Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Back in the Water, June 5

Thursday morning the yard guys were back for the second coat of paint and we were back to Ikea to return some things that didn’t work out.  We returned about 4 to find the boat all freshly painted and ready for launch.

About 11 am Friday the guys with the launch trailer showed up a lifted the boat off the stands so paint could be applied where the boat had been resting.  Then it was off to the ramp.

And back into her native element.  Floating at last!

After a brief kerfluffel with the steering making Don look like a rank amateur, we arrived at our slip for the next year, E-5 and the H2O marina.  A couple days of serious cleaning were called for, the car had to go back to Dijon on Tuesday but We Were In The Water!!!!

Bottom Paint Saga Continues

H2O was really concentrating on getting the job done.  When we arrived back at the boat on Thursday, five people were working on the boat, laboriously chipping off  the failed epoxy by hand.  Some of it had come off easily but in other places it was well stuck. Monday morning came word that on Tuesday a man would be coming up from Lyon with a “gomage” machine; basically a sophisticated sandblaster that uses a mixture of air and  a little water to propel the sand.  It’s much more precise and, since there’s water in the mixture, doesn’t have to be done in a enclosed space because the sand doesn’t fly all around. Phillippe, the yard general manager had been wanting to test out the machine for awhile and, along with our boat, there was another he wanted to try it on.
Tuesday was a disappointment. The “Gomage Man” hurt his back and couldn’t make the drive up from Lyon. However, the rep from International Paint turned up and tested out some sections of the hull to make sure the prep was being done properly and to make sure that the magic machine would appear on Wednesday. About 1 pm we hit the road to Dijon for some serious pillaging and the Ikea.

Angelique, the yard paint supervisor and the International Paint Rep consult

Wednesday morning the machine did appear and after a brief test on another boat at the other end of the yard, it was Oldtimer’s turn. 

After about 15 minutes working on the bottom it was apparent that this was the solution to our (and the yard’s) problems.  Phillippe appeared to check out the process and gave it a thumbs up.  The only question was wether the paint could be applied over the very thin film of rust left on the hull by the water used in the process.  Phone calls were made to the paint rep but, this being France, he was at lunch and couldn’t be reached until after 2.  Phillippe said he would call us when he got word but, when no call came, we headed off to the grocery store.  The wine supply was getting low.
About 4 pm while in the store the phone rang.  It was a message from Phillippe.  The rep said no problem with the paint but they shouldn’t let the hull sit unpainted overnight so they were blasting and painting the hull now.  We hurried back to the boat to find sandblasting well underway.

During the test

We escaped the noise to town for a beer, picked up some friends from the train station about 6 and returned to the boat.  They were still working! How very un-French!
We invited ourselves over to Jean Francoise and Dianne’s boat for an aperitif because staying at the boat would be impossible.  About 8 pm we returned to find the 4 yard guys just finishing up the first coat of paint. Another coat would be applied on Thursday and we would be in the water on Friday.  Happy dance!

It’s Not All About Boats

 Great fields of blue blooming something outside St. Usage.

Poppies and Bachelor Buttons among the wheat on the road to Lechatelet

 The house was just attached to this section of building that looks like it was built in the Renaissance.

The view across the boatyards back toward St. Jean de Losne.