Thomas and Salomé, originally from Picardy and Normandy, have lived in New Zealand for 15 years. Their two sons, Zephyr and Azor, were born there. Together they achieved their wildest dream: reaching the motherland by sailboat. They traveled around the world in 520 days, making time to visit 17 countries. Having left Auckland in May 2022, their goal was to reach France to start the 2023 academic year.
The first storm from the beginning
To experience this journey safely, serious preparations were necessary. They found a strong, round boat and named it Obelix. Thomas, a marine engineer by training, and Salome renovated it for several months to make it a “fantastic boat home.” Four people had to be able to sleep, eat and have fun there.
It was then necessary to choose the appropriate weather window for departure to avoid hurricane season. The ocean got them into trouble from the start, giving them a 48-hour storm during which the autopilot failed. They emerged from the ordeal unscathed, Thomas was able to make repairs and their journey continued more peacefully.
The Fiji Islands were their first destination. They stayed there for a few days, so they could discover traditional villages and stock up on fresh produce. The next stops were ripe for intense but always fascinating culture shocks: Vanuatu, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.
He was welcomed to the port of Carnon
As they approached the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, exchanging information with nearby sailing ships was essential. Thus, the family was able to visit Sudan and Egypt in good conditions.
The return to European culture took place from Cyprus. Children discover ancient monuments that do not exist in New Zealand: the Parthenon in Athens, Taormina in Sicily, Roman mosaics…
Finally, worse weather conditions awaited them in Corsica, where they were stranded by a large depression in Porto Vecchio. Then it was a matter of knowing where to anchor on the Mediterranean coast. The Montpellier area seemed most suitable and Carnon Port was the only one offering a stop. This is where they arrived on September 1, 2023. The whole family was impressed by the benefits offered by Karnon and decided to settle there.
And Obelix can continue to keep an eye on them by carelessly swinging into Carnon Harbor after his journey.
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