Cruise News

Revised cruise map (Roanne added).

It’s pretty much set in stone that we head off on our cruise the first week in May, it’s going to be legen-wait-for-it…dary! Vee was hoping to visit her folks before we set off, but as usual France had something to say about that. There is going to be a series of strikes, and on top of that the schools are on holiday which means the trains are on a go slow, (for some reason when the schools kick out, the trains between St-Jean and Dijon only run twice a day, one to Dijon and one back???). Because of the strikes Ouibus have laid on extra coaches, but there’s no way Vee can get on one. Yes, there are heaps of ways of getting to the UK (thank you dear, we got your message), alas Geneva airport is as far as the moon when the French go on strike. So, plan B is to mooch on to Roanne, our first big stop, moor up there, Vee gets a bus a short walk from the marina, and I finish painting the boat. This works well, after 150 klicks (from St-Jean de Losne to Roanne), all our first cruise cluelessness and nerves will be experienced away, we get to Roanne and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the rest of the trip we’ll actually know what we’re doing. And I get plenty of time to finish painting the boat, hopefully while the cats are asleep so that I don’t have to contend with them checking out the fresh paint?¿! I was going to say this does put us behind schedule spending two or so weeks in Roanne, but then I realised that there is no schedule, we’ll get to where we’re going when we arrive, and when we arrive is exactly when we mean to.

Tante Hanni nearly ready for her repaint before we head off 

Here’s a little factoid for you, the other week we were craned out of the water, we had seven days on the hard, we bought some needed supplies from the chandler, (filler, sandpaper, a 100€ tub of paint), we had electrickery and water, and the bill came to LESS than the cost of just pulling the boat out of the water from a certain other company. They do really know how to charge. Another small fact that keeps me awake at night is that the sum total of the paint (not the extras like sandpaper and the other whatnot), is 850€!!! Admittedly I am getting the best quality products that are tried and tested for the job, (I really don’t wanna have to paint Adventurer again for at least another six years).

Deck and winch need painting too.

I’m full on working every hour I can before we go, hence the short post. I will be writing loads when we’re travelling though, and hopefully there’ll be some wifi so that I can post it here. Talking of which, those that know me probably know that I despise McDonald’s, now guess the name of the place where it is pretty well guaranteed to get free wifi, just a coffee for me then.

Oops, scrub all that, Vee found a way to get to the UK after all.


Lumpy in Places

What a week! Rain, and cold, and in amongst this, some work done. I thought that being as we were only painting half the boat, everything below the deck, it was going to be a reasonably easy week, wrong. I didn’t realise how much filling there was to do, poor Adventurer ‘s bow and stern were pretty beaten up, (she was an ex-charter boat), along with a couple of dinks down the sides I managed to use just under a kilo of filler! I didn’t open a tin of paint until the fifth day there was so much prep to do.

We had our survey last week, bearing in mind we bought this boat online without first seeing it, again, we’re all good. The surveyor was quite impressed, there’s really nothing wrong with her, a few house keeping things to do, (some water and a gas pipe are suffering from decrepitude), he said she’s a bit bruised and battered from her hire days, but all in all, tickety-boo for ten years!

We only painted her hull less than two years ago, at the time there was so much conflicting advice that I didn’t know which tips to follow and while I didn’t stuff the job up, I coulda done a whole heap better. This time around, she’s had a thick lathering of black rubbed into her bottom and anti-foul in the areas where the sun does shine to stop the weed garden that she developed over the last two years, and her propeller anti-fouled too, (because a red prop looks cool!).

Even if I do say myself, the paint job is brilliant, I’ve practised on loads of other peoples boats enough to make sure that our paintjob would be expertly done. Well almost, there are a couple of drips that I’m embarrassed about, and a masking tape malfunction in a couple of places. Also, I’m not very good at filling, she’s a bit lumpy in places, (Adventurer is over forty though), (Vanessa’s joke, not mine).

So, the next job is the top half, which unfortunately will have to be done while we’re cruising, a bit of a bugger as I wanted to view the cruise as a holiday, but there’ll be no rush, easy does it.