The French Diaries!

The French Diaries: Part 25 “Edouard’s View on Papageno.”

What Edouard thinks about buying a dimasted boat in the Caribbean!

It’s past 9pm when I catch up with Lizbeth and some friends in a bar, in the district of Cours Julien. I rushed from rugby to be on time, so I didn’t take my shower, I’m muddy and stinky when I pass the pub’s door.

Why do I speak about this normal night?

Because it’s exactly that night I heard “Papageno” for the first time. Lizbeth tries to explain to me, despite the loud music and the people everywhere around, that she put a bid on this broken sailing yacht in the Caribbean.

A few days after that…

I came back home late after a very hard day. I helped a homeless mother and her two children to find a place to stay, calling the social organisations and driving around the city. I’m a bit shaken by the intense moments I lived.

Why do I speak about that?

Because that night, when I came in the apartment I find Elizabeth with a bottle of Champagne and a big smile. I learn that we’ve been accepted by the owner and now it’s official, we’ve got a sailing yacht in the Caribbean.

It’s been months and months since that night and it was a long way for me to get used to the idea of going to live on a boat, to become a sea-vagabond.

At first, I was a bit disappointed, might be because I’m French…

“Lizzie, why do we go to the British Virgin Island instead of buying a boat here? In France or U.K we’ve got plenty of friends ready to help us and many contacts to get some cheap tools and parts. We could do it easily here and take all our time.” I used to tell her.

But after a while I understood.

As I really want Papageno to be helpful for the people in need, to be the symbol of solidarity and cares, why not start directly in the Caribbean?

Exactly where last year, the hurricanes as Irma or Maria, destroyed many islands and killed more than a hundred people. The situation was critical and many families are still suffering from these disasters.

I thought that going to this place to restore a boat victim of the Hurricane and start helping the population around is a beautiful note of hope. Isn’t it?

I was convinced of the goodness of the project and I felt more concerned. But at first I was a bit sceptic, might be because I’m French…

How can we manage to make it possible without any friends in the Caribbean? We will have many things to pay and I’m not the kind of person you can call “rich”. In fact I managed not to be, I don’t want any problems…

Lizzie had to show me the way and teach me everything since the beginning.

In fact I’m not a “connected” person, I don’t use smartphones (which don’t appear very intelligent to me) and I prefer to read a good book than to stay in front of a screen. I have to confess; when I met S.V. Delos on Ascension Island I had no idea of who these guys were. At the time I just thought they were very good-hearted people sailing on a beautiful vessel. When I discovered what Delos was for real a few weeks after, I was quite surprised and impressed.

Lizzie started to work hard months ago, since she knew Papageno was ours.

She has been staying at home every single day, sitting on her chair by the radiator, drinking tea and eating couscous. She has been writing thousands of words, painting watercolours, drawing designs, making beautiful necklaces and looking for all the solutions to create some opportunities. She’s more than determined to make this dream a reality and thanks to her efforts and her skills, it’s doing very well actually.

Today I more involved in the Papageno project, in fact I’m part of it. I assist Lizzie as I can, trying to be her best lieutenant as Pippen was for Jordan.

I know I’ll be useful onboard, I started my career as a project manager in composite materials in a shipyard and I’ve been sailing a lot these last years. But for the moment there’s no masts to install and no hull to fair.

What am I doing? I’m keeping the house clean, cooking healthy dinners, preparing delicious pots of tea and washing around. I also help her to deal with the dozens of documents we have to fill (tickets, insurance, registration …) before to go. Finally, as I love to write, I start to send you couple words about us, from the French point of view…

We are both very excited to meet Papageno and start her new life, our new life.


Want to help the adventure? You can help towards our boat repair fund for new masts and rigging by donating here! 

You can also help us in this dream by signing up as a Patron. By doing so even for a dollar is a HUGE help. You also get to read early blog entries, extras and videos! Interested? Sign Me Up!

Psssst! We are also now on YouTube!

You can also help another way by buying one of my books or visiting my shop of tees or my NEW section of limited edition art prints and original paintings. I hope you like! Much love!

Thank you as always! Lizbef x


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  1. Hi Ed, yep you are the guy to fix her up and in the tide to live on quickly. I think fof now you need to focus on your and Lizzies needs. You cant help others until you are in good possition. Then off you two go!

  2. Ed,
    I think that you should teach her not to start the project from the rear end in producing gadgets and pictures.
    It’s easy, check the boat, make a to do list and start with the basics, engine, electricity, rigging, furniture and so on. As far as I could see on your photos, I’d say, 50.000 Euros or more will be necessary. Perhaps it could be the better way to bring the boat to the french atlantic coast (on a freightship?), for instance to La Rochelle where you will not only find the Amel shipyard but also everything you need for the restauration and far cheaper than in the caribean.
    Best whishes!

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