Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

One Week In

It’s just been one week since we left Southern California and we think we’re finally settled in.

Almost two years worth of dirt and moss have been cleaned off Oldtimer, many spiders have been evicted from the inside, we celebrated my birthday with Sunday lunch at our favorite restaurant in Briare and, in contrast to 2018 and 2019, it’s been raining.

The flight from Los Angeles was blissfully uneventful. Angst over the possible corona virus restriction was unnecessary since we’re fully vaccinated. A look at our vaccine cards when we checked in for the flight was all that was required to escape both testing and quarantine requirements. There was no waiting at the check in counter and a very short wait to clear security. Sadly, the lounge was closed so we had to wait for our departure at the gate. The flight left a few minutes early and landed in Paris a little more than an hour early. CDG, usually packed, was eerily quiet. After we picked up our luggage, a phone call to the car lease agency brought the shuttle van to the terminal, we picked up the car and managed to find our way out of the airport without getting lost. The hour and a half drive to Briare went off without a hitch (well, aside from the traffic which was its usual Paris self) and the key worked in the door to the boat. We filled the water tank, visited the restaurant (not our favorite which is closed on Tuesday) just steps from the boat for dinner and collapsed in our bed.

Wednesday was shopping day in the morning and in the afternoon we began the monumental cleanup, removing. By Friday things were pretty much under control and we could relax a bit, tackling the long list of chores to be completed this summer.

A newly clean Oldtimer.

Yesterday, much to our surprise, the engine started without too much trouble and didn’t even smoke too much. The balky generator refused to start, however, so that will need some more work.

It’s been raining off and on since we arrived and was really pouring last night, putting a damper (sorry) on the festivities for the Fete National. They did manage to get the fireworks off, terrifying all the dogs in the Port, but we could only see the ones that went high in the air because the main venue was behind the trees at the back of the boat. We weren’t going out in the wet at 11 o’clock.

Speaking of rain, there are no worries about the state of the canals due to water this year. The Loire River is still in its banks but moving right along, quite a contrast with 2019 when sand banks were visible nearly out into the middle. The Trézée River that empties into the Loire through the Port, is flowing nicely, unlike the swamp that it was when we left in Sept. 2019. The reservoirs that feed the canals are all full so any cruising we do this year will be unhindered.

The Trézée enters the Port.

Last year is was barely moving.

The Loire from the Pont Canal in 2019

The Loire this year. More water!

We still haven’t decided where or how much boat traveling we’ll be doing this year but since we have a car for the whole three months, any time not cruising or working on the boat we’ll be able to do some touring.

People are gradually showing up to their boats in the Port so the social life is slowly returning. We’re glad to be back!

1 comment:

  1. How lovely that you could get there, Don and Cathy Jo. I am late responding to your post as life has been very busy this side. Like France, it's been very wet here. Lovely to see a photo of Old Timer looking clean and loved. You must be very happy to be on board again. Welcome back!


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