We met Gerard Verdino when he was visiting the Fountain Pajot factory in La Rochelle in 2001 to sort out the specification of his own Belize.

We kept in touch and he helped get us some discounted equipment for the boat and also put us on to electrical engineer Chris who had worked on the fitout of Gerard's boat.

Gerard subsequently very kindly offered to help us get the boat out of La Rochelle, across Biscay and down the coast to Portugal. This was invaluable experience and a big help to getting us on our way. Gerard also speaks multiple languages which was useful in both France and Portugal.