Time to cut the umbilical cord!

23rd March, 2019

Well, all we need now is fresh bread and veggies! French Kiss is prepped and ready. Born in Cherbourg, France, registered as an Australian, ‘FRENCH KISS, GLADSTONE’, she is ready to cut her umbilical cord and start her long journey home.

Our position: Latitude: N 49 degrees 38.840′ Longitude: W 1 degree 37.201′

I love that Longitude …. 1 degree W (west)

Greenwich is situated 5 miles south of London on the River Thames. Greenwich Meridian is 0 degrees known as GMT or now, UTC time. Coordinated Universal Time which is the standard that regulates world clocks and time. UTC starts at 0 measuring the Meridians of Longitude. Brisbane time is UTC 10+ meaning 10 hours ahead of Greenwich. Our Queensland coast sees the sun 10 hours before Greenwich\London.

15 degrees = 1 hour. 15 degrees x 24 hours = 360 degrees (circle) divided 180 east and 180 west of Greenwich meeting at the opposite side of the planet is the International Date Line. Gladstone’s Latitude is 23 degrees 50.35′ South and Longitude 151 degrees 16.6′ East. That’s 15 degrees x 10 hours from Greenwich and slightly inland = 151 degrees.

The Equator is 0 degrees and from here measures the Parallels of Latitude. The North Pole is 90 degrees N. The South Pole is 90 degrees S. Gladstone is 23 degrees south of the Equator and 67 degrees north of the South Pole so I am excited to be 1 degree west of Greenwich where it all starts.

Our first passage plan is to cross the Chanel to the UK and sail up the west coast to Conwy in Wales. 1st June we will attempt, through the Scottish Caledonian Canal, Inverness and Shetlands to reach Tromso in Norway then higher still to Svalbard, reaching the 80th parallel. This is approx. 600 nautical miles south of the North Pole.

I am unable to upload photos at the moment but will add when I can. The biggest sentence I have learnt in French: je voudrais un taxi a la marina s’il vour plait! I would like a taxi to the marina, please! Bonjour, merci beaucoup, and au revoir! Very few French speak English. It was a difficult country to get anything done or make appointments. Philip and I used our iPhone translator all the time.

All the French people we have met have been extremely friendly. We have lived here for nearly 4 months and thoroughly enjoyed the food, wine, cheese and experience. Cherbourg has heaps of history including the Titanic’s last visit. Napoleon’s statue stands in a park by the main road dividing the city and the marina. A monument to the French Resistance stands on opposite side of the street. With a forceful glare, Napoleon sits tall on his horse, his hand pointing seaward where is 93 war ships would have waited in the Grand Harbour originally started by himself….later finished by Hitler. Did you know, Napoleon always wore his hat sideways? Hats were worn with the corners pointing forward and back but he wanted to be instantly recognisable on the battlefield so wore his hat sideways. This is a fascinating place!

2 Replies to “Time to cut the umbilical cord!”

  1. Fair winds my friends!
    See you soon somewhere… up in Scotland, down in Africa, far away in Australia or just here in Cherbourg where our home is yours…
    Enjoy and take care!
    Friendly yours.

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