After many conversations with our Outremer Owner’s group, we decided to head to Europe to have additional build meetings with the factory for our boat. We flew into Barcelona, Spain this time, rented a car, and made the three-hour drive to La Grande Motte, France where the Outremer factory is located. We needed to take many packages with us to store for outfitting and provisioning of our new boat. Outremer was kind enough to let us store the items in one of the storage containers that they have onsite for our later return.
Now, it was time to get serious. We had quite a few hard decisions ahead of us. The Outremer team would need our “B List” options soon. Everyone at the factory was extremely patient with us as we processed all of the choices. Meanwhile, the factory poured the hulls for our new boat.
It was winter, so the town felt very different than our last visit during Outremer Week. It was gray, cold, and the town was nearly empty. However, the sunsets were still just as spectacular over the marina.
We also had the opportunity to connect with our friends from Texas, Doug and Amy. They had just taken delivery of their boat, SV Black River, and were doing their training that week. We would meet up with them a week later at Boot in Dusseldorf, the largest boat show in the world.
Next Stop: Checking off a Bucket List Item in Barcelona, Spain
Once we felt like we had a good handle on our boat build options at the Outremer factory, we drove back to Barcelona. The goal was to spend a few days there and check off one of Steve’s all-time bucket list items — watching his soccer hero, Lionel Messi play for Barcelona at their home stadium. It was truly a thrill for Steve, and it was fun to enjoy it with him.
Watching his soccer hero, Lionel Messi play for Barcelona at their home stadium. It was truly a thrill for Steve, and it was fun to enjoy it with him.
We had never been to Barcelona, so we welcomed the opportunity to take in the city’s world-famous architecture, culture, and cuisine. A well-traveled friend had suggested that we stay in the La Rambla district. We were not disappointed. We loved meandering along the narrow streets. We got lost a few times, but we managed to find the cutest little eateries and shops.
Our niece, Carly, had spent some time there in college and now we know why the city captured her heart. The architecture is spectacular and gives the alleyways such character and charm. The ironwork is exquisite!
Prior to our trip to Barcelona, I knew very little about Antoni Gaudi, but I could definitely pick out the buildings that he had designed. They stood out to me the moment that our taxi passed them. A highlight of our visit was the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, an unfinished Gaudi-designed cathedral that has been under construction since 1882. He was an architectural genius and left behind a true masterpiece.
Our stay in Barcelona in January was blustery and cold. I hope to one day return by sea to explore the city at the peak of the season when the weather is nicer. Someday, I’m sure we will!
Experiencing BOOT, the Largest Boat Show in the World (Dusseldorf, Germany)
As we flew into Dusseldorf, it was very clear that it was wintertime. The snow-covered Alps were a spectacular site as we flew over them and approached the frost-bitten, German countryside.
Despite being the largest boat show in the world, I was intrigued to find out that Boot was hosted entirely indoors. I was impressed. They sure know how to bring in the sunshine and water at Boot!
The puppy photo was for our daughter who raises guide dogs for the blind. Water safety is just as important for dogs too!
There we spent several days talking to the vendors we needed to see about our boat build. There were several options that we were considering including:
Integral alternator system
Upgraded solar panels
And water toys, of course!
Our Yacht Broker, Pete McGonagle, was at BOOT representing Garcia Yachts. It was wonderful to connect both with him and Outremer again. Pete introduced us to his associate, Kevin Bray, who became instrumental later when we needed a delivery captain based out of Europe (see our post about shipping our boat).
During the show, we had exhibit hall after exhibit hall full of vendors from around the world at our disposal with products spanning many boating categories. Our time at Boot was very productive. We were able to make many connections to leverage for research and future purchases. It was an informative and fun-packed few days. The highlight was a long, enjoyable dinner with our friends from Texas, Doug and Amy. They had arrived from La Grand Motte, France shortly after taking delivery of their new Outremer 51. We gleaned a lot of knowledge
On the plane ride home, we toasted to an outstanding trip. Our boat was finally in production, and we looked forward to meeting her in the summer when we would return to France for delivery and training.