1. Commissioning boatbook

 

  1. The Beginning

    It took a little over 3 months from the time we decided to buy Aluna to the time she was launched and ready to sail across the Atlantic. Our target date was the end of October so we could 'follow' the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers starting the following month. For the commissioning of any new boat this was an exceptionally short period. Fortunately, the model we chose was on the production line and Fountaine Pajot could deliver a 95% fitted out hull for October. We had already visited the factory in La Rochelle and test sailed the Orana so we new what we were getting for our money.

  2. First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

    We met our Agent in the UAE hence the UAE flag !

    Photo 1

    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

    Photo 2

    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

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    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

    The hull is moulded in a single piece using vacuum infusion technology

    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

    The gel coat is applied before layering up

    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

    Photo 6

    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

    Photo 7

    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

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    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

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    First Sail, La Rochelle Visit

    Photo 10

  3. First Days on Board

    17 October 2010

    After storing the rest of our belongings at my parents house we arrived in La Rochelle on the 17th of October meeting up with our broker Xavier Bouin for commissioning Aluna. Richard fitted the generator, AIS, chart plotter, anchor, gas, radar and started preparing the outlet for the water maker. For this we had to beach the boat which was a hair raising experience.


    The first days on the boat we had no gas and no heating, so no tea or warm water bottle. 

  4. Taking Possession

    17 October 2010

    As was expected Fountaine Pajot were a little behind meeting their delivery schedule and we took possession of Aluna a week later than planned. This normally would not have been a problem but since we had newly learned it would be very difficult and may be dangerous to sail from La Rochelle out of the Bay of Biscay after the end of October. So we were under intense pressure to get every thing ready as quickly as possible. Unfortunately this pressure somewhat diluted our excitement of taking possession of a new boat. One of our biggest headaches was the factory had forgotten to install a below water line stopcock for the water maker which I needed to install. This could not be safely done without taking Aluna out of the water. We ended up doing this by beaching Aluna at near high tide on a boat ramp and waiting for the tide ebb. It all went well until the tide came back in sooner than we had calculated and Aluna started to float away. We ended up getting a rope caught in a propeller and having to quickly drop the anchor, which I had only fitted minutes before. Before we got things under control again I had to take a cold plunge in the cold water to free the rope from the propeller. I new this would be practice for things to come !

      Aluna on the Hard in La Rochelle
  5. Fitting Out

    July - October 2010

    Up until we took possession of Aluna we had to decide and purchase the equipment we would need to make her a full offshore blue water cruising boat. In view of the time restraints it was better Richard had the equipment delivered to the factory in France and make the installation once we had possession of Aluna. The main items of equipment included a diesel generator, water maker, radar, chart plotter, navtex, washing machine, lifer raft, anchor and numerous other items of safety equipment.

  6. In the end it took 2 busy weeks to commission Aluna. We have now Andreas Melia as our professional skipper who we cajoled to help us on the maiden voyage and Andy Webster as Crew on board. Andreas did a thorough safety briefing, all was well. We had a test sail together to see how we work together as crew. I did the MOB man over board maneuver under engine.

    Every thing was fitted apart from the water maker which was delayed because of the thru' hull fitting. This wasn't urgent as we had 600litre tanks on board enough for a couple of weeks.

    Our priority was now to have the boat to sail at any time so that we could depart at the first possible weather window. It was now the end of October and the first storm was on its way in the Biscay.

    mast
  7. What does Aluna mean ?

    October 2010

    The name for our boat comes from a Kogi word. 

    The Kogi Indians, are descendants of the Tairona, a pre-Columbian tribe. They have been living in isolation high in the mountainous jungles of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia, preserving a culture and philosophy long thought lost.

    They refer to themselves as the Elder Brothers of the human race, and to the rest of us as the Younger Brother. They see themselves as the guardians of life on Earth.

    The concept of "Aluna" is central to their spiritual philosophy and their creation story. It means pure thought, memory, spirit, soul, mind, imagination.

    "Aluna contains everything which is past
    and everything that may become. 
    Aluna is the thought and memory
    which forms a bridge between 
    the human 'Spirit' and the Universe.

    Aluna makes possible growth, 
    birth and creation; it is the spiritual energy
    that makes things happen..."

    Fragment from Kogi creation mythology:

    "In the beginning, there was blackness. 
    Only the sea. 
    In the beginning there was no sun, no moon, no people. 
    In the beginning there were no animals, no plants 
    Only the sea. 
    The sea was the Mother. 
    The Mother was not people, she was not anything. 
    Nothing at all. 
    She was when she was, spirit.
    She was memory and possibility. 
    She was Alúna."

  8. L Rochelle was a fantastic place to take possession of Aluna. It is the center of the leisure craft boat building industry 

  9. First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 1

    First Sail, La Rochelle

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    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 3

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 4

    'Beached', La Rochelle

    Photo 5

    'Beached', La Rochelle

    Photo 6

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 7

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 8

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 9

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 10

    First Sail, La Rochelle

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    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 12

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 13

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 14

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 15

    First Sail, La Rochelle

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    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 17

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 18

    Fountaine Pajots' Pontoon

    Photo 19

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 20

    First Sail, La Rochelle

    Photo 21


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