Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Jul 13

The run down to Agde was taken fairly quickly, certainly at the start which was familiar territory.  The bumper boats weren't too bad and we were confident enough to go under Capestang Bridge with the wheelhouse roof up this time. We didn't stop at Malpas this time to sightsee either.

Malpas Tunnel
Fonserannes was busy but we overnighted above it and got an early start (after two hotel boats).

The Fonserannes flight

Fonserannes ladder
Fonserannes Lift (unused)
Then into Beziers - a dire port with no facilities and a lot of dodgy looking youths - so we pushed on eastwards.

Beziers Port

Beziers town
Just after Beziers we went under the only lift bridge on the Midi/Garonne.

The three exit Ronde ecluse at Agde is a pain to manoeuvre around but Angie managed OK and we dropped onto the short canal down to the River Herault for the first time.

Ronde Ecluse
Herault canal
Then we trundled down the Herault River to Allemand shipyard in a howling gale 80 km gusts).  Angie did a fantastic job of getting us in for lift out (the deck crew had their eyes shut and fingers crossed which must have worked as we didn't hitanything).

Considering Kotare hadn't been lifted out for cleaning for 4 years the hull was remarkably clean with virtually no mussels (thank you International Paints). Onto high chocks and straight into action pressure washing after removing fenders etc - those rope 'buttons' are heavy.

Then we put four coats of paint on over four days (two of antifoul and two black Intertuf 16). Peter also got Allemand to do some minor mechanical jobs - new rudder top bearing, bowthruster prop etc (the new  6 blade Vetus props are definitely quieter not sure about more efficient).

Angie did the fine work while Peter rolled (and rolled).
Good masking tape from Lidl
 The turnover of boats in Allemand was incredible with a new range of boats every day.

We were only 400m from Grau d'Agde plage so Angie did her morning walks paddling on the beach and in the evening there were lots of little restaurants to choose from - Angie was feeling poor so we didn't get to any upmarket ones (they might not have let us in anyway as we were striped in red and black paint). Somehow French tourist resorts are a level (or three) above UK ones and it is not just the weather.

Luckily no wind on lift in, so after 5 days we were back on the Herault river - Angie refused to do 'just a little 400m excursion' into the Med despite some deckcrew pressure but she had the wheel and control!

Lift In - a bit cleaner
River Herault mouth
Herault river
Then it was back up the Midi to Vias where Eric on 'Gladys' let us raft up for water and an electricity piggyback (for a couple of loads of washing) and then on to Villeneuve les Beziers where we have settled in for July (Angie has to go back for another sparring bout with the NHS and Peter is getting a local carpenter to look at window seals).

We would thoroughly recommend Allemand shipyard - friendly, efficient, a good chandlery and the overall bill was €300 less than Peter expected (what is not to like).

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