2008
Farewell Parties
Wednesday, 16 April 2008 15:00

 

The weather in Paris is unpredictable. After a very mild winter of cold sunshine, the weather has become unsettled. You can wake up in the morning to blue skies, eat breakfast during a rain storm and leave the house dressed for the cold and rain, only to find the sun has returned and you are overdressed. Pas de souci, you only have to wait 30 minutes before it rains again.

A few weeks ago, we were riding our bikes and almost got blown over by a violent storm that came and went before we knew what hit us. It snowed the other night just as we were heading off to bed, and a couple of days ago, there was a hailstorm in the middle of an otherwise mild day. It is difficult to know how to dress.barge cruising to the lock

The only sign of  Spring is that boats are moving again. "Elisabeth", Henk and Jacqueline's beautiful barge cruised out of port recently. They had a week here without too much rain, so they were able to leave as planned. But that morning, their barge only descended half the normal level in the lock and once they hit the river they disappeared from sight twice as fast as a boat going down river would under normal conditions. Wherever they were planning to go that day, they probably arrived much earlier than expected.

From the moment that "Elisabeth" left until yesterday, it has done nothing but pour rain, the sky has been gray or black, and it has been cold. This year, April in Paris would not inspire any songs, movies or plays.

Mike and Jane, our charming Australian neighbors on Drumsara, picked up their newly built barge last fall and cruised for six days directly into Paris. They are now ready to start their first cruising season, and we said goodbye to them over dinner a few nights ago, and over a glass of Champagne last night, but so far they have only made it down to the endJane and Mike standing in front of their barge.  Jane is holding a bottle of Champagne and Mike has his arm around her. of the port.

While moored in front of the Captain's office in preparation for an early start this morning, they learned that the Seine is near flood level, so they have to wait to see what tomorrow brings. Maybe it's time for another farewell party.

 
Bistrot en Seine
Saturday, 26 April 2008 12:45

With boats moving again, we have been amusing ourselves by listening to the VHF chatter between the boats and La Capitainerie. Passenger boats or private, everyone communicates by VHF to enter or leave the port by a lock at one end and a controled tunnel at the other. When our VHF is on, we know all of the comings and goings of the port. It is a bit like being a nosy neighbor, but we tell ourselves that it is good for our French.

Canauxrama is a passenger boat company who works out of our port. Their boats are moored across from us, and we are used to them cruising by a couple of times a day. Recently we noticed that they have started evening cruises, and one night when the VHF was still turned on, we heard the Captain's office ask them, as they always do, "How many passengers and crew?" The answer made the guys in the office chuckle, as they had a crew of 4 for with only 2 passengers. There were jokes made back and forth about the new luxury cruise, and it caught our attention.

A few nights later, we heard that they had 8 passengers, then 11 another night, so we decided to take the cruise before it became as crowded as all of the other Seine cruises. We jumped on board for the 9pm cruise on Friday night, stopped at the bar to order a half bottle of wine, got into a nice conversation with the crew when we told them that we were neighbors, and we didn't need to worry about making sure we found good seats.

Sitting at a table with comfortable chairs and a glass of wine in front of us, we waved to neighbors as we cruised by their boats and entered the lock without a care in the world. For the next two hours we watched Paris glide by, passing under Le Pont des Arts we waved to everyone out enjoying the first warm spring night. People were walking or picnicing along the quais of the Seine, the monuments were lit against the evening sky, and we had front row seats for the best show in town.

Notice in our video how clear and light the sky was at 9:30pm and how many people were out on Le Pont des Arts.

 
Lady Lorne
Monday, 05 May 2008 00:00


Bob cruising out of port

Bob waving good-bye to friends he had made over the winter.
Our winter next boat neighbor Bob cruised away the other day.  It took a long time to leave port because he had to wave goodbye to all of the friends that he had made during the winter.

Keep a lookout for Lady Lorne, maybe you will be lucky enough to meet Bob along the canals.
 
Canal Saint-Martin Barge Picnic
Sunday, 11 May 2008 00:00


Our port is on the canal Saint-Martin with a lock on the Seine and a tunnel heading up to the 10th arrondissement at the Bastille end of the port. La Villette is at the other end of the canal in the 19th arrondissement. The trip along the canal to La Villette is only about 5 kilometers long, but because you have to pass through 4 double locks and two swing bridges,the trip takes at least two hours each way.

When our friends Jerry and Suzanne, whose barge "La Lavande" is just across the port, invited us to cruise along with them and their friends for a picnic at La Villette, we didn't hesitate for one second before saying, "We'd love to!". We have made this same trip on our barge, but this time we would be the guests instead of captain and crew.

Camera in hand, we had time to make a little movie of our fabulous day cruising through the streets of Paris.

 
Sunday in the Park
Monday, 26 May 2008 17:00

Life doesn't change too much. As San Franciscans, we went to Golden Gate Park on Sundays. Living in Paris, we still go to the park on Sundays, but now we go to le Jardin du Luxembourg.

 

 
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