June 12th, 2003

cruising log

(no subject)

Ate at the Capitainerie restaurant on Tuesday night; late dinner at 9pm but we were by no means the last, the place was FULL, as it was again at lunchtimes every day. It’s just across the canal from Levant and we were too knackered to go back into town to eat after the tiring day on Tuesday.

The port’s charges are the cheapest this season 3 euro 50 a night, including water and electricity. Perhaps I should have booked 3 nights instead of 2? In this hot weather, a kettlefull of boiling water is enough, with cold water added, to take a bath in the hip bath so we don’t need the use of the port’s showers. While we are cruising, the heat from the engine heats the water in a domestic-sized ‘hot tank’, but, while stationary, we would have to light the gas boiler to heat the water (not a comfortable thing to do in this heat.)

Washed the whites today, using the ‘pressure cooker’, manually operated washing machine I have on board. Think of a small beer barrel (or butter churn) with a handle on the side; put in some very hot water, detergent, dirty linen; screw on the lid very tightly (it seals completely); turn handle for about 2 mins; empty, repeat using cool water for 30 seconds; repeat again or until water runs clear. It’s very efficient, if somewhat labour intensive; washes extremely well; will even manage sheets but then the wringing becomes a problem. (I keep asking MWNN to find me a small mangle that we could attach to the side of the front deck, but to no avail. At a port like this one at Epinal, where I can boil water in the electric kettle and fill the water tank as often as I like, it really is no hardship to wash the clothes using the ‘barrel’, and they dried so fast in the sun (31 degrees today) thanks to quite a fierce wind which kept the boat from heating up like a furnace as there was a cooling breeze blowing through it all day.

We are moored right next to a disco, which did not disturb us until about 3.30 this morning. The police were eventually called to break up a quite serious fight that was taking place outside, after the disco had ended. MWNN heard from the bartender at La Capitainere that there are soldiers in the town, who frequent the disco, get very drunk and then, inevitably, very violent. (Reminded us of the town of Auxonne)

It’s a pity because otherwise this is a very lovely town (city?) The old town centres around the bridges across the Moselle; there’s even a fountain in the middle of the river next to the bridge across to the Place des Voges. The canal is fed from the run-off from the river and the water is crystal clear and quite fast-flowing.