June 16th, 2004

knitting sketch

Montchanin boatyard

We met Sue, on Kells - the lone narrowboater who we met at Toul last year. We swapped horror stories of last year's 'chaleur' as we sat in the shade, our boat breasted up with hers. The boats are in deep shade from daybreak until about 2.30pm, and the bankside keeps its shade until sunset, thanks to overhanging branches. Sue plans to winter here where she will have the company of the English owners and a couple of liveaboards.

We're seriously considering letting Jeff fit a sea toilet as the boat's 10th birthday present and will possibly leave her here to have the work done in August when we return to Angleterre. It will be nice for MWNN not to have to worry about where to dispose the contents of our 'bucket and chuckit' porta potti that needs 'dealing with' every two days.

That's one of the really good things about cruising - the priorities are always about basics: water, fuel (both human and canine), sewerage, health and safety. It's interesting that the boats one sees tied up throughout the season, unused, tend to be the expensive, luxurious QEII variety, bristling with the mod cons that are prone to break down and are heavy on fuel, water and maintenance.