Week 15 of the season and the last week before the crew start disappearing on their various holidays to places far and near, and a week in which several welcome visitors showed their faces in preparation for the upcoming week with no passengers. So to kick things off we waved Anna the tour guide off on Thursday for her adventures with her regularly appearing other half Neil. Replacing her just for the end of the week we have the well known technical director Will, up for a spot of tour guiding before a week of activity improving the boat along with younger brother Tristram and Matelot Tom. Directing this merry bunch is father of the Luciole and most esteemed guest John Liley, fortunately arriving on time to pilot the barge for an afternoon and join the passengers for Friday night's customary Captain's Dinner, alongside Captain Francisco.
The week itself was magnificent, 13 extremely pleasant people joined us from the States, Australia and Britain and acted as though they knew each other for years from the first night of meeting. Wine thankfully seems to have such an effect! This group spent most of their days together, going on long distance cycling adventures, finding places to swim and places to drink before returning to us on the boat. In fact they managed to find themselves drinking in a small bar in the tiny village of Lucy, a bar I previously thought was no longer open! They must have been very persuasive because their persistence paid off and they all returned to us later that day with big smiles on their faces. We've been very fortunate this week as the skies have for the most part been extremely clear, especially at night, and the stars have been quite exceptional. The milky way is often visible in this remote part of the world, but it's less common to see such vast numbers of shooting stars. The night in Mailly-le-Chateau in particular with the beautiful chateau silhouetted against the brightness of the stars was quite a view to behold, but unfortunately one my camera wasn't quite capable of capturing.
As the end of the week is upon us it seems a good time to say "Bonnes Vacances" to several other crew members as they leave us for a week or two, Australian Steph to England, Marc to Scotland and Francisco to Barcelona with his son. Enjoy your holidays and see you all soon.