So we returned to the boat on Monday 29th May after a relatively easy journey by train, Eurostar & train. We discovered we had squatters again! Paper wasps like last year but this time in the bimini. Tuesday and Wednesday we tried to tidy the boat and do some final bits and pieces ready to start cruising on June 1st. We were due to have a delivery of diesel by tanker but a tanker drivers’ strike put an end to that! We do actually have about 500 liters in the tank so decided this wasn’t too problematic.
So we were orf – first stop Nogent-sur-Seine where there is a restaurant at the port and a superb swimming pool within a couple of minutes’ walk. Cold beers, a swim and dinner made for a good evening.
Adrian discovered that the solar panels do not work when the engine is running as the alternator should boost the batteries – it wasn’t! So instead of maintaining battery levels while moving we saw the level reducing due to the draw of the different items on board. So Adrian was back to investigating on the net and looking into the bowels of the boat! We are currently at Lagny-sur-Seine for a couple of nights for this investigative work. Adrian rang Georges back at St Jean last night and he ‘listened’ to the engine by phone and reckons a bearing has ‘gone’. Luckily for us Georges and Lucie are driving up to Paris next week and he will come over to take a look. Misty Morning and I know that he is very good at alternators! Deja vu or what!!! He even asked to check out if there is a tractor shop nearby….
We proceeded to Meaux to await Georges’ and Lucie’s arival on Monday. We had had a very successful visit to the market at Lagny on Sunday and so we all ate very well on board. Lovely to see them and to pick Georges’ brains regarding the alternator. Adrian had however already made further investigations re the panels & the alternator so he and Georges had long discussions over the engine and decided that the alternator is ok but may need a little adjustment or a squirt of ‘dressage du fan belt’! We haven’t located any of the latter yet but just knowing there is nothing majorly wrong makes us feel much more better a lot!
Mooring up at Meaux wasn’t our best effort – its notorious because of the way the current pushes you around as you try to get onto the pontoons! I’m sure we gave the diners on the restaurant peniche something to remember ……. no harm done but our pride dented just a bit! We certainly needed a beer to recover.
We enjoyed a couple of nights there and had interesting chats with other boaters – both Dutch – and learned some interesting stuff! Adrian is investigating a particular form of stern thruster (made more interesting by our mooring effort) and I followed up on a suggestion regarding our wheelhouse windows which accumulate water in the channel. It can spill over onto the wooden dash causing a mess. We have tried all sorts to try and improve this without success. However, if you put a length of cotton type material into the channel it will ‘wick’ the water away! And it does!!! Even managed to wick it right out through the holes that actually let water in in the first place! What a result and it costs nowt!