 hours later, I moored in Angra do Heroismo, on the island of Terceira in the Azores, not really aware of what I had achieved. I did when I reached Flores two weeks later, my heart bouncing of joy to have succeeded to come back to my friends.
I stayed in the Azores until September 2019.
I sailed back to continental Portugal and discovered the beauty of the Guadiana river – that draws the border between Algarve and Andalucia.
I was awarded the OCC Qualifiers's mug Award for my first solo trip!
The jury appreciated my artistical report of my qualifying passage to become a member of the OCC.
The lockdown kept me longer than expected on the Guadiana. It was a very nice experience to be on my own at anchorage and experience self-sufficiency, and spend unforgettable time with lovely friends I met there.
In July we could sail again, and I went to Culatra island where I welcomed my family onboard Giulia. When they left I sailed solo to Porto Santo on the archipelago of Madeira and then to Madeira. I enjoyed the dramatic beauty of these islands.
In November I sailed to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In the Canaries I visited Tenerife and La Palma.
I sailed to the Cape Verdes. After some maintenance works Giulia brought me there in a record time of 6,5 days, with days we would sail 145Miles. I arrived on the island of Sal. From there I joined Tarrafal de São Nicolau and later Mindelo.
Follow the next trips on the blog.