Wednesday, 18 April 2012

to Buzet

A pleasant start to the cruising season - shorts and sandals donned - farewell to the other winterer's and off to Castelnaudary where we arrived in time to see the last Plane tree in the bassin felled - a sign of worse to come.  I doubt the replacements, that will be planted in November, will be fully grown in my children's lifetime.

The last Plane tree
A bleak basin
 A quick reversal of plans, given that Castelnaudary was windy even with the trees - so the 2012/13 Winter will be in Carcassonne again - sorry Odile.

Peter had his 66th birthday with Kes commiserating.  Time for a unisex hairdresser and a dye job.

We pottered off to Le Segala, but the stone quai had collapsed overwinter so we pushed on - the water levels seemed a bit low at the top of the Midi but we scraped over the watershed OK.

Parting of the Waters

Feeder channel
 Next it was Villesquelande where Angie enjoyed the last of the good weather for a fortnight.

Then it was a quiet traipse past old haunts

Villepinte sunset
At Gardouch we met up with Settima, a Moody 35 yacht, who was bravely trying to get to Bordeaux with a tirant d'eau of 1.4m (as is the Midi in theory) - so we found ourselves acting as a mobile quai until Toulouse as they couldn't moor to the sides - at least it provided an excuse for some ales en route.

We were going to get our bottom panted in May at VNF Toulouse, but have deferred it to a DIY at Agde next year, Angie needs the exercise and is the right height to do the keelplate.

VNF dock Toulouse
The weather had altered for the worse so the fleeces and waterproofs were unpacked - at one stage we were hit by a serious hailstorm - massive hailstones and Peter feared for his new solar panels.

Serignac provided the usual free electricity and water so we stayed two days while the weather abated - very pretty in the midst of the orchards but Kes wasn't amused the first day by the bird (aka dog) scaring guns .

Then into Buzet where we are hoping to drop down onto the River Baise. Whilst waiting for the wind and rain to drop, Peter baked gingerbread and Angie found an old Mill building she thought would do up well (over Peter's dead body)!

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