I discovered why the scientists at least have better English than our French. One of our friends was studying for an exam next week and he had Feynman's lectures open on his desk - in English. It seems most academic textbooks that are written in English are too expensive to translate.
Could not have dreamed of a better start. Apart from a little contretemps with a big patch of kelp which took a fancy to Kevvo, no problem getting out. I borrowed an idea from Cook, who climbed Endeavour Hill in Cooktown to try to see a way through the Barrier Reef after they had careened and repaired Endeavour. I climbed the hill at Port aux Francais and found a gap in the kelp that gave us a shorter sail out of the bay and lined up a transit and off we went. And it worked.
Lovely night, poled out, 2 reefs, hooning under a three quarter moon, 20 kts from the west - rolling a bit - some signs of Examinatorial perturbation to the north west but the grib says - well, it does - that all should be reasonably cool and froody for the next couple of days. I shall only believe that in hindsight...and there is a nasty low forming in the NW in that couple of days. We'll see.
Poitrel Jack, if you are reading this, you need at least a 2 inch drain in each corner of the cockpit. Heavy duty flex hose to through-hull valves with venturis on the the outside to stop water flowing into the cockpit. Much more efficient than bungs. Happy to talk when we get back. Good luck!