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In July 2021 we were working on Mitch in the yard at Port Napoleon, and noticed Kadash, a purposeful looking yacht nearby displaying an “a vendre” sign. We had probably taken Mitch further than any Mitchell 31 Sea Angler had travelled before, but we knew that a different boat would be required if we were to voyage further afield.

Kadash, AKA Kim, seemed close to our ideal yacht, and we bought her from Robert and Cora Valckx, who had owned her from new. Kim is built from aluminium, 42 feet long, and has a lifting keel with a 3.5 tonne lead bulb at the end which moves vertically, driven by a powered hydraulic system. With the keel fully down, the boat draws about 3.0 metres, and 1.4 metres with the keel retracted. Kim looks rather uncompromising with her unpainted hull, plumb bow with a short bowsprit, three rudders and sugar scoop stern. She is beamy, with the beam carried well aft, giving roomy accommodation, its spaciousness accentuated by the minimalist interior design.

We were slightly apprehensive about our summer cruise on Kim, as we sold our last sailing yacht in 1985, and that was a boat from another era, a 26 foot long, clinker built wooden sloop. When manoeuvring, Kim handles completely differently from Mitch, as she is much bigger, heavier, and the engine is comparatively puny, with everything seeming to happen in slow motion. After our first short outing, we decided on a reversal of our usual roles, with Sally taking the helm, while I act as deckhand.

After a few weeks work on the boat in the yard, we set out from Port Napoleon for our 2022 summer cruise in late May. Learning the ropes as we went, we went east in gradual stages along the southern coast of France as far as Bormes les Mimosas, from where we crossed to Calvi on the mountainous, rugged island of Corsica. After rounding Cap Corse, we stayed for a while at Macinhagiu, then Bastia, from where we took the narrow gauge railway through spectacular countryside to Corti, the erstwhile capital of the Corsican Republic. We enjoyed a a long walk along an extremely scenic but rough former mule track.

We had an excellent sail to Elba, just off the Italian coast, where we stayed for a few days. We had a rather rough trip back from Corsica to St Tropez, but the anchorage there was agreeable, and the comings and goings of numerous superyachts kept us entertained.

Our summer cruise ended in late July, where it had started, with Kadash in the yard at Port Napoleon. Some work is required before we set out again, most notably replacement of the rigging and fitting a dinghy davit. Selling Mitch after 21 years of ownership was rather a wrench, but we are very much looking forward to voyaging in Kadash in the coming years.


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