Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Monday, July 23, 2018

Saint Jean de Losne, June 21-25

We arrived at Saint Jean around 1 pm and managed to get the primo spot on the steps; all the way at the end away from the restaurants and just before the sign warning not to tie up because of the visiting cruise ships. We wondered how the river cruise ships could possibly use the space until the next day when a cruiser ignored the sign and tied up in front of us. Just a couple of hours later the Avalon Poetry II arrived. After backing under the bridge, their lines had to cross over the water just where the “No Mooring” sign is to reach their mooring points. The cruiser had to beat a hasty retreat.

Thursday we made our obligatory visit to the “House of Meat,” Fournier Boucher. The place is always packed. They have probably a dozen people behind the counter, including real butchers, and the line often extends out the door.

It’s not quite like Seinfeld”s “Soup Nazi” but you want to be ready to make your order when your time comes. But the selection!

That night as I was biting into my pork chop, I felt a little extra in my mouth. A crown had come loose! There is a dentist in town but when we finally reached her by phone Friday morning she said she wasn’t around and was unable to help. With the help of our friend Sue (from the Aryani, always helpful from years past) we called around to dentists in nearby towns with no luck. After returning to the boat we searched the internet for a dentist in the closest large town, Seurre. We found someone that would help but the appointment would have to be for noon and it was now 11:15. A quick cycle ride back to Sue’s boat for a ride resulted in making the appointment. The crown was reattached in about 10 minutes for the princely sum of €23.

We had seen signs indicating that there would be no car parking on the street along the quay both Saturday and Sunday; Saturday for the music and Sunday for “Dragon Boat Races.” We’d not see the Dragon Boats so we were looking forward to the show until one the the officials running the event appeared at the boat Saturday evening just as we were sitting down to our aperitif and informed us that they would be setting up for the races at 8 am Sunday morning and we were going to have to move. Fortunately there was still some space for us elsewhere on the quay. Unfortunately we were now front and center for the restaurants, one of which decided that Saturday night should be bad karaoke night and we had to suffer through it ’til about 2 am.

From what we could figure out Sunday, the Dragon Boat Club in St. Jean has three boats. Groups (like businesses or clubs) sign up teams in the races and there’s some kind of elimination tournament, three teams boats racing up the river, culminating in the final race of the day to decide the winner. Not all of the teams take things completely seriously.

All lined up for the start.

They’re neck and neck halfway down the course.

This team did quite well despite the attire.

Not serious at all!

Many teams had a pavilion on the quay along with the mass (!) of spectators and, of course, a buvette for lunch.

Sue joined us for Sunday lunch and we had a front row seat for the competition.

Monday morning we made our obligatory stop at the fuel dock, putting a serious dent in the credit limit on our card and then set off down the river for the Canal du Centre.

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