top of page

September 2015 - Guernsey and France We're in Paris!

France | River Seine | Honfluer | Normandy Bridge

September 19, 2015

Dear Family and Friends, When I last wrote we were in Honfleur, France heading up the River Seine. Some of you may have seen our posts and pictures on facebook.

Wednesday, Sept. 09 Our 64nm trip from Honfleur to Rouen was lovely. It was a beautiful sunny day, no locks(ecluse) to go through and 2kts of tide hurrying us along. Port St. Gervais Marina was very welcoming and great facilities. We even had free laundry:-)

We spent Thursday, Sept. 10 preparing Artemis for her cosmetic change on Friday. This involved removing and stowing 4 sails, removing two booms, and loosening all 14 stays. A nice young man on a Portuguese boat offered to go up the mast and unhook the triaxial (cable between mizzen and main masthead). Al was glad for the help and I was relieved that I didn't have to winch him up the mast to do the job! The biggest and most time consuming job was removing the radar connection from the nav-station, tearing the boat apart to get the end back to the bottom of the mizzen mast. (Didn't want to compromise the wire by splicing it later)

France | River Seine | Rouen | Plaisance Port St. Gervais | Artemis no masts

Friday, Sept. 11 all went smoothly at 0830 the yard lifted masts, booms, and sails from our deck. We then had to remove the spreaders and tie all the stays around the masts.

France | River Seine | Rouen | Notre Dame Rouen Cathedral

Saturday, Sept. 12 we finally got a play day. We walked to Rouen along the river about 25min. It's a beautiful old medieval city with lots of curving, cobbled streets to explore. Tourist Information had a 2 hour walking tour with audioguides that we took. Of course we made a day of it stopping in the middle for a celebratory lunch (successful demasting of Artemis) At the end of the day we even found our favorite supermarket Lidl's and hauled supplies back to Artemis.

France | River Seine | Rouen | St. Joan of Arc church

Sunday, Sept. 13 we rode our bikes into Rouen to visit the weekly market and go to mass at St. Joan of Arc. After mass we went back to the market for lunch and another walk through. Then we had an excellent tour through the new St. Joan of Arc museum.

France | River Seine | Rouen | Artemis heading under our first bridge to Paris

France | River Seine | Poses | Artemis mooring above Amferville dam

Monday, Sept 14 we had planned to head up the Seine but we had difficulty getting our vignette (river pass) online and missed our tidal window. No great loss as it was extremely windy and rainy. The office helped us get our VNF account set up so we were able to head out on Tuesday, Sept. 15 with the afternoon tide. It was only 42km to Amferville locks about 4 hours. First big hurtle was trying to communicate with the lock keeper using my very limited French. Fortunately I understood enough that he wanted us to enter after the barge "Resistant". All went smoothly. We moored on a little side channel after the locks in Poses. There was a small brassiere near by so we went for a beer.

Wednesday, Sept. 16 (82km) was again very windy and rainy off and on all day. We had two locks to tackle of course it only rained when we entered the locks. The first was only a half hour wait and went smoothly but the second lock at Merricourt we waited almost an hour for commercial traffic to lock through. This lock was quite a challenge as it was very large and the bollard's on the wall were very far apart. Fortunately we were the only boat in the lock so when the water reached our lines we just took them off and ran the engine until the lock finished filling. We stayed at Plaissance de l'ilon not far from the locks. Beautiful wooded entrance to the marina but a bit scary. We entered through a narrow channel that opened into a small pool then another narrow channel fed off of that with a 5m clearance bridge. Now we've been bringing Artemis under bridges with 19m+ clearance (masts up) It's hard to adjust to approaching a bridge only 5m off the water! Al told me to take our make-shift flag pole down as it didn't look possible. We cleared with over a meter to spare:-)

Thursday, Sept 17 (75km) we had two smaller locks and we were able to lock through right away. We stayed on a pontoon along the river in Rueil.

France | River Seine | Paris | Ile de Cygne | Staute of Liberty

France | River Seine | Paris | Artemis going by Eiffel Tower

France | River Seine | Paris | Port de l'Arsenal -Paris locks

France | Paris | Port de l'Arsenal - Bastille | Champagne toast our arrival Paris

Friday, Sept. 18 went quickly. We had 30km to Suresnes lock and then 17km to our destination, Plaissance Port Paris - de l 'Arsenal. Lots of river traffic keeping Al busy and lots of sights for Sally to photograph!

The Statue of Liberty sits on the tip of Allee des Cygnes, an island we took the canal starboard past the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. We traveled under 20 narrow arch bridges in those last 7km with crazy tour boats zooming by as they had right of way! Now came the moment of truth...Artemis draws 2m and the locks to the marina only except 1.9m or less. We were counting on the fact that Artemis minus her masts, booms and sails would be sitting higher in the water. But then in fresh water a boat sits lower than in salt water. So just in case we emptied the water tanks 220 gallons and moved all the heavy stuff from the V-berth to the back of the boat. Al said he felt us touch as we entered the lock but we got through just fine and we are now moored alongside a canal boat in Plaissance Port Paris-de l'Arsenal. We celebrated with a bottle of champagne then sat out a rain storm before going for our first walk about.

Saturday Sept. 20 Today we visited the Saturday market l'Aligre in the morning. Then we walked to Notre Dame and the Louvre. We didn't go in either as it's a holiday today and museums were free thus the lines were long:-) There is always another day... We look forward to exploring our new home away from hom

Guernsey | St. Peters Port | marina

September 8, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

We sailed August 30 to Dartmouth before crossing the English Channel to Guernsey in the Channel Islands August 31. We stayed in Peters Port Marina for four days.

Tuesday Sept. 1 We had a nice visit to Le Hechet Farm with Angela and Jim (Our friend Claire from Guernsey set it up). They showed us the area and of course the Guernsey milking parlor their daughter/husband are now running. Their daughters also produce 30+ flavors of Guernsey ice cream sold only on the island. Angela made us a lovely lunch and then took us to visit The Little Chapel and Clockmakers workshop nearby.

Channel Islands | Guernsey | The Little Chapel

Channel Islands | Guernsey | The Little Chapel

The Little Chapel was modeled after Lourdes and was covered outside and in with pieces of ceramic pottery. Angela told how as a child if they broke a cup or dish they'd walk to the monastery and drop it into a pit where the monk would retrieve it to use in his chapel. Jim had interesting stories to tell about farming and of the German occupation of Guernsey during WWII. (he was 10 yrs old)

Channel Islands | Guernsey | Victor Hugo's House

Channel Islands | Guernsey | Victor Hugo's house | Victor Hugo's death bed

Wednesday Sept 2 we visited Hauteville House where Victor Hugo lived during his 15yr exile from France. He remodeled and created quite an unusual home...with a theme of traveling from the lower levels of darkness to each level bringing more light until the upper level where he mainly worked and slept surrounded totally in windows overlooking Peters Port and the surrounding islands of Sark, Jersey and Alderney. Al and I got a much needed haircut then went out for lunch.

The last night Wednesday Sept. 3 there our friend Claire arrived back from Brittany on her s/y Equinox and we had a lovely visit catching up on each others travels. We had coffee in the morning before sailing to Cherbourg, France.

France | Honfleur | Old Harbor

Friday, Sept. 4 We sped over 12kts through the Alderney Race (tidal stream at Neaps) arriving in Cherbourg, France. We cleared passport control at the Cherbourg Police Office. Then Saturday, Sept. 5 we sailed to St. Vaast Marina again through a lesser race at Barfleur Pt. We arrived perfectly to free flow through the locks. Once locked in the water around the marina dries up at low tide for nearly a mile off shore! Cute town. We walked about and found a grocery store.

France |River Seine | Honfleur | Eglise St. Catherine

France | River Seine | Honfleur

France | Honfleur | Yummy Monkfish

Sunday, Sept. 6 we sailed to Honfleur, France on the west side of the River Seine estuary across from Le Havre. Again our timing was good and we were able to free flow through the locks to Avant Port where we tied to a pontoon. Sept. 7 Back in tourist mode enjoying beautiful Honfleur. Honfleur is a lovely medieval town that was never bombed during the war so many lovely old buildings and cobbled streets. Sept. 8 we took a walking audio tour around Honfleur that we got through the Tourist Information Office. We had a delicious lunch at a restaurant by Eglise St. Catherines sharing a bowl of mussels and then a yummy monkfish. It's an ugly but delicious fish, a bit pricey but well worth it. Tomorrow Sept 9, we have a 61nm motor up the Seine to Rouen where we will visit for a week and demast Artemis so we can continue up the Seine another 125 nm to Paris. Hope all is well. Love and God Bless Sally and Al


bottom of page