Blog Voyage - Days 1-7

I’m taking my boat from Poole to Denia, Spain - traversing the French inland waterways and I'm going to document the progress here, so check in and see what I'm up to. The first week is with my son, Josh - who some of you will know from his time with Quiet Storm.

Here's the route

Day 1 - Poole to Honfleur (the mouth of the River Seine) then down to 6 knots for the rest of the 1400km journey.
The rest is an adventure, which will take several weeks - the first stint of 3 weeks starting on June 9th - so I'll keep you posted on where I end up.

Head south past Paris upstream along the River Seine > Canal du Long > Canal de Briare > Canal Latéral à la Loire > Canal du Central > River Saône > River Rhône > Canal du Rhône à Sète > The Mediterranean south to Denia.

New to Blog Voyage? Here's the links to the key days 1-7...

Setting off from the RYMC!

Day 1 - The Crossing

Day 2 - Honfleur to Rouen

Day 3 - Rouen to Port Ilon

Day 4 - Port Ilon – Paris

Day 5 – Paris and the engineers’ visit

Day 6 – Another day in Paris

Day 7 - Last Tango in Paris

 

Setting off from the RYMC!

Well, it's Saturday morning, 9th June,  we've revised plans as the wind is from the East and it's going to be a little choppy (just how much we don't know but that's sailing). Planned departure now is a respectable 9.00am and not the originally planned 5.00am (which is just as well as it was thick fog which has now all burnt off). With the wind from the east, we'll be punching the tide, a little more fuel but a lot smoother when the tide and wind are in the same direction.  Forecast is -  sea state: Slight to moderate (so could be anything)  Weather: Thundery showers (oh joy, lightning on the sea), hence the covers remaining.

Departing RMYC on the start of our adventure

The picture is of me with Josh, who with Jazz (his girlfriend) gave me their early Fathers Day present (note the socks, hats and grab bag!), plus a few other treats we'll enjoy on our trip. Next post when we get there.... hopefully!

The Crossing - 9th June

I’ve crossed the English Channel too many times to remember, I’ve had mirror flat, lumpy, fog and even lightening – but this was the worst by a country mile. The forecast gave slight to moderate, slight (slight is .25-1.25 waves, moderate is 1.25 – 2.5m, rough is 2.5 – 4m, very rough is 4 – 6m). We’ll there wasn’t a lot of ‘slight’ – put it that way. The total distance is circa 115 nautical miles, we diverted to Le Havre rather than straight to Honfleur, as the battering the English Channel gave us meant we’d used more fuel than we’d estimated.

Here’s the log of our crossing with some pictures, it starts off in British Summer Time.

 

9.20am – 20 minutes in, not great but ok

Speed 23Kts:  Position 50 39 82N  001 54.626W:  Visibility good.

 

9.50am – 50 minutes in, starting to get a little lumpy

Speed 17Kts:  Position 50 33.81N  001 244: 01W  Visibility good.

 

10.20am – 1.20 hours in, getting more ‘moderate’

Speed 14Kts:  Position  50 27.90 N   001 34.93 W  Visibility now approx 15 miles can still make out the Isle of Wight  (10.27 lost sight of land, IoW).

Yipee - a ship, some excitement!

 

10.50am – 1.50 hours in, we’re now realising this is could be a long crossing

Speed 14Kts:  Position  50 23.33 N    001 26. 93W   Josh is now working out the possible arrival scenarios based on this speed.

 

11.11am – 2.11 hours in (getting bored and forgot I was timing on 20 past!)

Speed 15Kts:  Position  50 19.59N  001 21.12W:  Visibility still 15 miles.

 

11.50am – 2.50 hours in, got cold, fridge has spilt its contents now sorted but feel I’ve been inside a washing mashine

Speed 16Kts:  Position   50 12.57N  001 10.16W.

 

12.20pm – 3.20 hours in, on a good day we’d be sighting France (This isn’t that day!)

Speed 15Kts:   Position   50 07.21 N  001 01.41 W.

 

AIS on our cghart plotter

We’re approximately halfway, seen two ships but due to the visibility, not much else. The screen shows AIS -Automatic Identification System – an investment made having crossed the Channel in thick fog with my mate Bob Watson. It displays what’s around us – so we can see all commercial vessels, determine their size, direction, name (in case we need to radio them). So Josh is on it and although we have not seen many ships, the Channel is a crowded place at times!

 

 

12.50pm - 3.50 hours in and approximately halfway by distance

Speed 15Kts:   Position  50 02.02 N  000 53.57 W: Visibility good but we can see a storm or fog bank ahead.

 

 

1.20pm – 4.20 hours (Fog, Force 4-5 wind (up to 24 mph) and ‘moderate sea’ – oh joy)

Speed 16Kts:  Position  49 56.20N   000 44.31W:   Fog visibility down to 500m.

 

Visibility dropping!

1.50pm – 4.50 hours

Speed 20Kts:  Position 49 50.37N  000 35.22W:   Visibility fog 50m.

 

 

2.20pm – 5.20 hours  (Possible engine issues!!)

Speed 18 but boat keeps slowing down - think it’s the turbulence impacting on fuel as tanks on 50% and the bottom silt getting into the lines. Not the time to change fuel filters, and no time to stop – thick fog and ships bearing down on us.

 

 

IPhone switches onto French Summer Time – must be getting close!

 

3.50pm – 6.50 hours (Engines still dropping power and picking up but maintaining a good speed)

Speed 20Kts:  Position  49 36.79N  000 13.95W   Visibility 500m fog lifting a little.

 

 

4.30pm – 7.30 hours

Just sighted Le Harve cardinal marker 4miles off land but still can't see more than 500m.

Oh, and just about to cross ‘The Meridian Line’  Position:  49 33.37N   000.00 .95 W.

 

Land ahoy 4.25pm 1.9 miles away!

Fueling up in Le Harve

Fueling up at Le Harve, we calculate we can just about make the ‘hourly’ lock opening at Honfleur (6.00pm) about 9 mile away. The air is hot and humid, we take stock, fuel up and get on with the final leg of day 1’s planned journey.

Honfleur lock - Made it!

Honfleur, docked and relaxed – 6.15pm (9.15 hours since we departed RMYC Poole)

Honfleur moorings

 

Day 2 – Honfleur to Rouen

Honfleur was lovely, well worth a visit – and the  bonus for us was we discovered the 6kts speed limit didn’t start until Rouen – which meant our planned early start and 10 hours at maximum cruising speed was now a 4.5 hour trip, at 15 knots.

Just out of Honfleur

We took the 10.30am lock and set out into the Seine, the morning was beautiful but still misty.

 

Tancarville suspension bridge

There were a couple of dramatic suspension bridges, this one is Tancarville.

 

First boat we passed on the Seine

Surprisingly very few other boats on the water, maybe because it’s Sunday?

 

Industrial surroundings, flat water, oh what fun!

The whole 100km was fairly industrial.

 

Commercial traffic

Excitement – another boat!

 

Inland waterway port on the Seine

100km and we passed 6 or 7 commercial vessels, but the sun was out and  the mist had lifted.

Finally we reached Rouen, first stop was marina option 1, it had fuel, so we could check it out (I swear I heard banjos!) so we topped both tanks back up and decided to check out marina 2. This was called ‘Yacht Harbour at Pré au Loup’ – this sound more like it!

Yacht Harbour at Pré au Loup’

Arrive at marina 2

Well this is a weird place, the Capitainerie’s office (marina manager) was closed (looked abandoned), fortunately a nice French lady on another boat moored shouted to us and when we walked down to her, she took us to a Danish couple who spoke French and English. They explained the Capitainerie seemed to turn up as and when, some people had stayed for weeks without paying. However, there were facilities and the key to the security gate (we were shown this by the Danish gentleman) the key - a stick - was strategically placed so you could reach through and get it, then poke it through the gap and it released the lock!

 

Yacht Harbour at Pré au Loup in background

 

 

We walked in to Rouen to get something to eat, and take a look around – it’s a place I’d heard lots about and really was looking forward to visiting. It was very disappointing, seemed almost abandoned in places.

 

Rouen Cathedral

 

But the Rouen Cathedral was very impressive, and the old part of the town was very pretty, but just had an odd vibe.

 

Josh in the engine bay

Back to the boat and sorting out the water we’d taken on, not sure if this caused our engine problems – but the boat is fine at low speed, so we’ll keep an eye on things and see what happens.

 

Quiet Storm at Yacht Harbour at Pré au Loup

Finally, here’s the view of the boat – yep, this is the posh marina!

 

Quiet Storm at Yacht Harbour at Pré au Loup

But the view from my mobile office as I write this isn’t too bad – an early start tomorrow as we are now in the 6kts speed limited area, and have set ourselves the target of 100km’s with 3-4 locks. More updates tomorrow evening, now to finish off my Mountgay Rum (thanks for the introduction to Mount Gay, Duncan Mackie!)

 

Day 3 - Rouen to Port Ilon

An early start, leaving our Rouen berth 6am on the dot (5.00am BST), the earliest we can legally use the canals. As we’re slipping the berth, a commercial barge passes by, we’d follow him for almost 50kms. The current on the Seine at Rouen is simply awesome, it’s like Poole Harbour entrance on a spring tide, running at about 6 knots. Unfortunately in the opposite direction to the way we are travelling!

The next step involves locks, and is somewhat an unknown quantity, we’re now under inland waterways law, and maritime ended at Rouen. However, the commercial barge is just ahead and the first thing we notice is he’s doing 7.5 knots, not 6 (we follow at the same pace – this means an extra 2.75 Km’s an hour) our journey is 1400kms and we’re 100 in – every little helps!  We can travel on the canal until 7.00pm then, the locks close and the use of pleasure craft (us) is prohibited. We have a target of 100kms a day, and a strategy of getting fuel wherever we stop.

An early start, Josh making breakfast on the move

Josh making breakfast  -  that’s the nice thing about traveling on a river, you don’t need to worry about waves!

Nice scenery

The first thing we notice is that the scenery is so much prettier than down stream of Rouen.

Amfreville Lock

We follow our commercial barge ‘pilot’ and enter our first lock at Amfreville - as you can see, there’s quite an elevation – 5m of slime on the sides too!

 

River cruise liner Amfreville

One of two river cruise boats we passed.

My perfect house!

I think I’d like to live here, these look like my perfect houses.

 

Container ship on the Seine

Can’t believe the size of the commercial carriers this far – but what a brilliant way to move containers.

 

Vernon

This is where we’d planned to stop but it’s only 1.45pm, so we push on – we’re doing good time.

 

Rain, thunder and lightening!

Rain and poor visibility – we have a new marina in our plan – the helpful Danish couple at Rouen recommended it, we push on through the thunder and lightening.

 

 

 

Port Ilon

Ahh – arrive at Port Ilon 4.30pm, 10.5 hours and 3 locks – we’re ready for a break and the Danish couple were right. The owner of the marina gave us a bottle of home made rum punch – you’ll see it didn’t last long!

 

View from the office - Day 3

The view from my office tonight as I write this – more tomorrow!

 

Day 4 - Port Ilon – Paris

Another early start with a destination 90km upstream should get us just outside Paris. Today Jazz, Josh’s girlfriend flys in with their friend Kate – they’re joining us for the ‘Paris leg’ and will depart Saturday. Josh has researched the places we can stay running into and out of Paris - it may be on the banks of the river Seine for a couple of nights, which will be subject to the wake of any passing boats – but we can’t seem to book anywhere.

 

6.00am casting off from Port Ilon

6.00am, I wonder why we are getting up quite so early, but it’s done now and we cast off to get started – Nav lights on and we’re ready to re-enter the Seine. Especially as it’s still fairly dark and although there were plenty of signposts into the basin, there were not out – I take a wrong turn into a dead end. The rum punch is still impacting on my brain and it takes me a few seconds to react, at which time we could have run aground – we got away with it this time.

 

It's raining again!

Dark and raining, the river current seems to be as strong here as it was in Rouen, I thought it would ease off once into the locked river system.

The towns keep getting prettier and the houseboat is just one of hundreds lining the river – but take a look at what’s floating in the river just in front!  We think the river is in flood, there is a lot of flotsam and jetsam, and it feels like we’re in a video arcade game trying to dodge it all. Sometimes you’ll spot a little branch, only to see a massive part of a tree submerged, this one was a little easier to spot.

 

First pleasure craft since we set out from Honfleur

Our first ‘pleasure craft’ – we’ve done over 250km and not seen anything other than commercial, the river is really quiet – but it’s getting narrower and faster. One thing I forgot to mention is since Rouen, we’ve been operating on one engine when travelling up stream, this makes the engine work harder and prevents them ‘sooting up’ as it’s too far to travel on both at such low revs. (Thanks Martin for putting me in touch with Dave, a Volvo engineer who gave me this advice). Ample quantities of ‘diesel additive’ when we fuel up and one engine should keep the engines in tip-top condition – however, we still haven't solved the issue experienced crossing the channel – one for when we leave the boat before the med trip is the plan.

 

 

Fast moving commercial craft

The current rips through the bridges, upstream we typically have one arch and downstream have two, the speed of the downstream craft negotiating the bridges is breath taking, they have a few feet clearance either side and no second chances. With the current pushing them we think they’re doing about 10-12 knots – and they are huge, and must weigh thousands of tonnes. The bridge would have serious damage if hit by one of these craft - and so would we. The rivers get narrower and busier with commercial craft – alarms go off as the port engine overheats – I shut the revs off and keep it running to cool it, while I fire up starboard engine. Temporarily we’re out of control, the boat starts turning and the current hits the broadside and we pick-up speed in the opposite direction. The starboard engine kicks in, luckily we’d just passed the commercial craft and through a narrow bridge, had the engine overheated there it could have been a different story.

 

Sharing a lock with commercial vessels proves challenging!

We enter another lock, it was shutting the lock doors but the lock keeper spots us and reopens them, great we thought – then as we smoothly transit in, the wash from a ‘push boat’ slams us violently against the concrete wall on our portside (out of shot here – but you can see the two barges full of aggregates here). With only one engine to manoeuvre and the surprise of what just happened, we were lucky to escape without serious damage to the boat – the investment in two large ball fenders paid off this time.

 

The Paris Contain Terminal

Josh looks for an engineer, non listed, he calls a boat dealer in Paris, they give us the number of an English speaking engineer. We start to review our options, trying to call the marine where we planned to stay without success (just in case they have a resident engineer). Josh calls up the English speaking engineer – we haven’t a clue where he’s based, so it’s a bit of a wildcard. Josh speaks with him, he says if we can make it to him (another 35km up stream from where we planned to stop (now the early start pays off – this will take us within an hour of the 7.00pm cut off time for pleasure craft using the inland waterways). The Paris Contain Terminal – feels like we are almost there but we know we have another 3.5hours travel time, through Paris, and with only one engine – if that overheats, we’re buggered!

 

The Seine's current ripping through the bridges

With every narrowing of the river we see the current increase, nursing the starboard engine as we go – it overheats but we catch it and slow down, saving the increase in revs for short bursts to get us through the endless bridges.

 

The Seine's getting busier

The frequency of commercial craft increases, the river narrows, the minutes tick by!

 

Confirmed - the Seine is in flood!

We see the third pleasure craft, but note the benches in the background – the rivers in about a metre of floodwater – this explains the strong current.

 

Jeannuea Prestige 34 - River Seine

SNAP! – A boat the same as ours – the last on the left. It’s unusual as ours is one of only 3 in the UK, most went to the Med, the UK typically had the hardtop versions. It looks different, it’s lost its stripe and got black antifoul – next time it’s out of the water Quiet Storm will too!

 

The money shot!

The money shot! We now know we’re in Paris, the minutes have flown by, we’ve been on the water traveling upstream 10 hours now but both of us feel excited about going through the centre of Paris.

 

Quiet Storm, on the Seine, central Paris

As we pass under countless more historic bridges, and in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, Josh and I get over we’ve travelled all this way without having any documentation checks.

 

 

River Police, Paris

Opps! Did we speak too soon? …nope!

 

The Pont Alexandre III

The Pont Alexandre III

Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame – it feels surreal, we’re really here!  We’re now at the marina we’re looking for, having passed the place where we had planned to berth with the girls, we are thankful – as this would have meant rafting onto a house boat and we’d have felt every wave from the wake of the passing boats.

 

A well deserved beer at Port de Plaisance Paris Arsenal

We’re in!  And the engineer had got us a berth, even though the marina was full – the marina is called Port de Plaisance Paris Arsenal – it was somewhere I’d researched but couldn’t book as I didn’t know when we’d be here. Our misfortune with the engines has landed us a berth in the best marina in the centre of Paris!

A well deserved beer, and the suns out – a ‘camp Granada moment’ (for all of you old enough to remember the ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh’ (Camp Granada Song), Allan Sherman, 1963)

 

 

Quiet Storm, berthed in Port de Plaisance Paris Arsenal

The ‘Blog Voyage can wait until morning’ we decide to get something to eat having sailed for 12 hours, and experienced a few challenging moments – lets enjoy the moment. Quiet Storm rafted up in Port de Plaisance Paris Arsenal, we head off to find fodder!

 

Pemiche le Marcounet

We’ll, Josh strikes lucky again, he’s chosen a trendy place called Pemiche le Marcounet to eat, it’s a wine bar that does French & European BBQ food,  sounds great and it’s on the bank of the Seine. The sun is out the river bank is buzzing with people with picnics, wine and people on bikes, electric skateboards and single wheel segways.  We get there and this trio is playing, we get front row seats, the food is great. A fitting end to an eventful day!

 

Day 5 – Paris and the engineers’ visit

Wednesday morning is relaxed as we can wake at a normal time for holidays. The engineer is due this morning, Jazz & Kate arrive around lunchtime - no travel on the water planned today - what happens next is very much dependent upon what the engineer tells us once he’s seen the engines.  We get the boat tidied but don’t touch the engines, we want him to see everything as it is. Gayle, the engineer, arrives about 9.30am, he's a small framed and slim man (just right for crawling around in boat engine bays - they certainly aren’t built for people my size!). Josh diligently explains our journey and the engine issues experienced.

Gayle in the engine bay

Gayle kneels on the port engine and asks Josh to fire it up - it starts straight away and sounds fine, no belt squeals like the previous day. He has a good look around and then asks for the Starboard engine to be started. Same again, starts first time - as he repeats the process I spot the Starboard engines overheating problem.

Plastic bag in raw water strainer

There’s a plastic bag in the raw water strainer. This has been sucked up through the raw water intake in the Starboard leg (the bit in the water with the propeller on it). Past the impeller (a rubber ‘water wheel’ which creates a vacuum to suck the water up into the raw water chamber, and from there around the engine to keep it cool) and it’s sitting in the strainer. As I contemplate Gayle telling us the impellers shot, he confirms with a nod to turn both engines off.

Josh explaining the engine issues experienced

He explains, in a soft South African accent, both engines look fine and he thinks it’s the dirt and debris, combined with the strong current - all caused by the flood water - is the cause of the problem. Both impellers get the thumbs up - I can’t believe the plastic bag hasn’t damaged the Starboard impeller.

 

Gayle calls a colleague to double check he isn’t missing anything and slips into his native French tongue. Nope, the diagnosis is good - the raw water strainers need cleaning and he recommends we run on both engines while in the Seine. When I ask him about his English and South African accent, he explains that he went to school in Durban. He then tells us he has a tool which will reverse flush the intake - and pops off to his van. Returning with a hose pipe tool - something which looks like a DIY colonic irrigator - I explain we haven’t a hose but need to buy one. Then quickly take full advantage of Gayles local knowledge and quiz on where to buy a hose, some Sikoflex (to complete some running repairs) and a few other bits.

 

The DIY colonic irrigator and raw water strainers

He loans us the ‘tool’ and won’t take any cash for his time. We thank him for getting us a place in the marina and he explains he had to twist the Capitaineries arm as they were full - which is why we’re rafted off two boats, the outside one being his clients. He says his goodbyes and Josh and I have an 90 minute slot to visit Leroy Merlin get the hose, Sikoflex and other miscellaneous bits - food supplies and get back in time for the girls arriving.

 

Jazz, Josh & Kate onboard Quiet Storm

The girls arrive as we finish off cleaning the raw water strainers and bilges - a minute or two later we’re relaxed and having lunch, listening to Kate’s fear of flying, Jazz’s research that ginger is supposed to be good for the nerves - and figuring out Kate would be ok - as she’s got plenty of ginger!

 

 

Pont des Arts

Off to explore, we walk the banks of the Seine and cross over to the ‘left bank’ using the Pont des Arts.

 

 

The base of the Eiffel Tower

Retracing our boat trip back to the Eiffel Tower, where we sit with a bottle of chilled rosé and decide where next?

 

The Eiffel Tower from Palais de Chaillot

We walk  back over the Seine to the Palais de Chaillot and another photo opportunity - the suns out, the walk and early start (4.00am for the girls is taking its toll) and we (by which I mean Josh) sorts out an Uber to take us to the riverside bar from last night. We arrive with a different Jazz trio playing, the food is just as good and we enjoy the music before returning back to Quiet Storm.

 

Drinks on Quiet Storm (old habits die hard!)

A few more drinks and Josh sets up Kate’s bed - Kate announces she’s now found her sea legs and Josh quickly reminds her we’re on a canal off the Seine. With shopping planned for tomorrow (and another night at Port de Plaisance Paris Arsenal) I plan to take the time to catch up on a little work, those running repairs and plan our next stop. I’m definitely not going shopping!

 

Josh texts Gayle to see if we can buy the hose tool - his response is ‘leave me what you think in an envelope with the Capitainerie’ - what a nice guy!

 

 

Day 6 – Another day in Paris

 

I forget to tell Kate I sleep in the buff, so when I open the door she gets a eye-full - or is it just she hasn’t put her face on!

Kate not impressed with me taking a picture as she wakes!

Either way, the boats real cosy with 4 on board and uses all of the designated beds.

 

It’s advertised as a six berth, two double cabins (me in the fore cabin, Josh and Jazz in the aft) and a converting dinette in the saloon (Kates’ bed).

Saloon berth

 

The shower block and facilities are right by us, but we have to scramble over two house boats to get there.

Jazz returning from the shower blockThe marina is either side of the Canal Saint Martin, so if you’re unfortunate enough to be berthed right at the end of the opposite bank, you have a trek to reach the toilets and shower block.

 

 

Climbing over the house boats to get to shore

Josh and the girls leave the boat at noon to go explore Paris, I decide to spend the day faffing on the boat, getting those running repairs sorted, and doing some cleaning. I’ve visited Paris many times, always on a schedule, it’s nice just to chill, and do what I enjoy most – faffing on my boat.

 

I get through my mentally logged list of things to fix, clean and sort – I deserve a beer, then I’ll take the rubbish and have a wander.

 

Six-thirty, a whole two hours later, I’m woken by Josh and the girls returning and full of the sites they’ve seen. We pop-out for a Thai, and return to the boat to chat more about the day.

Another dink on Quiet Storm

Being on the boat in the marina is really sociable, lots of people sitting out in the night air, eating, drinking, talking - we join them!

We plan the days ahead and decide to stay in Paris another night, then set out Saturday morning. We'll drop the girls off to catch their flights home 40km up stream, then arrange to meet Ian Bray (our next crew in-take, and my neighbour) at Saint-Memmes a further 45kms up stream. Ian's arriving by Eurostar and there's a connecting train from the Gard de Nord. He's bagged the sun pad upstairs, so there's still room James!!

 

Jazz writing her blog

Jazz is writing her Blog, Postcards from Jazz, with technical assistance from Josh and a few tips on copywriting from me - whether she wants them or not!

 

She’s done some interesting things, like look after the Obama's on Necker, survived the hurricane there and returned to volunteer at a school on Virgin Gorda. She’s a great photographer and has lots of fantastic pictures - but has just told me she wants to tweak her blog before letting people see it - I'll keep you posted.

 

 

Day 7 - Last tango in Paris

It’s Friday morning, we wake late (9.30am - virtually mid-day for me).

The sun is shining in a blue sky, hopefully there is more of this to come as we set off south tomorrow. But for now we have a glorious day to see more of Paris.

 

We have new neighbours - moor hens have built a nest in the rudder system of a neighbouring house boat.

 

The Canal Saint Martin is teaming with people as we set off along its length to the Bastile monument - visible at the end of the Canal - then across the Seine to Notre Dame.

 

As we walk through the narrow streets on the approach to Notre Dame the sweet smells of crépés, fresh bread and other lovely things fill the air. Brunch stop - Josh and the girls order a sandwich - it’s 1.00pm, they choose from what’s left as they’ve stopped making fresh sandwiches - well it is 1.00pm!

 

The place is jam packed with tourists - mainly Americans judging by the conversations as we pass on through to see where we’d been on our little boat.

Last time Josh and I were here we were passing under the bridge - we must have looked strange, we still haven’t seen any other pleasure craft on the water.

 

We stroll through the streets, stop for wine and visit the Jardin du Luxembourg – full of people enjoying the weather. The gardens were created in 1612 by Marie de' Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, for a new residence she constructed, the Luxembourg Palace. 23 hectares of lawns, tree-lined promenades, flowerbeds, and lots of toy sailboats on its circular basin.

 

 

Another couple of wine stops and we’ve walked a full circle back to the barge bars on the banks of the Seine.

 

The bank is teaming with people having picnics and enjoying the last of the days sun.

Several bottles of wine later and a World Cup Campari promotion giving away free hats we get the last photo on Jazz’s iPhone before its battery dies. Apparently when we got back to the boat, I fell asleep - quickly confirmed by my snoring.

We set sail at 8.00am tomorrow - aiming for Saint Mammès where we’ll get fuel and pick up Ian. At some point along the 90km route we need to drop the girls off to catch their flights home - well, that’s the plan!

Read Blog Voyage - Days 8-14

 

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