Sunday, 7 May 2017

Arrival at Port Sainte-Marie and on to Lagarde

2 May 2017 to 6 May 2017

Arrived at Port Sainte-Marie after quite pleasant flights marred only by a fella on the first leg with such bad halitosis that Lynn had to hold a wet-wipe over her nose – thank goodness he went to sleep with a blanket over his head. The second leg was fine apart from the child four rows up from us who screamed for five out the seven hours travel time – such are the joys of modern travel!

Our taxi was waiting for us and just over an hour later we were greeted by Ian and Sian who had traveled very long days from Douai to meet us; Elle had been opened, the winter cover removed (a tiresome task), the bimini erected and all was open and ready to go.

Sian and Ian in our unpacked saloon - no seatcovers.

Lynn in unpack mode.

After doing some basic unpacking we joined them aboard Njord for a delicious spaghetti bolognaise supper and then it was off to the Auberge Port Sainte-Marie where we fell very soundly asleep.

Planning on having lunch at Lagarde the next day, we unpacked the rest of the goodies, completed the de-winterising, did engine checks, filled with water and then started running the taps to ensure that all was in order - the water pump had packed up! If we ran the engine we might have blown the geyser element so Ian, the fixer of all things great and small, climbed into the cramped recess of the engine room (all six foot four of him) and stripped the pump and pressure switch, cleaned them and put the whole lot back together again – hours later it worked! So off we went to Lagarde

Some trepidation at our first 2017 lock.

hoping to have dinner instead of lunch but the place was closed on Wednesdays wasn’t it…so it was supper aboard Elle and we finally got around to a very good albeit agonizingly slow-serviced lunch the next day after which we bade Ian and Sian farewell on their return trip to Diksmuide which they hope to reach by the end of the month.

Cheers guys and a gazillion thanks!

We were moored one place down from Colin and Joy aboard Fennavera whom we had met in Port Sainte-Marie at the end of last year – they very kindly invited us aboard (again) for drinks which ended the day most satisfactorily. The next morning Lynn joined them in their car on a supermarket shopping expedition (BIG treat!) there being no such luxury in Lagarde or even anywhere close by. I waited for the resident mechanic Bill Fraser who had said that he had an idea about being able to possibly repair our diesel leak but unfortunately the pump will have to come off at some stage in order to be able to reach the leak. Lynn returned with bags of provisions and that evening we had Colin and Joy aboard for drinks and a lively chat and lots of laughs.

I have ordered deck paint and varnish which we will hopefully collect on our return from Strasbourg in two week’s time and the never ending maintenance will begin once again. As the sun is out and it is pleasantly warm, let the cruising commence!

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