September 2015 - Guernsey and France We're in Paris!
September 30, 2015
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