34 degrees C
Following a fast getaway from Fontenoy to prevent MWNN putting in a bid on a very pretty Dutch barge of the sought-after less than 14m variety, (only 35,000 euros) this was followed by an efficient locking up to Bains les Bains (10 locks, 5km in under 2.5 hours)
From Bains les Bains we were ‘accompanied by a lock-keeper and her boy’ who put us through the 10 locks and 5km at a rate of 4 per hour. The mooring at Ouzemain Basin was very shady but, once again, no water to be had, nor fresh bread. The baker’s van DID call at 7.30 this morning but the 3 German boats moored with us failed to mention it until MWNN asked about a boulangerie at 8.
Today - Pride comes before a fall.
We locked up with a German boat, being moved for its owner by a couple I called "Steptoe and Son". They bitched at each other in a vitriolic fashion and the poor boat was buffeted from one side of every one of the 18 locks on the flight. ‘Steptoe had little or no regard for tying off his stern rope and MWNN giggled at their ineptitude. He was chortling so hard in one lock, that he lost concentration. (We were ascending each lock using just the middle rope which is attached to the roof of the boat.) As the lock fills, there comes a point where the rope must be unwound from the bollard on shore to prevent a ‘compression knot’ forming by the angle of roof > rope > ground. MWNN missed the opportunity and had to call for the axe as the boat was hauled sideways by its roof cant. Two swift chops released Levant who sprang upright violently, sending shelves and stowed window glass flying across the boat, shortening the new rope and relegating it to ‘mooring line’ status. I must say, despite the idiocy of the lack of concentration (most boating accidents happen in locks) I can’t help but admire the condition in which MWNN maintains his tools. (minds out of gutter, girls!) Quote of the day "pass me the axe, woman!"; I think Steptoe and Son were scared witless by this yell.