Friday, 13 July 2012

Family Holiday

Jun 12

Chris and Jackie flew into Carcassonne and trained to Narbonne.  We found a central mooring but it was a tadge dusty/noisy as the centre is being renovated (Angie negotiated a 50% discount to Peter's surprise).

A lot of routine sightseeing followed and some shopping by the junior crew as all the Shop Sales were on.

Narbonne centre
Narbonne Cathedral
Bishops Palace
'Hullo sailor'
On the Monday we had planned a trip back to the coast but it was gusting up to 80 km/hr so we squatted for a further day.  The run North the next day was also windy, La Capitaine did a great job of the central ecluse (despite the weir) but then, much to her chagrin, managed to to hit both sides of a later lock entrance - the photo was impounded on the spot.

Narbonne central ecluse
Once the Via Domitia (and still built on)

We usually replenish any fenders damaged during the cruising season from those accidentally discarded by hire boats, but times had been lean in 2012 (the thought of buying some made Peter feel faint). However, the additional crew changed our luck and we picked up three good ones in a few days (now back in surplus).

We pottered off north to the River Aude junction which has an interesting weir and a silted up entrance to the Canal de Jonction.

River  l'Aude
Kes decided to elicit some attention by stepping on some broken glass, so some nursing and a sacrifice of Angie's oldest socks.

Gailhousty ecluse is quite impressive with large buildings and is now deep, as the second ecluse is used as a dry dock.

Tinpan (an old acquaintance) being made 'new' again
Our first stop on the Midi was Le Somail - busy as always, so after more ice creams (primary sustenance for the crew) we pushed on

Peter in Antipodean mode - it's hot, damned hot!
At Le Somail we met up with Jeremy Clarkson who had a Le Boat and we crossed paths/moorings several times over the next few days - his boat handling was OK, mooring selection poor and next time he berates cyclists - Chris has blackmailing photos!

It is stressful - but someone has to do it!
Angie was a bit distressed when a seagull took a young duckling and battered it to death on the rocks for dinner. We were encountering a lot of very late ducklings - not sure if they are 2nd attempt or confused ducks.

Kes and close friend (aka Jackie)
It was quite hot so we got both basking turtles and patches of sunflowers.

Given the number of Hire boats we were lucky with both ecluses and moorings - though we tried to do short runs mooring up in time for lunch each day. At Paraza we had an impromptu BBQ (no that isn't the towpath).

At Trebes the crew took us out to Dinner in a converted Moulin at the ecluse.

'Garcon - mon vin s'il vous plait!'
The food at last - I was starving!
Then Carcassonne - where Chris and Jackie nursed Kes while we went for a short break in Spain (our first proper holiday for 3 years).

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