New website going well

Hi All,
latest update to website is the link, which is:

It is allowing us to work on the site while offline and then upload when we have the opportunity, rather than fight flakey connections.
We hope you all enjoy it.
Best wishes
S and B


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We are moving
Hi Folks,
As with all new products, there may be teething problems. We would like to say a huge thank you to Trae for setting up our domain for us and offering professional advice on this website thingy. You will see many changes as we move on with this, not least of which will be more photos – we tried to load up the site with 3 large photo albums and after 2 days of trying Steve took the albums off and lo and behold, it loaded in about 15 minutes. Internet connectivity is still a pain in the ……… so we are trying to streamline this as much as we can.
Please take the link exactly as you see it here:
and it should take you there. We will be promulgating the link all over the place in the hope that it will be easy to use.
There may be a few more entries on this site but for the most part, we will be trying to use our own site from now on.
Happy reading
Steve and Barbara

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Tue 11 Sep 2012 at Vitry le Francois – McDo’s using the wee fee gratuity

Sorry for the break in service folks, it has been a bit of a ‘mare with internet connections. We managed to get onto some of the local freebies easily last year but this year it all seems a bit more closed off. Currently sat in the Golden Arches restaurant, having had a goats cheese wrap, big chips and an iced tea. Ba has lost the will to live and has gone back onboard.
We now have a website which we are trying like mad to get set up. I will promulgate the URL once it is working, rather than subjecting you to the frustrations of non working pages etc

For now, here are some words.    They are also on the new website,  which also has (when it gets there) loads of pictures.  I will put the URL in here and on FB etc as soon as it is working.

Sunday 9 September 2012 – Soulanges for yet another day  DAY 102

After all the business of the last couple of days and it also being a Sunday, we decided to have a restful day.

At 0900 we bade Simon and Carlyn farewell as they headed north; not an easy feat since the operating pole was back up the canal a cable or so,  and those Dutch barges don’t like to drive backwards much.  In addition there is a ‘no turning round’ sign right here.   So,  in order to test our new headsets,  we slipped and headed to the pole,  twisted it,  then did a gentle 200 yard sternboard back to our berth as  Jolicoeur slipped and proceeded into the lock.   No doubt we will meet up with them again sometime next year perhaps.  not sure what got into our heads,  (must be too much sun) but off we strode for what turned out to be a 5 mile walk.  Arrived back at lunch time and are now resting it off in the cool of the wheelhouse (Ba perched with her cross-stitch) and saloon (Steve bashing frantically on the keys)

Harry went on again at 1445 to chill the fridge down and give the batteries a bit more TLC.  Tomorrow we aim to head to Vitry le Francois,  where the Canal Lateral a la Marne meets the Canal  Marne au Rhin and the Canal Entre Champagne et Bourgogne – our route south to the Saone.   Avid readers of this blog will recall us doing something just like this last year.  It is such a beautiful canal that it really is worth another run.  Anyway,  Vitry le Francois is a great place to pick up groceries,  maybe some diesel and petrol,  go to the Golden Arches Restaurant to drink coffee and use the internet,  and maybe explore a little.

Overnight Soulanges  48 47.377N   004 32.060E

Saturday 8 September 2012 – Soulanges for another day DAY 101

Overnight Soulanges  48 47.377N   004 32.060E

After breakfast Super M came out for a swim,  picking up a big staple,  a nail,  a screw and oh yes,  Ba’s scissors.  Second dip in canal averted.  Middle of the day saw a beautiful,  108 year old Dutch barge called  ‘jolicoeur’ (lovely heart)  with new friends Simon and Carlyn.   When not cruising, they manage a marina in the Turks and Cacos Islands.  Their barge is gorgeous,  with a large sitting room delightfully furnished with what looks to us like high quality antique furniture.

This afternoon  ‘Harry’  the Honda Generator decided to have a coughing fit.  Out came the tools and after a bit of ‘open-carburetor surgery’  the cough seemed to disappear and Harry went on to drink a healthy tank of petrol while giving the batteries and fridge a well-earned boost.

Steve and Barbara have been looking for a headset comms system to use when berthing etc. Steve saw some being used in Annapolis years ago but had not seen them since.  In came Simon and Carlyn, who not only were using them,  they sell them as well.   We secured ourselves a pair and they are really quite good.   They will be great for working up a mast in the wind etc as well as berthing.   Anyway,  in return we  gave them a demo of our electric bikes and the details of  Electric Bike World and the boss’s  name and number.    Simon seemed very interested.

Friday 7 September 2012 – St Germain la Ville to Soulanges   DAY 100

Just realised I had forgotten to add the days of deployment to each day’s entry.  Terribly sorry to all you data junkies, but at least we get to tell you that we are now at Day 100 of this year’s cruise.

Short-ish day underway today:  3 hrs 20 minutes under way and 3 locks – heroic effort for your valiant travellers.    Arrived at Soulanges,  our favourite halte last year where, you will remember dear reader,  the Stations of the Cross extend up the hill out of the village.  Sadly one of the stations has been damaged (frost or thug we know not which) but efforts are under way to make good.      On our way to Soulanges we encountered that most unwanted of creatures in the waterways,  the double red-eyed ecluse.    As we approached it and taunted it by twisting its operating pole,  its third (of four) eyes  blinked rheumedly at us but the two red eyes glared in continuation.  It took a call to the VNF office, who sent out an ecluse tamer to calm it down and turn its fourth eye green, whereupon it opened its jaws in a smile and welcomed us in, only to spit us out the other end 10 minutes later.

We decided that as it is so lovely we could spend a bit of time catching up with a bit of maintenance and ship husbandry etc.    By about 1500 we had finished the planned tasks and were a bit hot and sticky.  A quick dip into canal with the shampoo and soap and the job was done. Nice and cool and comparatively clean too.

Gorgeous sunny late afternoon, parked in our favourite parking place with our favourite BBQ picnic table right there.  Ba worked up a superb meal which Steve did on the Cobb BBQ and we sat and talked into the sunset.   Wonderful.

Clumsy Steve managed, while passing stuff back onboard,  to drop Ba’s cross-stitching scissors in the canal.    Job for ‘Super Magnet’ tomorrow methinks.

Overnight Soulanges  48 47.377N   004 32.060E

Really sorry about the lack of pictures,  we haven’t had a decent internet connection since Paris.  We will probably sit in McDonalds at Vitry le Francois for about 6 hours while Steve updates with pictures.  This will be in a couple of days from now.

Thursday 6 September 2012 – Tours sur Marne to Lock 7 (St Germain la Ville)

A longer day today, to make up for the slow running of the last few days perhaps, or not.   Covered 31 km and 5 locks in beautiful sunshine, to stop at the waiting pontoon above Lock 7.   Gorgeous sunshine coupled with a delicious dinner  and then sat in peace in the cockpit until after dark.   Aiming to get a few kilometres further tomorrow and stop at Soulanges,   one of our favourite stops last year where we had a really lovely evening with BBQ and wine and talking until well after dark.

Overnight St Germain la Ville Lock 7  48 52.757N   004 26.741E

Wednesday 5 September 2012 – Damery to Tours sur Marne

Said au revoir to the River Marne today and locked into the Canal Lateral a la Marne.   Had to wait for the working barge (cleaning inside the lock) before we could lock through – all of 15 minutes – these VNF guys are great.

Stopped at Dizy on the halt by the Citroen garage.  We stopped here last year when we visited Epernay,  so did not feel the need to stay. We did however land the bikes and go shopping at E Leclerc, just down the road.   Met ‘Fred’  on his motorboat ‘Evening Mist.’  Fred professed to not knowing anything about this ‘navigation’ stuff and crossed the channel using a compass and pretty much nothing else.  Scary!   We also met Kevin and Eleanor Kiernan,  an Irish couple on their Dutch cruiser Kevelle.  they expressed great interest in our electric bikes, so we furnished them with the details of Electric Bike World.   It is amazing:  everywhere we go either the bikes or Wight Mistress draw a crowd.

Did the shopping and took off.  Stopped for the night at Tours sur Marne on a bit of green bank.   Found a bollard and hammered a spike in,  and settled down for the night.

Overnight Tours sur Marne   49 02.743N  004 07.571E

Tuesday 4 September 2012 – Reuil to Damery

42nd Anniversary of Steve joining the Royal Navy

Today was a short day of travelling.  6.4 km in 1.8 hours.   We hadn’t stopped there before and there is an interesting champagne house where they have large fossils in their cave.   We had mislaid the flyer about it and had no information.   Sadly, Barbara was not feeling too good today (we have both been fighting a wierd bug and today was the day that Ba just needed to rest.)  While she was asleep, Steve nipped ashore to a local bar for a coffee (honest) and asked the lady behind the bar, who provided the name and phone number for la Cave aux Coquillages.    Steve called the place but the answerphone was a little muffled and he couldn’t make out what the lady was saying.    We cycled up there (about 5 km uphill, but you know,  those electric bikes made very short work of the hills.  In fact we didn’t realise how steep they were until we coasted,  at very high speed,  all the way back to Damery.) Sadly the champagne house was closed, so on our high speed transit back to  Damery, on the outskirts of the town we encountered a coiffure (hairdressers), so we nipped in and had our barnets sorted.  Good move.  Ba’s morale improved greatly.   Stopped at the local bar to say thankyou to the lady for the information,  drank coca-cola to re-hydrate and champagne just cos we could,  and went back onboard for a picnic supper of baguette and honey  and watched a favourite movie.

Overnight Damery49 04.167N   003 52.699E

Monday 3 September 2012 – Reuil day 3

Today we visited Domaine Bacchus.  They have a large room set out as a champagne vineyard in miniature,  with little model people, some animated, carrying out the actions of workers in the champagne process.  Fascinating.  At the end we tasted some of the fruits of their labours and bought a few bottles to bring home.

We cycled back to Wight Mistress and crossed the bridge to the village on the other side.  Allegedly there are 2 museums in the village;  we found only one and it was closed, so we cycled back to the boat.   Just along the bank is a garden (more of a large allotment) whose fences are covered in cuddly toys various.  Odd!

Overnight Reuil  49 04.905N  003 47.834E

Sunday 2 September 2012 – Reuil day 2

Quite a quiet day.  A Dutch cruiser came alongside and we met Rein and Karien Affjes from Amsterdam.  The were ‘yachties‘ for years and changed to the canals as they grew a bit older.   They have their ‘yacht legs‘  (Dutch Wad legs) for sale – legs that clip onto the side of your yacht to allow you to take the ground without falling over.  We suggested they have a think about it and let us know how much they want for them.  We could drive up to Amsterdam and collect them.  They will email us with a price.   They stayed alongside for lunch and then headed off toward the Canal  Aisne a Marne that will take them north, heading home for the winter.

Overnight Reuil  49 04.905N  003 47.834E

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Saturday 1 September 2012 (pinch & punch etc) Vandiere 3 Lock to Reuil

Another epic voyage today, covering 5.8 km and one lock. Arrived at the halte fluviale at Reiul (pronounced Rayer with a rolling R to start) at around 1100 to find plenty of space, water supply and electricity and free too. Bright sunny day, glass rising, wind subsiding and generally very pretty.

We took the advice of the lovely lady in the Office de Tourisme yesterday at Chatillon and contacted a Champagne house here in Reuil called ‘Domaine Bacchus’. We have a ‘rendez-vous’ booked for Monday at 1400 to see their demonstration and maybe a small degustation (tasting.) Based on this we have decided to stay here the weekend, departing on Tuesday.
Nick and Jeannie Chambers arrived about an hour after us on their 17 metre barge ‘Donjeux’ named after a town nearby. The barge was built 10 years or so ago up in Burton on Trent and it seems there is a class of them, the D Class, all names starting with a ‘D’. Nick and Jeannie, from Poole,  also own a motor home and they have expressed much interest in our electric bikes, so Steve furnished them with contact details and Jeannie had a ride around the car park on Barbaras bike.
Cycled off to Port a Binson to find a cash machine. The village of Reuil, like so many villages in France, has no shops or facilities. Sometimes a van comes around in the mornings with bread (depot de pain a camion) so after that it is a bit like England, where you have to drive to a supermarket.
When we arrived back, a wedding that had been conducted in the local church was turned out on the grassy banks of the Marne for photographs. The bride saw our lovely Wight Mistress and wanted to have a photo taken next to her, so we agreed. As with all weddings, the departure for the reception involved much horn blowing from the cars (and Wight Mistress.)
Went aboard Donjeux for apero at 1800 and had a lovely evening with them, chatting about our relative experiences in the waterways..  Very nice people.
Overnight Reuil 49 04.905N 003 47.834E

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Saturday 1 September 2012 – Quick upload using Vodafone Eurotraveller – well, it is a Saturday

Hi All, Internet connections are non-existent at the moment, so this is coming up via the iPhone from somewhere in the middle of nowhere. As soon as we get a good connection I will put in some pictures……..honest 🙂

Friday 31 August 2012 – Dormans to Vandiere 3 Lock
Today was an epic voyage – 4.2km and no locks. We wanted to stop at a place we stopped last year and have a BBQ. We arrived in no time at all and cycled up to Chatillon sur Marne, a hill in the Champagne country a few km from the halte (which is in the middle of nowhere.) Thank goodness for les velos electriques – they made short work of quite a steep hill again!! At the top of the hill is a big statue of Pope Urbaine II who was responsible for kicking off the first crusades. Right next to his statue is what looks like a ruined church with a cross. We both felt a very strong sense of power coming off the church wall with a large cross on it. Interesting. After a long chat (in French) with the lady in the Office de Tourisme, and armed with a whole load of booklets and a map, we returned to Wight Mistress for our evenings repas BBQ and prepared for another epic voyage tomorrow.
Overnight Vandiere 3 Lock ponton d’attente 49 05.867N 003 43.578E

Thursday 30 August 2012 – Dormans (2nd day)  Happy Birthday to Fay,  many happy returns to you.

Said au revoir to Bill and Genevieve this morning as they are heading in the opposite direction. Bill still wants a lot more fuel so we recommended Charly, where you can actually see the supermarket and fuel station from the quay.
Up the hill behind the town is a huge memorial to the all those lost in the Great War of 1914 – 1918, with particular emphasis on the First and Second Battles of the Marne. Built on the top of the hill are two chapels, one on top of the other; the second (upper) chapel also houses a small museum of artifacts, artwork and poetry from that period. Very moving. Just down the hill is the museum of the mill (musee du moulin) where there is a large water wheel and a large collection of machinery associated with the baking and champagne industry from around the Industrial Revolution and the turn of the 20th century. Very interesting and well worth the visit. Spent the evening watching movies after our strenuous bicycle rides today.
Overnight Dormans 49 04.610N 003 38.280E

Wednesday 29 August 2012 – Dormans
Happy Birthday to Barbara’s brother Alan, many happy returns.

Today was a maintenance day. Steve got into the engine room and took the alternator off to check for any signs of damage or wear. Nothing looked out of place and even the diodes appeared to be ‘diode-ish’ (current one way, open circuit the other.) The alternator went back on and belt was adjusted. The only other thing found were the two small wires (D+ and W+) had loose connectors, so these were tightened as well and voila!!! lots of lovely volts out of the alternator! Relief; we didn’t really want to have to stay here for days and order a new one.
Today we met some lovely people: Bill and Genevieve McWilliams from Annapolis, Maryland. They have retired, having run a pottery business on Upper State Circle in Annapolis for years. If you haven’t visited Annapolis, dear reader, it is a beautiful town with much to see and is described by the locals as ‘a drinking town with a sailing problem’. Anyway, Bill and Genevieve arrived on their canal boat ‘River Pipit’ and asked if there was somewhere to get fuel. Turns out they were down to ‘fumes’ and really needed some diesel, so out came the trailer and the velo electrique and off we went to Carrefour. Managed 60 ltrs in one run and Bill was happy with that. Spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and nattering over a bottle of Cremant to Bourgogne and then Genevieve popped our pizza into her oven for us (to save Steve breaking out the Cob BBQ).
This afternoon, we decided to go for a swim in the pool on-site. Paid our E3 each and went in, only to be told that Steve couldn’t go in swimming in his ‘Bermuda shorts’ even thought they were proper swimming attire. Seems that the rules of the pool (for men that is) is Speedo type trunks (budgie smugglers.) Oh well, at least we were refunded our E3 each.
Overnight Dormans 49 04.610N 003 38.280E

Tuesday 28 August 2012 – Charly to Dormans with a short stop at Chateau Thierry

Interesting experience today. We approached a lock just before Chateau Thierry and pressed the button on our ‘zappeurre’ (real name ‘telecommander – a unit a bit like a TV remote that trips the lock in your favour.) All went well, the lock gates opened and inside was revealed a flat barge with a digger on it, doing some dredging. He used his digger bucket to drag himself out of the lock, only to go aground on the sill and tilt alarmingly. From our angle, it looked like the digger was sliding off the barge and from the speed with which he swung his bucket around and clung on to the other end of the barge, we think that was the case. Anyway, he sorted himself out and moved aside to let us into the lock and gave us a smile and a wave.
While manoeuvring around and avoiding large patches of grassy weed, the barrage, piles and other hazards, the bow thruster was used a little more than usual. This then revealed a seriously low engine battery. At first we thought something was jamming the bow thruster, so we came alongside at Chateau Thierry so that Steve could put on his mask and snorkel and have a look.

Short stop Chateau Thierry 49 02.603N 003 23.937E

It turned out that all was well externally however we were actually perched on a rocky bottom, so we decided to press on instead of staying a night. we arrived at Dormans and put on shore power to charge the batteries. There could be a problem with our alternator so we decided to let the engine room cool down and look at it tomorrow.
Dormans halte fluviale is alongside a holiday camping site with all sorts of amenities, including an outdoor heated swimming pool and mini golf. Must check that out.
A couple of things that stand out to make Dormans a bit unique are:
the railway line that runs along the bank the other side of the river which is particularly noisy and seems to run at all hours (sometimes even at night), and the church bell that chimes on the hour and every quarter hour inbetween. The chime is particularly irritating, since it resembles the first three notes of ‘Three Blind Mice’ however instead of using the correct notes: tonic, supertonic and mediant in reverse order, it uses tonic, leading note and submediant in that order and after the first 33 chimes starts to grate.
Note to self: Earplugs!
Overnight Dormans 49 04.610N 003 38.280E

Monday 27 August 2012 – Charly (2nd day)

Shopping day today as the local supermarket was within sight of the halte fluviale, as was the fuel station. Apres grocery shopping, Steve did 3 runs to the fuel station and loaded Wight Mistress up to full with 130 litres of diesel. From the fuel graph and calculations, since starting this cruise in Calais last year, Wight Mistress consumes 1.5 litres of diesel per hour, and that includes cooking on the diesel hob. We are very pleased with this. Also the measurements conclude that our main diesel fuel tank has a 90 gallon capacity as opposed to the 80 gallons we thought it was – either that or 45 litres of diesel is hiding somewhere in the murky depths of Wight Mistress’s engine room.
This afternoon we cycled through Charly and down to the next village to see what the halte is like there. It is right next to the railway station and can take only one boat. We decided to stay at Charly for another night and move on tomorrow.
Overnight Charly 48 58.119N 003 16.840E

Sunday 26 August 2012 – Mery sur Marne to Charly

Cruising along the Marne, just after Mery, Barbara spotted a fishing rod near the bank with its line caught on a branch. A quick ‘man-overboard’ practice had the rod onboard, plus a few bits of dead branch that happened to interfere with Wight Mistress’s bow and Barbara’s head. We now have two fishing rods onboard. Two more locks have been automated now, so we picked up our ‘zappeurre’ (telecommander – a TV remote that triggers the lock into letting you in) from St Jean Lock, instead of Mery Lock, where we collected it last year. Arrived at Charly to find that a holiday boat was on the halte nautique, so we went onto the barge quay on the side of the river nearer the town. Just as well, as the bridge over the river had a barrier and was out of use.
Overnight Charly 48 58.119N 003 16.840E

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Saturday 25 August 2012 – Meaux to Mary sur Marne

For some obscure reason we had not been sleeping too well of late. Last night it peaked and we gave up at 0500 and watched some movies. Steve leapt ashore at 0600 to find the only baker open in Meaux (up near the Cathedral) to pick up 2 lovely warm baguettes (which we had with butter and honey) and some pain au chocolat (which we had with hot chocolate – very French.)

Had to go into the Office de Tourisme to pay for our water and electricity (the berth is ‘free’) then got under way around 1100. Long stretches of the Marne with few locks today, in fact we only did one lock in about 24 kilometres. Windy yet brightly sunny and lots of cumulo nimbus cloud. While waiting in front of the lock we were facing the barrage – a waterfall of water from the higher side. The current where we were matched the tail wind perfectly allowing us to perform some interesting ferry gliding without engine while awaiting our turn in the lock.

Arrived at a little pontoon just big enough for Wight Mistress at 1520 and stopped for the day. Very quiet here, apart from the railway bridge astern of us and the road bridge just ahead. Oh yes, we seem to also be on the flight path for Orly Airport as well; hopefully the French will go to bed sometime soon.

Settled down to an evening on our own, for the first time in what seems like weeks.

Overnight Mary sur Marne 49 00.837N 003 01.401E

Friday 24 August 2012 – Vaires/Lagny to Meaux

Got going around 1000 today and carried on along the Marne. The river Marne is ‘canalised’ in places to avoid large chunks of meandering stream that have silted up badly, while streamlining the river for commercial peniche traffic. As a result the plaisanciers such as we enjoy the benefits. Vive les Voies Navigables de France. We covered 22 km and only a small handful of locks, arriving at Meaux mid afternoon. Just down from the halt (in the middle of the town) is a park with a beach onto the river Marne which is fenced off for safe bathing. We wandered down there for a swim. Strange feeling, swimming in water that doesn’t taste salty – it also doesn’t help you float much either. Back for a lovely dinner onboard and a few episodes of ‘Serenity’ and an early night.

Overnight Meaux 48 57.398N 002 52.895E

Thursday 23 August 2012 – Paris Arsenal to Vaires sur Marne/Lagny

We departed this morning, saying ‘au revoir’ to Bob and Martha. Bob has an all-important appointment with the dentist this afternoon to have a dodgy gnasher sorted out. We wish them well with their voyage back to Canada via the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic (Canaries to West Indies) and up the Intra-Coastal Waterway of the United States. We hope to see them again.

Overnight Vaires sur Marne/Lagny 48 52.208N 002 39.165E

Wednesday 22 August 2012 – Paris Arsenal

Bob and Martha went off on bus tours today, taking in all the sights of Paris and planning their next visit. They have friends coming to visit them and will be alongside here for another week or two, before heading east to find the Danube and the route to the Black Sea. They came and dined with us this evening and as a leaving gift we presented them with ‘1000 Years of Annoying the French’ and ‘Paris Revealed’, two particularly good books by Stephen Clarke, author of the ‘Merde’ series.

Overnight Paris Arsenal 48 50.931N 002 22.008E

Tuesday 21 August 2012 – Paris Arsenal

We went off to visit Versailles. Lying southwest of Paris, the ‘C’ Train takes you from the Gare D’Austerlitz along past the Louvres, then across the Seine and past Musee D’Orsay and the Tour Eiffel. (Didn’t see much, the train was underground.) Arrived at Versailles about 50 minutes or so later. The palace is quite impressive at first look, but it is not particularly well managed from a visitor perspective: 45 minutes queueing just to get a ticket in to the place. During the wait and about half way round the line is a small room full of ticket dispensing machines, mostly unused. The other half of the queue takes you (one assumes) to a couple of little old ladies and a ‘John Bull’ ticket printing set. It took us the 45 minutes to find the machines, use them and then tackle our way back out of the line. Once this bit is done, one then crosses the courtyard (about the same size as St Peters Square in Rome) to join another queue for an hour to actually get into the chateau. Once in, you could probably lift your feet off the deck and be carried by the tide of humanity and digital cameras. Not bad inside, we both felt the chateau at Fontainebleu was just as pretty, historical and better furnished and MUCH easier to get in. Our favourite chateau so far was Chantilly.

If you, dear reader, do decide to visit Versailles, please don’t let this tome put you off. Just wear stout shoes, carry a bottle of drinking water and a hat to protect you from the sun and be prepared for a bout of back ache on completion. We caught the train back and hopped off at the Tour Eiffel on the off chance of getting up the tower. Not a hope. The queues were even longer than for Versailles. Tip-top tip, get on the web and book your tickets for anything you want to do before you turn up and you will save a huge amount of time and frustration. I asked an official at Tour Eiffel and he confirmed this. Hey ho, 20-20 hindsight etc.

Overnight Paris Arsenal 48 50.931N 002 22.008E

Monday 20 August 2012 – Paris Arsenal

Visited the Louvres today. As the well-informed Parisien visitor knows, everything shuts on Monday EXCEPT the Louvres, which shuts on a Tuesday (we discovered this on visiting last year – who says we don’t learn from our mistakes?) There is soooooo much to see in the Louvres that a couple of hours research on the web would come in handy, so you can chart your course through what is an ENORMOUS museum and see the bits you want to see. Steve’s sister Lesley visited the Louvres a few years ago and there were professional ‘freelance guides’ prepared to show you the sights if you crossed their palms with silver. Since the inception of the pyramid in the central square, where the new reception is, it seems they are a little thin on the ground – either that or we didn’t look hard enough. Anyway, very interesting and loads to see. One particularly good bit was the foundations of the old palace, unearthed when they dug the new entrance under the central square. It had been preserved and is under the huge slab of concrete that forms the base of the central square. Decided against walking back from the Louvres, even though we walked there, and caught the bus back to La Bastille where the marina is. Arrived back, knackered.

Overnight Paris Arsenal 48 50.931N 002 22.008E

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19 August, still playing catch up. I promise some pictures soon – honest.

Sunday 19 August 2012 – Paris Arsenal

Today at the Bastille is a market, so we wandered along for a look and bought some bijoux for Ba and a couple of shirts and some shorts for Steve.   Hot or what?!?!?!?    Sat at a bar overlooking the Bastille and people-watched over a cup of ‘creme‘    (the way you ask for a decent cup of coffee in Paris)  before sauntering back in a round about way to Wight Mistress.    Met up with Nick and Eunice and their daughter Susan onboard a Beneteau ‘Merry Fisher’ 27, moored a few berths down.  Nick and Eunice owned a Fisher 30 for 10 years until health issues convinced them to change boats.   Nick and Susan came aboard for a look around this afternoon and, like just about everyone who does this,  they fell in love with Wight Mistress 🙂

Overnight Paris Arsenal

Saturday 18 August 2012 – Soisy sur Seine to Paris Arsenal

Happy Birthday to Matt and to Amy  have a great day xxx.  Matt, we did call to wish you a happy birthday but could not raise you.

Left  Soisy sur Seine this morning in the bright sunshine and did the last three locks on the Seine before the junction with the Marne on the right hand side.  Arrived at Paris Arsenal Marina (4 km further down the Seine) at about 1500.  Blisteringly hot and sunny.

Still in company with Bob and Martha Ciupa on D W CROW,  they celebrated 6000 nautical miles of travel, getting from their home in Niagara, Canada,  all the way to Paris.   Great opportunity to share a bottle of Mercia champage with them and compare it with the Cremant de Bourgogne – both lovely and not a lot of difference between them.   Congratulations Bob and Martha.

Overnight Paris Arsenal

Friday 17 August 2012 – Chantrette to Soisy sur Seine

Pretty and quiet little marina,  almost sad to depart but we have decided to press on and get to Paris.    Did a few hours in the heat and arrived at Soisy, just above another of the big Seine locks,  late ish afternoon and chilled out for the night.


Overnight Soisy sur Seine

Thursday 16 August 2012 – St Mammes to Chantrette

Dashed off to the shops this morning to get groceries.   Our friends Tony and Barbara arrived alongside this morning to get groceries and take on fresh water.   Their boat,  Gertrande,  had a starter motor problem which Steve helped diagnose a few weeks back. All sorted now.   We learned of their problems on the Canal du Bourgogne with the shallows and the sloped locks, and Ba was really not keen to do this bit.   Tony also provided us with the charts we need to get to Strasbourg. So, armed with the appropriate information we have now decided to give it a try.  Instead of heading east on slipping,  we are heading west toward Paris, where we can then branch back out onto the Marne and head east.

Overnight Chantrette

Wednesday 15 August 2012 – St Mammes

Happy Birthday to our beautiful daughter Sarah, we love you to pieces

Tuesday 14 August 2012 – St Mammes

I will fill in some stuff here when I can get the Mac,  the logbook and the internet connection all in one place (dooohhhh!!!)

Overnight St Mamme  48 23.319N  002 8 380E

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