Sunday, 5 August 2012

Carcassonne to Toulouse Dry Dock

Jul 12

We stayed in Carcassonne for Bastille Day (our first dry one).  A few parades, a large produce market and all the shops had external stalls.  Peter talked Angie into buying some bright yellow short shorts A very good fireworks display over the old city that night.

Légion Etrangére
Alternative demo -  'No to Austerity'

Jackie's farewell gesture had been a bet with Peter regarding weight loss (Peter understandably having to lose double the amount) which will cramp his style for a few months.

We stopped at Le Segala again and the local bar - Peter didn't enjoy his Cola Lite while Angie quaffed beer. To her disgust the male barmen in the pubs always place the beer in front of Peter (especially as under the new regime Angie pays). Onwards along the Midi - the sunflowers are still magnificent.

At Villepinte we were rather stunned to find an old lady doing her washing in the canal at one of the old wash points - not sure how she has survived into her seventies.
à la manière traditionnelle
Then it was off at a slow pace to Castelnaudary where we stayed for 4 nights - partly for the annual night market and the jazzed up Rock band.

but we also gave Kes his biannual scrubdown

We are not amused!
At Montgiscard whilst sunbathing Angie was stung by a bee, her rapid rise off the roof topless must have been funny to watch (as a spectator). Then Toulouse where we met up with Merlot (Paul and Kathy) - we departed after a few days and got as far at the Port de Emboucherie where we suddenly lost most of our steering.

After an internal check of the rudder gear we found it had dropped 8 inches and was resting on the top bearing! Angie declined to go swimming (despite being an ex Army swimming Champ?) so we ran a rope around the bottom of the rudder and levered it up (knew that RIB would be useful).  Then limped back into St Saveur.  With the help of Paul's excellent French we managed to get into the VNF dry dock the next afternoon (minor miracle).

Rather than a major repair job, we found the rudder had lifted out of the bottom bush (the bottom curve of the rudder had lifted it out whilst reversing over something) so it was an easy task to lift it back in - but it was also a chance to check the prop/propshaft bearing, do some patch painting etc.

Then it was back into St Saveur for the night and then slightly poorer it was on Westwards.

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