Sunday, 23 June 2019

Summer has kicked in

As I write we are moored in Montagis and one of our favourite stops. The forecast is for highs of 35C or even higher this week. We are not complaining but a mooring under a tree takes on a new meaning. Our cruising plan for this season remains fluid with no adventurous destination in mind. we are moving more slowly allowing time to re-visit and explore towns and villages we had previously passed by.

Cruising more slowly this year

A shady backwater mooring in St Moret sur Loing.
An added complication is the lack of rainfall over winter in the Southern areas of France. which may restrict or close navigation on some waterways, as the reservoirs are at record lows and weed growth on the canals is thick this year. A chat group of other boaters keeps us informed of what is ahead.

Local young folk cool off at Moret sur Loing

Commercial Traffic on the Seine seems light this year, these barges moored up in St Mammes are waiting for freight. 
Barges rafted up in St Mammes on the Seine

                                          A few more pretty pictures along the way.
Wild poppies alongside the lock at Nemours

What, no bread?

I couldn't resist adding this pic


This waterway once 74 kms long ran to Orleans. We take a walk along the towpath.


Friday, 7 June 2019

Launch day and other diversions

It is late in May and while Antiope was still on dry land we take a couple of weeks away to England. It was a mix of social visits and attending the funeral of an old sailing crew mate. That occasion was a celebration of a life well lived and a reminder to all of us not to waste our own.

Gloucester docks, a stormy day and a tall ships festival

We included a visit to good friends in the midlands and had an invitation to the Tall Ships festival in Gloucester docks, many miles from the open sea and a place we had visited in our narrowboat days. 

Vilma, the topsail schooner restored by Scott Metcalfe
Scott Metcalfe made us welcome aboard Vilma, his topsail schooner having sailed her down from North Wales for the festival. 
The sail training ship Royalist alongside the converted dock warehouses.
The largest tall ship was the Royalist which only just to made the trip along the now shallow canal from the Severn river.

 Back in France once more we find John and Rosemary have arrived at Simon Evans yard for their 7 year out of water survey and a bit of maintenance, and another excuse for a bit of socialising. We really should get going so after a good hull polish we are finally ready to launch Antiope.

John and Rosemary Stoppard high and dry aboard Petronella

                                         Simon can we go boating please? we ask politely

After we fix the crane!!

Always a nervous moment, will she lift?

We take a short trial run up the river to the sound of a 'singing' propeller, it was one that had been repaired over the winter and rather too well balanced, the high pitched tune was just a bit too annoying to tolerate at cruising revs, so it was back into the slings for adjustment and let Simon gets to work with his grinder.

The offending prop

Precision work 

Job done, and singing cured. Thanks Simon
 As I write we are on our way to Auxerre, amid sunshine and showers. We need the rain, the reservoirs are low across France.