Marseille, Ville Franche, Monoco, and Nice

Villefranche Travel Blog

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Saturday, 10.20.07

We arrived in Marseille, France at 1am. We anchored over night. The water was calm in the bay so we all were able to sleep well. At 10am we docked in the harbor. It was freezing cold today. Everyone was walking around in winter coats, scarves, and gloves. This was not typical October weather. The storm brought in a cold front. All morning was spent cleaning our cabins and the ship. It looked as though a tornado had swept through. You’d be amazed by how easy it became trashed. Ohh yeah, I forgot to mention - we ran out of water and had very little food left to eat on the last day of sail. None of us had taken showers in three or four days, so we desperately needed a good cleaning too.

As soon as the water arrived, we all took turns taking cold showers. It was torture, but we all felt better afterwards and smelled better too. That afternoon we explored the town and went to McDonalds to get free WiFi. I was able to call home and talk to my mom, dad, Beth, and Donna too. I still feel a bit sick and am having difficulty with my vision. Plus my body was still in shock mode. Hopefully I’ll sleep good tonight and fee back to normal tomorrow.

Sunday, 10.21.07

I woke up at 9:45am. After breakfast Brian, Anne, Cathy, Meinhard, and I went to church. It was a Catholic church and everything was in French. The Cathedral was very old and in need of repair, but beautiful none the less. The hymns were lovely echoes of words I did not understand, but the melodies were sweet to my ears.

I was concerned that I wouldn’t know what to do (I‘d never been to a Catholic service before), so sitting in the back had its benefit - I could clearly see what everyone else was doing and mimic them. I did remember hearing that you shouldn’t take communion if you were not Catholic, so I stayed sitting in my chair.

I thought of my cousin Joe and how if he’d been with me he’d know exactly what was being said and taking place. I imagined he would explain everything and add his many years of learning to tell me dates, facts, and the history of Catholicism. One of the things I did enjoy was sitting next to Meinhard. He’s this adorable charismatic guy from the Faeroe Islands. It was fun watching his facial expressions as he fumbled through the songs mumbling words from a language he did not know.

Also during the welcoming ceremony, I blushed as he learned over to kiss my cheek. Apparently this is customary in the Catholic Church. I enjoyed this custom!

After the service was over, I walked around town taking photos. A gypsy approached me and grabbed my arm begging me to give her money. I went back to McDonalds to get WiFi, although it wasn’t working. I started to feel really sick, so I went back to the boat and took a nap. When I woke up I didn’t feel any better. I think I’m coming down with a virus. I guess sleeping in soaking wet clothes did me in. The rest of the night was low key. I found out that earlier today Lehman was robbed. A man pick pocketed his wallet. We took up an offering for him and replaced the money that was stolen two fold.

10.22.07 - Monday

Today we starting teaching on forgiveness. Padraig, a man from Ireland, was our speaker for the week. He started by leading us in Irish worship. It was very cool and all of us enjoyed the Celtic songs immensely. After the teaching we had lunch then we set sail for a new port. The port we were currently at was too expensive to continue to stay there. During the sail we sailed by Chateau Dif - an old prison on an island outside of Marseille. It was in the movie “The Count of Monte Cristo”. A movie I’m sure my mom has seen and loved. We arrived at the new port. The space provided was very difficult to back into. It took us several tries. We had to move fenders up and down the boat to keep from banging into a very expensive yacht.

Literally we were one foot away at times - only leaving space for the fender. I was very sick with a sinus infection, so I took it easy. After dinner we watched the movie “The Count of Monti Cristo”, then I went to bed.

10.23.07 - Tuesday

I woke up still feeling awful. My whole body ached and I was freezing. After teaching and lunch we had maintenance. My job was to go into town with Sarah and purchase groceries. We took the dingy into town and tied up at a local marina. Thankfully a grocery store was nearby because we had to carry 14 bags of groceries back to the dingy. It looked as though we bought out the whole store. Imagine shopping for 28 people and having to buy three days worth of meals. Soon as we got back, I had to help make dinner. I felt soo bad! All I wanted was to go to bed.

Thankfully after dinner a youth group was coming, so they gave us the evening off. I went to bed straight away and read the book, “Brother Andrew”. It was soo good I couldn’t put it down. I ended up reading seven chapters. I wanted to read more, but I needed to rest so I put the book down, turned off the light, and closed my eyes. Within minutes I fell fast asleep.

10.24.07 - Wednesday

Another day of teaching. That afternoon we broke into groups to complete a packet we were given. I felt even more sick today. How am I going to keep going? Not participating is not an option for this organization. You have to press on and keep going no matter what. Right after dinner I went straight to bed. As I lay there I felt a huge fever come over my entire body.

I fell asleep and slept through the night.

10.25.07 - Thursday

Wow, I felt a huge sense of healing. All my aches and pains vanished. I could breath out of my nose and my throat wasn’t sore. I was amazed! It was as if God had healed me during the night. Then came miracle #2 - a few days ago my cell phone fell into the galley sink that was full of water. It hadn’t worked since, although today it came on and was working again. I was soo thankful.

After lunch Lehman, Padraig, and I went into town. It was a good thirty-five minute walk up a big hill. The whole time it was raining. By the time we made it back to the boat we were drenched. Thankfully Padraig was with us. He spoke fluent French and was able to get directions, otherwise we would’ve never found our way.

10.26.07 - Friday

This morning I had anchor watch at 7am. A storm was on its way and huge gusts of wind were blowing the boat around in circles. During my watch the anchor gave way and we started to drift towards a Navy vessel that was anchored nearby. I immediately had to wake up the skipper. Within minutes the whole crew was ushered on deck and the engine was fired up. We were able to motor to shore and drop anchor again. It was all very exciting. I received several “thank you for doing a good job”.

The storm passed through fairly quickly, so we were able to finish the teaching before Padraig had to leave to catch his train home. After lunch we were allowed to go into town for two hours. I went to McD’s for WiFi. I was able to talk to dad and Amy.

In order to make it back to the boat in time, I had to run down the hill. It was exhilarating! I made it back just in time. After dinner we set sail. I was watching the movie “Goonies” in the saloon. The boat was rocking a lot. At one point several things came crashing down off of the tables and cabinets. I managed to sleep through the night.

10.27.07 - Saturday

We arrived in Ville Franche, France. What a beautiful port. Fish were swimming all around the boat. Tonight was a big event - we are having a Love Feast. Brian would also be commissioning Lehman as the new skipper and Cassie as the 1st mate. We decorated the saloon and brought out our finest cutlery. We put sugar crystals around each glass. It looked amazing. Everyone got dressed up and we had a delicious meal, followed by Nutella crepes - yummy!

After the ceremony, we had a dance party on deck.

Also the guys picked Lehman up and threw him overboard. Then several of the crew jumped in too. It was a beautiful night under the stars.

10.28.07 - Sunday

Today was a day off. I decided to stay on-board and relax. I’m glad I did because I was able to video tape Lehman jumping off of the crow’s nest. It was terrifying, but he did it with no problems. After dinner I showed everyone the video. They couldn’t believe he had the nerve to do it.

10.29.07 - Monday

We had another day off. I went into town with Matt and Duffy. We explored and went to the local Catholic Church. I got my picture taken in the confessional. We found tunnels throughout the streets, then we made our way to the train station. We went to Monoco - to see the palace that Grace Kelly once lived in.

There were beautiful gardens and shops everywhere. There was lots of Grand Prix souvenirs and French pastry shops. We ate pizza and pastries while overlooking the harbor. A seagull flew down to join us in hopes of getting some food. I fed him out of my bare hands and managed to get some sweet photos in the process.

Then we went to the post office and caught the train back to the boat. I grabbed my laptop and went back into town to a café that offered free WiFi if you made a purchase. I bought a coffee with a scoop of ice cream in it. Yummy! Later that night Lehman came and picked me up in the dingy.

10.30.07 - Tuesday

This morning I was asked to give my testimony, as well as others. This weeks teaching is on the Kingdom of God. Cathy’s brother, Scott, came from Texas to teach.

After lunch we had maintenance. It was stressful for many people. We all dread maintenance duties. After dinner I worked on photos to give to Brian. Then we had a meeting to discuss Outreach possibilities. We decided on two teams. One will go to Israel and the other to Guinea-Bassau, Afica. I will be going to Africa!

10.31.07 - Wednesday

Happy Halloween! Today I miss being home…I love getting dressed up and going to Halloween parties. This is the first year since Amy and I was in Florida that I didn’t celebrate this holiday.

We continued teaching on the Kingdom of God, then after lunch we discussed Spiritual gifts. I’m exhausted today, as well as several other students. We were given the evening off, so I went back to the café for internet.

I got to call dad and talk to Caleb. He’s a pirate for Halloween. Then I called Sandie and Charles. He was dressed up as Wolverine (Xmen). There were some locals out and in costume. Dan and I managed to get our photo taken with the three amigos. (see pic)

11.01.07 - Thursday

More teaching today, then we sailed to Nice. We had a visitor, Mike, on board. He has been in France for two years trying to start a YWAM base here in Nice. We prayed for him and for the city. After dinner our outreach team went into town to a local restaurant to discuss the details of the trip. After evening prayer, Mikayla, Elena, and I had girl talk in our room before going to bed.

11.02.07 - Friday

Today we had sail training with Simon and Bob. It is intense training… lots of memorization.

We have to take a test in December in order to get our day skippers certification. This port had free WiFi, so many of us with laptops took advantage and used the internet. This evening we met with our small groups. Our group decided to take a walk into town to try to find a store with no luck. I went back to the boat and read more of my book before going to bed.

11.03.07 - Saturday

After this mornings teaching we had to go back to anchor. We said good-bye to Cathy and Scott as they left to catch there train. This afternoon I chilled on deck and laid in the sun. After dinner I worked on photos then went to bed. This evening we sail for Italy.

wormfood says:
I love reading how your days are spent. It was difficult learning how sick you were because I can't do much to help you, although I'm always praying for you. Sorry I missed your call, it would've been great to talk with you. I miss you more than you know, but I'm glad that you are where you are. I had to google Guinea-Bassau because it is one of the few places in Africa I never heard of - Don't tell the brothas. Keep your spirits up and continue to enjoy this learning process. I admire your strength and commitment. Love and Miss you!!!

Peace & Love, Gerald

P.S. Thanks so much for the postcard - my first from Europe.
Posted on: Nov 16, 2007
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