Neighbors Jean Michel and his wife Melania live just down the street from Lainie in Le Garde Freinet, France. During a casual conversation with Jean in early summer, Lainie mentioned she was interested in photographing the centurions (100-year + yachts) during the 2017 Le Voiles de St Tropez in late summer. She wondered if Jean knew anyone who could take people out to watch the glorious yesteryear yachts race. He immediately replied he was going to be a boat tender for the event and he would gladly give her a ride.
When I met Jean Michel in a casual street passing a couple weeks before St Tropez's Les Violes, we struck up a conversation and discovered we both had been sailing in the Florida Keys a couple of months earlier. Of course, our conversation turned to the hurricane we both had dodged and the devastation of southern Florida and the Caribbean.
Jean Michel drove his inflatable tender around St. Tropez harbor with Lainie and me then took us outside the breakwater for a closeup look at three extraordinary vessels before they raced.