Canal Saint-Louis

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    • Day 465

      The End

      October 19, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      We have had 15 months of ‘livin the dream’ and now we are at the end.
      We have finished our trip in Port Napoleon because we hear that it is a good place to sell a boat.
      Régal is now on the market with an agent here and we have a busy ten days getting her ship shape and ready for sale.
      Port Napoleon is the perfect place to get stuck into jobs as there is nothing else to do here. It is a giant boatyard with lots of warehouses, boat services and a small restaurant with a few hotel rooms. There is a town two kilometres away but it is only worth the walk when we need some shopping. The whole area is infested with mosquitos and they are vicious, biting at any hour of the day and sometimes even through our clothing.
      We are happy to spend most of our time onboard Régal getting through the list of jobs. We winterise the boat and take care of little repairs here and there but the biggest task by far is packing up to move out. We pack 6 big boxes and ship them home and yet we still have piles of stuff. Luckily we are able to give some of it to several nice people around the boatyard who are renovating boats on shoestring budgets.
      When we haul out we move into the on-site accommodation but spend most of our time on Régal. We clean her hull and paint on anti-foul so she is pretty as a picture.
      When we hire a car Colm and I escape the packing and cleaning for a while and go on an overnight trip down memory lane. We travel to Saint Marie de la Mer, a town I worked in for a summer when I was seventeen. We stay in the hotel where I worked which is nicer than I expected. It is so lovely to go back there even though the people I had known are long gone. We have a walk through the Camargue and see the famous flamingos, horses, bulls and also some river rodents called coypu.
      Once we are back to the boatyard we are flat out getting all our stuff off the boat and into our 12 check-in bags! When the car is full to the brim we take a deep breath and have one last walk through Régal.
      She is a beauty and we have loved her.
      We are so grateful to her for keeping us safe and bringing us to so many wonderful places. Thank you Régal for all the happy memories.
      And thank you everyone for following our journey.

      This is Régal crew over and out.
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    • Day 8

      Arrival Port Saint Louis, France

      April 11, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      An 8:00 a.m. delivery had us up and walking from the hotel 3 kms. to the Port in order to meet Sea la Vie as she arrived from Hendaye. The delivery went smoothly and into the water she went...she still floats! Lots to sort out and to put together, including the mast, but Day 1 complete under a sunny sky and le Mistral wind and a few temporary bad tempers!Read more

    • Day 12


      April 15, 2023 in France ⋅ 🌬 19 °C

      Today is our 5th day on the boat and all is proceeding well with only minor hiccups and a few 🤬!
      On day one after the boat went into the water, we got the engine going (tempoarily), the dodger and bimini up, the solar panels in and powering up and the living quarters emptied of sails and organized. The engine overheated which required Bob to don his diesel mechanic hat to repair, to no avail.
      Day 2: The Volvo mechanic came, blew into the in/outtake tubes, added some grease, et voilà, success! 10 minutes and €€! Bob had done the correct repairs, he just didn't know the tricks of the trade in spite of having a lot of hot air!😁🤪
      Bob worked on the mast, putting it together and sorting stays and lines while I was the swabbie, cook and general gofer.
      Day 3: More of the same.
      Day 4: Mast on! Stays attached and tightened so the mast won't fall over 😬 👍.
      Today the boom, and the lines are on but we do not dare to add the sails or we may take flight!
      The weather has been sunny with temp. from 5C at night to 22C but the wind!😯🤯💨💨💨 It blows 22-50 kms! Today we've reached +55 kms! I've told Bob we'll be staying at the dock until the wind slows down. Peut-être un mois???! Fortunately there are no waves although we woke up one morning at 0300 hrs. being tossed and turned. We leapt out of bed to rescue parts topside before they rolled into the sea!
      The 6km (round trip) by 🚲 to the grocery store is a challenge due to the wind but easy returning as the wind carries us home!
      Electricity is at a premium so only items under 500W can be plugged in. I figured out our heater worked after suffering a couple of nights/mornings and a cold 🚽 seat! 🥶 Sadly, the hairblower wattage is too much so I am back to my Medusa-like coiffure and Bob looks like he's been electrocuted!
      Bob the Barista has been re-employed under the threat of mutiny or keel-hauling, depending on the hierarchy of the day!
      We've met some lovely people, U.K., Swiss, Dutch and French. We enjoyed drinks at the yacht club and were questioned whether we were true sailors after stopping at 1 🍺 (to their 5!)
      The boatyard has a huge number (1000) of boats on land here in various states of seaworthiness, including 1 each from Quebec and Halifax! Catamarans seem to be the most common. The town has a harbour full of boats and there is another huge boatyard down the road. The town is typically French: shops close over lunch and on Sundays.
      Experiencing today's terrifying wind, I'm beginning to wonder whether canal cruising and stopping at cafes/pubs is the life for me?!
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    • Day 16

      What a difference...

      April 19, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Waking up Monday morning was a dream as the wind had dropped and it was calm and quiet! No howling, screeching, whistling wind, no whitecaps on the water and the boat was steady and level. We were able to get so much done in one day: both sails on, reconnected the bilge pump, swabbed the deck of salt and grit, rebuilt and installed the windvane and installed the depth sounder/speedometer. This last exercise required us to remove a plug in the bottom of the boat letting the sea 🌊 in 😬 and replacing the plug with the instrument. I expected a geyser to shoot upward soaking and blinding us while the boat filled...but it flowed in gently to sea level and we plugged it without difficulty and only a bit of water to sponge up.
      We've met a lovely 🇬🇧 couple and have shared 2 evenings and a game of Mexican train. They are heading west in their catamaran to the Canal de Midi up to Bordeaux and we are heading East. We'll share 1 more evening tomorrow with them and their guests. We are awaiting 2 deliveries then we'll set off towards Marseille provided Le Mistral wind doesn't blow again!
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    • Day 286

      Stray cats

      January 4, 2020 in France ⋅ 🌬 12 °C

      So we have found the local strays they live next to the local cemetery and someone has built them shelters and feeds them. Now we do too! The most we have seen there at any time is 10, most are grey and white, there is one Siamese and some tabby’s. They are all very healthy looking no cat flu which was everywhere in Greece and most look cute, but John says I can’t have any. I have also attached a picture of John holding the homemade lemon cheesecake that I made for New Years Day, it was surprisingly good.
      The final photo is of part of the interior of the bar at Salin de Giraud as promised.
      Our latest scavenging finds well the ones worth mentioning were this McDonalds toy and some stickle bricks who remembers those?
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    • Day 64

      Tag 42 Hafen Napoleon

      July 18, 2021 in France ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

      Da bin ich wieder, um euch auf den Keks zu gehen. Nun ..., was ist in den letzten Tagen geschehen? Detlef und ich hatten den letzten Liegeplatz in Marseille ergattert. Montag und Dienstag waren mit Wäsche waschen und Yacht reinigen ausgefüllt. Am Mittwoch um 18:00 Uhr landeten Gaby und Petra, ergatterten ein Taxi und düsten nach Marseille. Sehnsüchtig erwartetet wir sie. Was war das? Überall Polizei und der komplette Hafen war großräumig abgesperrt. Nachfragen ergaben, dass heute im Hafen ein Feuerwerk auf Grund des Nationalfeiertags gezündet wird. Wie sollen unsere Mädels nun hierhin kommen? Es gab nur eine Chance. Der Taxifahrer lies sie an der äußeren Umrandung aussteigen und sie kamen uns entgegen. Whatsapp macht's möglich und wir trafen uns. Was wir dann nachts von unserer Yacht zu sehen bekamen, war die Superlative eines Feuerwerks. Um uns herum schossen Raketen in die Höhe und verwandelte den Hafen in ein einzigartiges Lichtermeer. Wir mitten drin. Kein Wunder, dass alle Liegeplätze belegt waren. An den darauffolgenden zwei Tagen widmeten wir uns der Sightseeing und wir bestaunten den Dom, die tolle Altstadt sowie die "Notre Dame de la Garde". Am Samstag verlegten wir unsere Yacht auf die vorgelagerte Insel "Frioul". Dieses Felsenmeer musste ich Petra unbedingt zeigen. Am Sonntag ging's bei leichtem Wind und einer 10 cm Welle, Gaby und Petra haben's gut überlebt, zum "Port Napoleon". Hier werden unserem Schwan am Montag um 10:30 Uhr die Flügel genommen.Read more

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