Semi-retired and sailing round the world on a Beneteau

Flagstaff - Sail a Beneteau

Jason and Helen are on the trip of a lifetime … semi-retired and taking six months to sail the Mediterranean on their new Beneteau. After years of dreaming of sailing around the world and months of poring through Lonely Planets and Pilot Books on the Med, they decided to take the plunge. With Micah’s guidance, they chose the Oceanis 48 and took delivery in Les Sables d’Ollone, near the Beneteau factory.

“When you take delivery of your boat on the other side of the world, it can be a bit daunting… but we didn’t need to be concerned. Flagstaff managed everything. Micah flew over a few days before us so when we arrived the boat was perfect. Fenders were out, everything was unpacked, even our bedding was put away. We were ready to embark on the journey we’d dreamed about for years. It felt great.”

Fun, rewarding and cost effective

Sailing buddies from Australia and the UK joined Jason on the tougher leg of the journey for a ‘boys’ trip’. They sailed from La Rochelle across the Bay of Biscay down to Gibraltar. It took about three to four weeks and they had the time of their lives!

“We had a fantastic sail around the north corner of Spain. We were surfing down waves; the yacht was roaring along past the infamous Costa da Morte, aka The Coast of Death. Think ominous yet eerily beautiful inlets, coves, bays and sheer cliffs jutting from the Atlantic.

Another time, further down the coast of Portugal we were racing the boat really hard; I am sure we have a couple of boat speed records down the back of a couple of waves. It was exhilarating.”

Originally, they considered having the boat delivered somewhere in the Med like Barcelona or Alicante. But then Jason would’ve missed seeing a huge chunk of that stunning European coast, and of course, fun with the boys. Plus, delivery close to the Beneteau factory was cost-effective … bonus!

Flagstaff - Supportive Flagstaff Team

Lazy sailing around Spain

Reuniting with Helen at Gibraltar, Jason and Helen embarked on the next, more romantic, chapter of their journey. Lazy sailing around Spain and the Balearic Islands, taking in the old-world history, ornate architecture, sipping on wine and snacking on local delicacies; hopping from one place to the other in a couple of hours.

“You just wander around the old alleyways and find hidden little gems, cafes, restaurants, and shops. We were having a wonderful time bumbling through the language difference and having a laugh with locals.”

Most evenings were spent on the boat, relaxing, eating cheese and drinking wine. The Oceanis 48 is large and roomy; Jason likens it to a floating flat.

“The thing we love about the 48 is the large owners’ cabin; it’s nice and airy with a big bed and a really nice shower. There are two other berths at the back that are very generous, with another bathroom for when our girls or friends visit us. We sit out in the large cockpit in the evening, taking in the starry sky and sounds of silence over a glass of red. It’s the perfect boat for doing what we’re doing.”

Flagstaff - Beneteau Oceanis

What’s next?

“Today we have departed Nice and are heading down to San Marino. We plan to sail down the eastern coast of Italy and finish up in Malta at the end of September. Flagstaff has connected me with a local Beneteau dealer who will winter the boat, so I know she will be safe and sound.”

As for next year, Jason and Helen will come back and do it all again. Next time they will focus on the glistening clear blue sea and rich culture of Greece and Turkey. After a few more European summers they will head across the Atlantic to the crystal water in the Caribbean and then eventually home to Australia.

“That’s the plan at this stage, but you know we’ve got lots of flexibility. That’s the great thing about having a boat. You can change your plans as you like.

I really appreciate the support from the Flagstaff team. Micah, Graham, Shane, and Greg have all been incredible. They have all helped out in different ways. They even connected us with a local Beneteau dealer to work on a couple of minor issues. We left the boat with the dealer for the day while we went and explored the local area. Simple as that. We are very, very happy.”

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