Thursday, 17 May 2012

6th - 12th May

A peacock butterfly infront of the Luciole
Unfortunately nature intervened with our itinerary this week! The river still considered too dangerous to navigate until the Thursday. This meant we had to stay put in Auxerre. Wine tasting passed the time with a very special day trip out for the passengers to Beaune - a beautiful city renown for being Burgundy's wine capital.

Thankfully after a frustrating few days we were able to cruise and sped up the canal, making it all the way to Mailly la Ville on the Thursday, Friday we continued on but were stopped just short of Clamecy in Lucy sur Yonne. The river still had some pace to it and many trees sped downstream and even trapped us in a lock for 30 minutes, sand and mud washed away in the flood created sand banks that had to be dodged. However a fantastic two days of sun and blistering heat that came out of nowhere kept the smiles on everyones faces, very little was missed due to a fantastic effort by all. A great end to a frustrating start of the week.

29th April - 5th May

A week off gave us a chance to put some time into the boat and hold a domino tournament. A newly decorated crew area and work bench in the engine room, along with many touch ups through the boat. Moored in the park of Auxerre for a change, a nice spot. The girls enjoying the chance to run and cycle while the boys went to see Auxerre play football, unfortunately not very well and have since been relegated to the division bellow. The speed of the river is slowing down thankfully and a pleasant visit from John Liley (my father) for my birthday which fell mid-week.

Friday, 4 May 2012

22nd - 28th April

Storm clouds roll in over canola fields

Spring showers hit hard this week with most of France being extremely wet. The Yonne has swelled up and the barrages opened, bringing many logs down the river. The canal was still open on the Friday morning in time for us to cruise to Auxerre before closing after lunch. A few hairy moments including the bridge in Vaux, under which we usually have a metre clearance turned out to be more like centimetres.  Mooring in Auxerre was a challenge, with the river running as fast as it was. Francisco's piloting experience on the River Seine in Paris came in useful and all went well.

We all hope this weather has past us and as I write this now the sun is shining and the water levels have dropped. A week off next week gives the river a chance to calm and the valley is looking very green as an explosion of life creeps up along the Yonne. 

15th - 21st April

The season has started. All the preparation came together and made for a wonderful first cruise with a special 3 generation family chartering the barge.  Luciole looked fantastic following all the off season work and with Spring officially arriving mid week, Burgundy is starting to come to life again after the winter. Spring showers dampened the region but not the atmosphere on board.

A lot of changes along the canal were seen for the first time, repairs to banks, locks and barrages. However the Nivernais still remains its old self and pilot Francisco did not let his rustiness show as we cruised. 

Dan the chef has made the kitchen his home and slaved away, producing very tasty food. Being Australian, snails were a new challenge, but he pulled it off! The hostesses were trained in as if they had done it for years thanks to Fi and hard work from Penny pulling everything together. 

A great start and a great atmosphere onboard. May it continue for the rest of the season.