Saturday, 29 October 2011

Cruising back to our winter mooring

Our last passengers of the season, left on the bus up to Paris with Neil and the remaining crew fired up the engine for the two day cruise back to Auxerre and our winter mooring.  The mist hung over the water until mid-morning, we wrapped up warm and drank hot chocolates until the sun burnt through.

The Luciole crew leaving Clamecy on a chilly morning, en-route to Auxerre

We even experienced what it was like cruising, sitting on the sun deck, playing chess, dominoes (the game of the season, it was chess last season!). Admittedly the beer was drunk straight from the bottle but the whole experience of cruising on a sunny day along this Nivernais Canal, was great. We felt we knew what our passengers experience and that was rather nice!

We really did feel like passengers, although the service was not quite up to scratch

Friday, 28 October 2011

16 - 22 October

The last week of our season we cruised with more returning passengers from America and England.  The weather held out along with the deck flowers, which survived frosty mornings when the decks were rather skiddy (a matelots nightmare!).  On Friday we celebrated two birthdays - happy birthday once again guys - hope I am as fit in fifty years time!

The lock signs along the way of the glorious Nivernais Canal

Big thank you to everyone, passengers and crew for a great experience - matelot Will - over and out!

9 - 15 October

Well two weeks of our season remaining.  Where has it gone? 
Ever hopeful of lassoing a bollard on barge Luciole

What a great charter group of friends.  The crew greatly enjoyed your company.

2 - 8 October

This week the Luciole cruised with retuning passengers.  Which always feels an honour, I have to say!

Colour on the Luciole deck and along the Nivernais Canal towpath
Lots of walking along the tow path this week and lovely colours as the trees start to turn, with Autumn.  The colour on the Luciole deck is good too - the flowers are doing brilliantly, with the yellow daisies performing particularly well.  Its been quite a job looking after them through the season.  I have to admit I was not very green fingered in April, but pleased think I have turned a corner now!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

25th – 1st October

Willow tree hangs over the river Yonne

A fantastic week: The stunning weather continues, I’ve never been so brown! Cycling was popular this week with the whole family exploring the towns and villages along the route and finding the bars within them. One big family on the Luciole, many celebrations; a birthday, an announcement of expecting a baby and finally the birthday of the father of the group - celebrated in Halloween theme - the saloon was transformed. Hostess Helen made masks, host Tim carved pumpkins and all sorts of decorations were erected. A night to remember!

However, the week was not without incident. Two days into the cruise, the engine's starter motor stopped working after a short stop for lunch, one lock from our destination. Francisco drove the broken part to Auxerre that afternoon as the passengers left for Vezelay.  A new starter motor arrived the following morning at 9am and was fitted by 10am.  There was even time to spare before passengers returned from their morning tour in the market town of Noyer-sur-Serin; the Luciole cruised off down the canal shortly afterwards. It was as if nothing had happened at all, a good team effort by everyone.

18th – 24th September

Hot air ballooning over Burgundy
Autumn officially started this week, yet the hot weather is deceptive and the trees still very green, the only sign being that of ripe fruit on the trees. This week I fell in the canal, my first unassisted tumble – it wasn’t warm.

This week passengers took a trip in a balloon, taking off from Lucy and silently blown by the wind over the chateau of Faulin in the direction of Clamecy, I was lucky enough to get the chance to go up with them, it was a fantastic experience that gave me a chance to see Burgundy from a different perspective and get some aerial shots of the canal (to be found on the website in the near future)

A fair well to loyal hostess; Izzy, who returns to England in order to start her second year of University, she has been a great worker and friend to us all, she will be missed. I did the transfer to Paris in the bus to see her off. Her replacement: Tim - spent this week training with the two girls.

11th – 17th September

Captain Neil dresses up as a reverend.

This week captain Neil took on the role of reverend, renewing vows. Although not serious; a very memorable event. With the Luciole’s life rings being used as wedding rings.

Further laughs were provided by Francisco turning every item in the washing machine bright pink. The chess competitions among the crew are also heating up.