Stuck in Auxerre

Hello folks! As I said a couple of times before, no use in making plans for the future when you are in France. In a mixture of French bureaucracy and bad weather I am stuck in Auxerre for another period of time. Easter weekend it rained torrential rains. That filled the river to the brim, actually a bit over the brim. There is a code red for the area, high flooding risks. Yepp, it’s flooded alright. I have prepared the moorings for the high water level and the extremely strong current. As it is, I am safe and so is Isabell. It sounds like we are at sea, doing a great speed across the water, with the current ripping past the outside. Kind of neat! Sometimes a big piece of debris hits the hull and makes the whole yacht shake. That is a bit scary. But I think it is not too dangerous. I am just downstream of an inside curve in the river. That means that most of the debris is carried past on the other bank of the river. Now the river is closed for navigation until further notice from the authorities. So I am going back to doing some maintenance work on the boat and wait until I can start downstream again. In the meantime I will still go to Greece for a spell. Shortens time and will be fun. Now many of the other boat owners have arrived back to launch their boats and prepare to go cruising during the season. They will have to wait, just like me. Many of them are brittish and the car park gives the impression of being in the UK instead of in France. It’s nice to have company in the boat yard. As you can hear, I am enjoying myself while living aboard. Cheers!

Soon I am on my way again

Hello! Long time not written anything here. I have been busy. First fixed the gas fittings after the right valve arrived. Then had a visitor, my oldest sister came to visit me here in Auxerre. After that I went to the Netherlands for three weeks to see my mum in the hospital and help her get into a convalescence home. Not fun, but it was nice to be able to help. Well back in Auxerre I got busy preparing the boat for the canals. The covers removed, decks scrubbed, windows checked and made waterthight, installed a new fridge aggregrate, and so on. The fridge was about dying, not strange because it was the one installed on Isabell in 1995. The new one is doing the job quietly and energy efficiently. Happy with that. The canals (actually the locks) will open again after 1 April and I am ready to go. I will try and get as far as the Seine river at St Mammés in a few weeks, leave Isabell there for a little trip to Greece where I will meet up with another sister, who actually lives on Crete. We are going to cruise around a bit in the area around Preveza and Lefkada. So exciting! After getting back on Isabell I will have to decide on where to go next in order to get to the Mediterranean. We will see, no use planning too far ahead here in France. It is fair weather and I am looking forward to being on my way again. Cheers!

Welcome back to Auxerre and the new year

Hello and Bienvenue! Now I am back in France after a good months visit to Sweden. Found the boat well and dry. Everything working fine when I came back onboard. Made me very happy, especially because a cold spell followed me home from Sweden. It has been below freezing temeperatures for about two weeks. The Webasto buzzed quietly most of the time and kept the boat warm. It slurped down about two liters of diesel (gazole in French) every day. Now, as I write, the temps have gone up way above freezing and not much diesel is burned. Nice! I spent my days hiking and biking the area around town. Good exercise and a way to stay fit. On the trails I am mostly alone, as the locals think it way too chilly to go outside. Compared to Swedish weather, this is warm!
And then I have had some bad days. The other day I ran out of gasol for cooking. I had already planned for that, and went to buy a new gas bottle at the local store. So far, so good. But the bottle, one of those blue Campingaz 907 containers, needs a security open/close valve. That I did not think of and I have for two days walked to every store in town that sells Campingaz. Nowhere do they have this valve. The nearest store that has one is about 20 km away, at a camper truck store. So I made the decision to order it online and have it send to me here. It still has not arrived. So I am cooking on the Swedish ethanol heater (stormkök) that I have always had onboard as a backup. Bit of a hassle, but it works. Let’s hope the valve will arrive by the postal service. That you never know!
Other than that I have met the neighbouring boat folks, English speaking for the most. A couple and a single older man from the USA, a couple from the UK, two Australians with a vicious dog, and two different French boaters. I happen to be the youngest one of the lot. We go out to restaurants or to a concert here and there. Next concert is on Friday. That means I have other things to do than wander about, read books and listen to music in the boat. Now I am just waiting for Spring to arrive.