These are the voyages of the sailing vessel Pétillant. Her original eight-month mission: to sail from Baltimore to France via Florida and the Bahamas, to successfully navigate the shoals of the French douane, to boldly go where few Maine Coon cats have gone before was completed in 2008. Now she is berthed in Port Medoc and sails costal Spain, France, and the UK during the summer months.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oban and Dressing Ship


We arrived in Oban just before 6 PM as it was only 25 miles from the sea gate at Crinan to the marina where the Malts rally had berthing reservations. Once again there was no wind and the seas were flatter than a pancake. A Pumpkin favorite. The marina was already closed for the day and jammed to the gills with boats. There were several moorings free so we took one. The moorings are great for the cats because we can leave them unsupervised and not worry that they (read that as Dante) will suck up to an owner with a bigger boat. Troon was definitely a problem as there was a lovely 48 footer next to us with cat lovers on board. They even tolerated his 8 AM visit. Dante is quite the ice breaker with many people. And he is also a complete suck up to the ladies as he brushes up against their legs and rolls on his back to show off his tummy for them, quite the performer.

The Malts Cruise registration began at 10 AM on Friday when we received our itinary, fleece jackets, hats, briefcase, etc. Registration accomplished we took off for Oban for the rest of the day. The marina runs a ferry service to the town docks as the marina itself is across the bay from the town.

Oban is a busy place where the rail and coach lines and island ferries converge so there is much to-ing and fro-ing. The town seems very prosperous. We had another wonderful seafood lunch and RXC bought himself a nice waterproof jacket that is lighter weight than foulies. We get numerous free tours of distilleries with the cruise and Oban was our first. A small production (1 million bottles annually) it was an interesting contrast to our tour of Glenfiddich (27 million bottles annually) last year. And the whisky was quite good.

The day was beautiful ly warm and sunny but a squall came through while we were learning about the Oban whisky. Then back to the boat for the evening as we needed to dress it for the festivities which begin tomorrow.

Dressing Petillant

By now we have accumulated many fine flags and decorations for the boat. We of course have to fly our stars and stripes at the stern as we are an American registered boat. We then fly a courtesy flag for the country where we are cruising at starboard, right now the red ensign of the UK and below that the blue and white cross of Scotland. On the port side at top is our “cats on board” flag, followed by the Port Medoc flag and today we added the Malts Cruise 2011 flag. While in ports, the rally organizers ask participants to dress ship meaning run signal flags from stem to stern. We had way more help to dress Petillant than we needed thanks to Mr. Dante.

With the ship dressed we were free to explore Oban again on Saturday morning before the rally briefings and welcome activities were to begin at 2:30 PM.

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