Tuesday 16 – Wednesday 17 August 2011 – Beuvry to Courcelles les Lens

Stayed in Beuvry for an extra day.  We put the bikes ashore and cycled off to Carrefour to do the shopping.   Finding it was interesting; we asked the local bar,  the dustmen on their lorry and an old gentleman outside his house where Carrefour was.  They all gave us similar directions, but some said turn left then right, others said the opposite.  Eventually, after trying to work it out, Steve asked a lady who was loading stuff in the boot of her car.   She said ‘turn around and it is in front of you’

Oh well, at least it was fun asking.   Robert and Judith were walking to the shops so at least we were able to cycle back and guide them, thus saving time and shoe leather.

Wednesday 17 August 2011   Beuvry to Courselles les Lens

Reg and Sheila have been coming on well with their boat handling and working together as a crew.   Important, since they have literally only been doing it for a couple of weeks.    Steve offered an hour on boat handling for them on their own boat and that hour was today, starting at 0900.

A little bit of help

We went round in circles, practicing close quarters manoeuvers and a little bit of berthing,  before we  topped up with fresh water and said our goodbyes (more au revoirs hopefully) to Jean-Pierre and Simone,  before heading out into the canal again.   If you, dear reader,  decide that time on the French waterways is something you would like to do,  I would most strongly recommend Beuvry as a stop over,  it is lovely.

Made it to Courselles le Lens by 1545 and found that the little restaurant,  run by Denis (from Bromley)  was more than happy to stay open into the evening for us to have a meal.   Where we stopped was an inland water park.  I kid you not, Wight Mistress was moored next to a fleet of pedallo’s.  Indeed the driver of one such beast had no idea of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, as he swung across the bow of an ocean going yacht, thus causing her to alter course and speed.  Actually, it was quite funny, dodging pedallo’s in a big boat.    The harbourmaster spoke with the speed of a machine gun while flailing his arms like an out of control windmill.

We kinda got the hang of what he wanted, parking in the right places,  hooking up to the correct electric points and paying the dues as requested.

Steve found that the restaurant had wifi, and that it was easily received onboard Wight Mistress.   Great, a bit of blogging and emails and stuff at last.

We set up the VOIP phone and made a couple of business calls then scuttled off to the restaurant.

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