On Saturday ‘Saison Estivale’ joined us in the water – Murray and Gail were suitably nervous but keen to float again. A slightly anxious moment when Murray hopped on board to check the bilges and called Simon on board – a quick tightening up of a nut or two and all was well. Phew!
They have done great job – she really looks good. She wasn’t really about to be put on top of Piedaleau!
So, after 6 weeks all working away on the 2 boats across the boatyard, we were both finally in the water, moored side by side under the crane. This was, of course, cause for another celebration!! This one really did get a little out of hand – luckily Murray was able to cook a delicious stir fry – then Gail went to bed and I fell asleep on the sofa . Not good the next day and we all agreed that it is just as well that we are parting company and going off in different directions for the health of our heads and livers!
On Monday Laurent came back bright and early to finish the last few bits and pieces ….. then we just had to await our bill.
Having been used to the h2o ‘fairy tale’ type bills we went through it carefully. It was exactly as we had estimated – no unjustified extra bells and whistles – ‘dechets et petites fournitures’ a la h20 – everything was logged but not over-egged! For example Laurent had done a minor repair to the black tank and charged us for 0.25 hr ie 12.50 euros!
So we paid up and set off at about 4.30pm. We were determined to get going and to leave Migennes before the end of June. Just made it!
So off we went up the river Yonne. I did this river in 2009 with Frankie and Greg when we arrived and collected Misty Morning from Jo Parfitt at Migennes, but I had forgotten what these locks are like. Big – wider and longer than canal locks – and quite vicious when the water comes flooding in – tosses the boat about, even Piedaleau at 30 tons. It must have been a real baptism by fire for little Misty and one very nervous lady Captain!
We moored up at Gurgy for the night – then onto Auxerre on Tuesday where we are staying for a few days.
I always enjoy approaching a major town by river and being moored up in its heart. The port de plaisance at Auxerre has fabulous views of the Cathedrale and 2 other churches. Lovely to have breakfast on the top deck with such a panorama and to watch the changing sky line at night as the lights come on. Stunning. We are also provided with music from the riverside bars across the river. So we sat up on deck into the early hours just reading, listening and having a glass of wine as the temperature eased.
I called this post ‘Hot to trot’ but actually it is too hot to do anything, never mind trot! As I write this our thermometer reads 39*c outside and 36*c inside. It has been like this for several days and is predicted to continue for about another week. The French government are calling it a ‘canicule’ (heatwave), issuing warnings and advising people to stay indoors during the day or go to supermarkets / cinemas etc where there is air conditioning. Piedaleau’s metal hull heats up in the sun and the walls inside literally feel pretty warm to the touch. The biminis have been brought into play & we have even broken out the additional side panels – make the boat look like a bedouin tent! Took a bit of fathoming out and some extra sewing – just as well I brought my new sewing machine with me.
This is the first year, since I started boating in France through the summer, that I have been able to watch Wimbledon! Adrian has kitted us out with TV and satellite dish so that we can get UK TV. So, the last couple of afternoons, we have been watching the tennis – with all the curtains shut and the fan going full blast!
Yesterday we took ourselves into town in the afternoon and spent quite a long time in the Cathedrale and its Crypt – coolest place we could find! The Crypt was constructed between 1023 and 1030 & served as the substructure for the chancel of the first Cathedral built here. The Cathedral was replaced in the 13th century but the Crypt was kept.
Took me a while to get up from the floor after lying down to take a picture of the painting on the ceiling – did it purely for the sake of this blog, you understand…….