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May 2016 - France

France| Rouen | Restaurant Le P'tit Bec

France|Rouen| Restaurant Le P'tit Bec

May 31, 2016

We played hookie Saturday from boat work and rode our bikes into Rouen. We visited the Big Ship Chandlery but no luck finding 40A fuses and holder needed for the wind generator. We had a leisurely lunch at our favorite Rouen Restaurant

Le P'tit Bec on Rue de Robec. We've eaten there 3 times and have not been disappointed. Great food and personnel.

France| Rouen | St. Ouen Abbey

France | Rouen | Half timbered houses old town

France|Rouen|The Great Clock

France|Rouen| Notre Dame Cathedral

We walked around Rouen bit. We were able to visit St. Ouen Abbey for the first time. It has always been closed in the past. Beautiful interior and stain glass windows.

We made a stop at Lidl grocery store. Unfortunately our beautiful, sunny day turned into a rainy, extremely rainy, bike ride back to the boat. Of course who would think to bring a raincoat or umbrella on such a lovely day. We sat under an overhang for a half an hour before it let up a little and we braved the elements for home. Very wet but the boat is warm and dry with dehumidifier running.

Sunday we went to mass but that was about it for the day. It was rainy and windy so we stayed on board. Al had some wiring projects in preparation for our masts, we read, listened to music, and caught up on facebook :-)

Monday Christophe decided it was too windy to set the masts maybe Friday! We met some sailers from California on s/y Maggie. We saw them in Finland 2013 as we were entering Tammisaari they were leaving. We waved but never met. Back to the boat for lunch. We decided to try and find somewhere to check out of France in Rouen but after 2 days biking around to 4 different places we gave up. What will be will be. At least the sun shines so we can grill in the evenings.

France | Rouen |Port St. Gervais| Al wiring lights

May 27, 2016

We've been busy in the shop working on the masts since our arrival. Glad we have our bikes to haul things up there and to run back and forth when we've forgotten something. We bought a wind generator (Superwind from Germany) and that took some time to just install the bracket. We had difficulty running wires as our snake was too short. Nothing is a simple job. But it's done. We have all new lights on the main mast and new hailer on the mizzen. Everything was pretty dirty after a winter in the shop so I was busy polishing masts and booms today. We have a few things to finish up in the morning and then we'll be ready to step the masts on Monday morning.

France |Paris | Eiffel tower and Statue of Liberty

May 25, 2016

We said our good-byes on Sunday and left our winter berth at 0800 in the rain. We cleared the locks and headed down the River Seine for Rouen. The rain was steady but visibility was fine. It lifted a bit as we passed the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty so I did snap a couple of pictures.

France|River Seine |Artemis exiting Chatou locks

Fortunately by the time we reached our first lock at Suresnes it was only light sprinkles. But then for the next hour or so it poured. We have about 2kts of current speeding us along at nearly 8kts. Once again as we approached the locks at Chatou the skies brightened an the real rain ended for the day. The lines are much easier to handle when locking down than when we locked up last Fall. The water leaving the locks is gentle while the water filling a lock can be quite turbulent. We had one more lock for the day at Andresy.

France|River Seine|Plaissance d'ilon|bridge

We reached our days end around 1900 Plaissance d'ilon where we tied off the hammerhead. We were here last fall so the entrance was not as scary this time. We left the main river through a narrow entrance that opens into a small pond then after a right hand turn a small bridge appears with 5m clearance. We are use to sailing with our masts up with 19m clearance so approaching this low bridge with Artemis was a bit disconcerting.

France| River Seine | Half timbered houses

France | River Seine| Mantes | Notre Dame

Tuesday May 24

We made such good progress yesterday that we decided to make today's passage a shorter one. Our marina last night was just before Mericourt locks and then we had N. D. de la Garenne locks.

France | Seine River | Les Andelys| 1196 castle

Les Andelys looked inviting with it's churches and castle. Richard the Lionheart built this castle in 1196 in one year.

We decided to go about 82 km today to Poses just above Amfreville locks. Just before our approach to Poses a boat with blue flashing light waved us over. We were a bit confused but it turned out it was VNF patrol (need a vignette to travel canals) He glanced at Artemis and spotted our VNF and waved us on. Later Al noticed I had ordered 3 days for June 23-25 not May. Oops glad the patrol didn't look more closely.

France | River Seine | Artemis moored in Poses

We took a small side channel and moored in front of Tourist Information. Nice to have the sun come out. We went for a walk around town. We stopped into visit Bord de Seine gallery and studio. What a fantastic surprise. The artist Michele Ratel is post impressionist inspired artist. Lovely work

France|River Seine| dam by Amfreville locks

Then we had a nice walk down to the dam and hydro-electric plant. We sure wouldn't want to lose power and get pulled over this dam.

France | River Seine |Al grilling in Poses

We grilled and ate in the cockpit enjoying the birds and our quiet surroundings.

France| River Seine| Rouen|Notre Dame Rouen

Wed. May 25

We locked through our last locks at Amfreville before reaching the tidal portion of the River Seine after breakfast. We continued a fast 45km journey with tidal current to Rouen arriving just before noon.

France| Rouen| Plaissance de Rouen | Artemis

We pulled in alongside between two boats but it was a tight squeeze. So we moved to a berth close to the fuel pontoon.

France|Paris |Promenade Plantee| roses

May 20, 2016

Last Tuesday we took another walk down the Promenade Plantee and had a picnic in Jardin de Reuilly. Every time we walk this trail it becomes more beautiful with green and flowers. The roses and iris were gorgeous. We are able to grill again with this nicer weather. So much easier for me if Al does it :-)


We've decided to leave Paris next Monday and head for Rouen which will take 3 to 4 days. We have work to do on the masts before we can set them again. France has another bank holiday coming up so we thought it best to get to Rouen and make our presence know to the yard. Hopefully they will set them May 31 and we can head to Honfleur June 1 or 2.

France |Paris | Parc Floral de Paris|

So we have been busy making preparations to leave. We did a grocery run first thing Saturday and paid our marina bill.

France |Paris | Chateau Vincennes |

Then we took our last walk until Fall down the Promenade Plantee, then along road to Chateau Vincennes and Parc de Floral Paris.

We had a picnic above the pond and a beautiful garden. The rhododendrons were still pretty spectacular but they probably peaked last week. We walked several paths enjoying a variety of colorful rhododendrons. 74 F today so ice cream had to be bought. Lots of people out enjoying the park.

France | Paris| Parc Zoologique

We then walked past the new zoo and back to Bastille. Couldn't leave Paris without this one last 8+ mile hike! Grilled pork chops and asparagus for dinner.

May 16, 2016

We had a colder rainier week but still got out and about. It never seems to rain the whole day so we just go equipped with umbrellas. Al finished the prep on the spreaders and they will be ready for final coats this week. We also finished the new enclosure side curtains applying the snaps and hanging them.

We went to two concerts this week. Thursday we heard an excellent pianist at Petit Palais Auditorium. Friday we heard a wonderful pianist and celllo at Espace George Bernados. Fun listening music and we're always amazed with the young talent. After the concert we walked to Museum d'Orsay to see our favorite Impressionism works and listen to the excellent audioguide.

France|Paris|St. Martin Canal|Bassin de la Villette

May 9, 2016

We had a busy week working on boat chores. Al was preparing the spreaders for a new paint job and I worked on the stainless. Saturday May 7 Happy anniversary to son Patrick and Nicci!

France|Paris|Park Villette|1950's submarine

We took the metro up to Park Villette which is in upper eastern part of Paris. We had a picnic in the park and then visited the Cite des Sciences and d' Industries Museum said to be the biggest Science Museum in Europe. This is an excellent hands on museum for students of mathematics and sciences. They have special rooms for all ages. It was a bit overwhelming for us but worth visiting.

The Solar Impulse plane that flew across USA in 2013 without a drop of fuel hangs from the main ceiling.

France | Paris | Parc Villette | Geode

France|Paris|Parc de la Villette|Geode/fountain

The Geode is in this park too. It's like a Chicago's Bean in Millennium Park only way bigger and shaped like a sphere. The Geode houses their 3D and IMAX movie theater.

France|Paris|Parc de la Villette| dragon slide

I'm sure a highlight for kids is the theme parks one of which has a giant dragon slide. We walked along Villette Basin down the St. Martin's Canal back to Bastille. There was a huge Saturday Flea Market all along the Villette basin.

Sunday May 8 Happy Mother's Day to our beautiful, wonderful daughter-in-law Moms and to all our Mother friends! After mass today we walked down Hoche to Park Monceau again. . Once again it was busy with families and athletes enjoying the park.

We walked down to Jarden Trulieries and then along the river back to Bastille. We went to a favorite restaurant Ches Paul for my Mother's Day lunch. We talked to all the grandkids this weekend so Grandma and Grandpa were happy.

France | Paris | Port Plaissance de Paris-Arsenal | Artemis winter mooring springtime

May 4, 2016

We had a busy morning Monday greasing the steering on Artemis. It's a big job just emptying the lazerette lockers. Then Al has to crawl in and out many times before the job is done. After lunch he ran the wires for the remote microphone for the new VHF radio. Yesterday we cleaned up the cockpit after the mess from the day before. Al bought a French propane tank and the connections so we can grill again. We had grilled chicken. It's always so much better on the grill. Today Al sanded the mast spreaders in preparation for their new paint job.

After lunch we walked the Latin Quarter to visit Musee National du Moyen Age housed in two structures, frigidarium Roman baths and Hotel de Cluny.

Then we walked along the left bank to Jardin des Plantes. Beautiful flowers and plants and a beautiful day.

May 1, 2016

France | Paris | 8th arrondissement |Parc Monceau

France | Paris | Parc Monceau

Beautiful Happy May Day and a Happy 2nd Birthday to our youngest grand daughter Aleah (Allie). We had a lovely walk after mass today. We walked down Avenue Hoche to Parc Monceau. This is in 8th arrondissemont a very Parisian neighborhood with few tourists in sight. The park is very busy with joggers, boxing lessons, roller blading lessons, pony rides Parisians taking exercise.

France | Paris | St. Augustine

We continued our walk past St. Augustine and then to Bistro Corse near Les Halles area for our Sunday lunch. After lunch we decided to cross over the Seine to the left bank and visit St. Germaine des Pres and Notre Dame. We are expecting beautiful weather for the next ten days 65F-75F and no rain.

France | Paris | Notre Dame Cathedral | Spring flowering trees around Notre Dame

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