From Cybèle 17 in Bodø, Nordland, Norway. 

As the winter draws to an end and the good weather returns, we bring you the latest news from Cybèle,
which has just received its new complete cockpit enclosure, with a brand new design,
custom-made by NVequipment. 

Thanks to the hard work on site on two occasions by Antoine, as well as by the entire design office and the specialist teams, all the boxes have reached us and we are able to admire and benefit from the end result. 
We are particularly pleased with our new space, which is brighter and roomier than the previous tent.

Antoine was able to alter the positioning of the hoops, giving us a few more centimetres in height and facilitating movement within the tent. 
We now have exceptional clarity, thanks to several new improvements. 

First of all, we are experimenting with new materials for the sprayhood windows. 

Strataglass - for the central window, the window on top of the hood, and for the connecting piece between the hood and bimini top. This material can be loosely rolled for storage if necessary. 

Lexan - for the side windows of the hood. They cannot be folded.
However, these two materials provide significantly better visibility than the conventional windows normally used, on a par with the visibility through glass windows. 

The rest of the windows used are traditional 0.8 mm models.

To compensate for the new hood’s lack of foldability, all of the front windows are entirely detachable, independently of each other. This enables us - should it be necessary - to remove them and retain the top of the hood only. It’s true, however, that we are not in the habit of removing the hood.
We have always operated with it in place, and on the rare occasions where we need more space we will be able to make use of the tips provided by NV.  

Next, we have new openings towards the top, four in total. One window on the top of the hood. The connecting piece between the hood and the bimini top, which is almost all window, a central window, and a window above the wheel station on the bimini top. 

These openings give us good visibility for raising the mainsail and monitoring the sails from inside. And overall, the new design and space of the cockpit tent will enable us to sail in hot conditions while also being able to monitor our surroundings in complete safety, even during port manoeuvres! 

We can’t wait to use it for the first time, and we will have the chance to do so in May.

What are we up to in 2019?

We wintered at Bodø this year, alternating with our stopovers in France. We arrived there in October. These winter months, including six weeks of polar night, with no sun but four hours of clarity per day, have given us the opportunity to discover the capital of Nordland, one of Norway’s largest regions, which includes the Lofoten Islands. Its surface area is almost as large as Switzerland, but while the latter has a population of eight million, Nordland has no more than 250,000! This gives everyone plenty of space to enjoy the extraordinary natural environment just outside the town. 
Bodø, with a population of 52,000, is a coastal town founded 200 years ago as a base for herring fishing. Today it is better known as an administrative, commercial, academic, military and tourist centre. 

We are at 67° North. 200 km above the Arctic Circle. And thanks to the Gulf Stream which warms the Norwegian coastlines, the average temperature during the coldest month, January, is just -2.1°C. The sea temperature never drops below 5°C in winter. No icebergs on the horizon here!

This year, we opted for a much lighter schedule than last year. Spitsbergen is not part of the plans! Nonetheless, we intend to fully enjoy and explore the Lofoten Islands and the entire coast of Helgeland, known for its exceptional beauty. Archipelagos and white sand beaches, fjords… We are unlikely to tire of their beautiful sights and fishing resources. 

We have not yet decided on our final destination.  It will be another Norwegian port, probably south of Bodø. But we are open to ideas and suggestions, and we look forward to sharing our discoveries with you. 

Valérie and François – March 2019