Sunday, 27 September 2015

20th - 26th September 2015

What an excellent, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable week it's been on the Luciole. The sun is still with us, usually after a little morning mist, the scenery and skies seem to get more beautiful by the day and our passengers this week have been a truly amazing group of people. They were always happy, always talking and joking, and pretty much always with a glass in their hands. Indeed "more wine" was probably the most commonly used phrase of the week and led to many hilarious exploits throughout the week. Perhaps most memorably we had the lovely Keith falling off his chair in the process of trying to stick a spoon to his nose, or perhaps Melvin playing with the boat's boom pole, swinging on and off the boat to the disappointed looks of his partner Beverly but with the encouragement of a rather nervous Francisco. Evenings on the boat were always a spectactle and a party, the group getting lively as the night passed, big group singalongs at the dinner table accompanied by Pina Colada loving Anne on the Ukulele.

We were also very happy to celebrate the wedding anniversary of Zan and Paul, celebrated in style with and pair of candles in their desserts and a bottle of bubbly in their cabin. I'd also like to say Happy Birthday to our wonderful hostess all the way from Australia, affectionately known as Stephie. So congratulations to all, let's hope we wake up feeling ok for our next group of passengers on Sunday!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

13th - 19th September 2015

It's been an adventurous, exciting and extremely funny week here on the Luciole. Autumn is beginning to creep across the land, bringing falling leaves and sudden storms, the days are getting shorter and the country is beginning to take on a different look as the exceptional greenness of Burgundy slowly shifts to golden brown and yellow hues, while the evening skies drift from orange, to pink, to purple and finalise in truly dramatic sunsets. Autumn is a very beautiful time of year around here.

Our charming guests this week joined us mostly from the states with a lovely couple from Canada, all strangers at first but seemingly great friends even by Tuesday as the jokes were flying non stop all week, almost as much as they flew along the towpaths on their bikes. Almost everyone this week took up the call to cycle and regularly departed as one big group exploring the countryside and finding nice spots to sit and wait for the grand old lady The Luciole to catch them up. During one such excursion, indeed only 5 minutes after their departure, the heavens opened in perhaps the most dramatic storm I've ever witnessed in this part of the world, it laste
d only 5 minutes, but was so extreme our very courageous and soaking wet captain was forced to stop the boat and take shelter under a bridge as he couldn't even see the Burgundy flag flying on the boat's prow, perhaps only as much as 30 meters in front. The passengers on their bikes seemed to fair extremely well for the most part, all except for poor John, selflessly sheltering the others with his body as they took refuge under another bridge. Betsy, mother of the 3 marvellous ladies Carole, Susan and Wendy, managed to do even better during this storm, as she was sat very comfortably in the warmth of the boat's saloon, I think we all know who the real winner was here.

Tour guide Anna's had a nice surprise, bumping into her hero 'Vauban' at the Chateau of Bazoches

Finally I have several mentions to make and a few congratulations from the crew to pass on. First of all congratulations to Ellen on her retirement from teaching. Wendy on her 20th Wedding Anniversary with her husband who unfortunately for him wasn't invited! And finally to Shawn and John on 25 years of marriage. Congratulations to all, we hope your time on the Luciole was the perfect celebration of such big and memorable days.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

6th - 12th September 2015

It's September already, though you wouldn't have thought so from the weather, it's still hot and bright out here in Burgundy, though the nights and early mornings are beginning to get the chill of Autumn and the boat starts each day with a fresh layer of dew coating it. The crew holidays are finally at an end with myself, Tom the deckhand, returning from 2 weeks in Normandy, so we're completing the final 7 weeks of the season in style with our regular crew all together again at last. Anna, Francisco, Marc, the 2 Stephs and Tom raring to go.

My first week back here has been a wonderful one, with 12 very nice and extremely funny American passengers joining us on board as we cruise to Auxerre from Clamecy. I'd like to say one particularly special mention to lovely, smiley Karen, always cracking jokes and constantly saying the nicest things, but most importantly, an avid reader of the blog who very kindly told me she had been missing my updates! So thank you for that Karen, I hope you read this one especially! Captain Francisco has also been a very happy man this week as he has had a Spanish speaking friend on board in the form of Sandy, an ex language teacher with flawless Spanish and rather good French to boot. She very kindly lent Francisco a Chilean book of all things which he seemed to find completely fascinating, indeed every time I saw him he had it in his hand with another 100 pages or so behind him. So thank you Sandy I think you made the Captain's week.

Finally I would like to mention Sandy one last time as we congratulate her on not only her birthday which was celebrated one evening with the addition of an extremely large cake, expertly cooked up by Chef Marc, but also to congratulate her and husband Chuck on their 30th wedding anniversary. Cheers to the both of you!