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EOLE: New Year, New Momentum!


New Year, New Momentum!


The year 2023 was marked by a significant project for our IMOCA Terre Exotique.

After several months spent in dry dock to strengthen its mast and hull, our modern-day clipper resumed its place last December at the port of Toulon, alongside its peers.

The repair work as recounted by Jean-Guillem Destremau

(Technical Director of the EOLE program - transport of spices by sail):

“During the mission to Brazil in November 2022, the sailboat suffered a partial dismasting (broken into two pieces) following a violent gust of wind.

The installation of a makeshift rigging allowed for slow sailing and crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Verde for a tumultuous stopover at the end of the year. Tumultuous because, during a storm, the sailboat was driven against the quay. The boat couldn't set sail again as it was at risk of sinking, and the technical means available in Cape Verde were not adequate to quickly address the problem. In January 2023, a basic repair of the hull was undertaken. It lasted nearly 3 weeks. In early March, the sailboat arrived in Toulon in a sorry state.”


The completion of such a project is always a moment of great joy and emotion!

"Mobilizing the right service providers is a challenge while the summer season is in full swing. The Saint Mandrier shipyard was chosen among the most important operators in the pleasure yachting sector on the French Riviera. The boat was taken ashore in mid-April.

The repair of the carbon mast is complex. It will be carried out by a master in the field: PETITJEAN Composites. The task is to rebuild the damaged part so that the mast is stronger and returns to its original dimensions so that all equipment can be reused. 60 kg of carbon and dozens of hours of work will be necessary.

Since the repair could not be carried out on-site, the mast had to be transported by road to Fréjus for workshop work using specialized tools and infrastructure. The mast returned to Saint Mandrier at the end of July in two pieces, which were assembled and glued on-site. The result is fully satisfactory with a reinforced mast and a completely renovated standing rigging.

At the same time, the hull repair was carried out under difficult and acrobatic conditions. Indeed, the dimensions of the boat necessitated working at a height of nearly 6 meters!

Special scaffolding was built to allow the workers to carry out the repair, which required many phases: removing all the makeshift repair from Cape Verde and the damaged parts, rebuilding parts of the hull, ensuring the finishing touches, and finally painting.

To ensure a clean project that respects the environment and all the people working on site, the boat was cocooned with vacuum cleaners collecting dust and debris. These works were sometimes hindered by the wind (the Mistral), which can blow very strongly in the region, occasional rain, and stifling heat. Numerous stops for these reasons are regrettable.

The boat was relaunched in August, with additional maintenance work and initial adjustments.

The finishing touches lasted another 3 months, and the boat was able to make its first control sailings in early December.

These outings allowed for the validation of the boat's systems and their testing.

The sailboat is now operational for a mission in Crete in early January."

Relive the first outing of Terre Exotique in the Mediterranean Sea, with Jean-Guillem.


Heading Towards 2024!

The year that is beginning looks promising for the EOLE program!

Terre Exotique will resume its journey along the major sea routes to reach the home ports of our producer friends and bring back precious spices to France.

The boat will also be made available to students and researchers from the University of Toulon who are conducting bioacoustic studies at sea (animal communication and anthropogenic pollution, in particular).


Mission 009


The next destination is Tunisia, to load its hold with rosemary water and geranium water. Aromatic herbs, thyme honey, and olive oil will also be loaded later, in Crete.

To follow the tracking of the Terre Exotique sailboat: CLICK HERE

To our boat and its skippers, we wish for the upcoming missions: fair winds, good seas!


Find the products from previous missions now available in our store.

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