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Water flowing underground
same as it ever was
2009 cruise. The first ten days 
29th-May-2009 04:23 pm
knitting sketch
Quote for the Day
The two best physicians of them all - Dr Laughter and Dr Sleep. - Gregory Dean Jr
You know how it is- somnething goes wrong and you wonder if it is bad luck , or good luck that it wasn't worse.


Day 1. Tuesday.The Eurotunnel train was delayed by 40 mins waiting for an engineer to repair it.

We were still in Ashford, not inside the tunnel itself. So there was no sense of panic about the reason for the delay.

As we drove off the train at Calais, the car's Alternator light came on, accompanied by a spanner symbol.

At least were weren't on the motorway and were very close to the Etap Hotel where we could overnight if needs be. The Euro-assist man told us to book in as it was after hours for car mechanics.

It was too late to phone the hotel in St Quentin to cancel our booking, so we were stung fot the total bill. Good luck. Euro-assist would pay for our hotel in Calais.
Weather Sunny all day.

Day 2. Wednesday.
When we turned on the engine the following morning, the car started OK but the power assisted steering wasn't working.

We were covered by Euro-assist for the break down truck to take us to the Opel garage. The Opel repair team said it wasn't the alternator that had failed. They thought it was the fan belt.

Unfortunately, when they removed the fan belt, it was the pulley that had cracked. The cost of repair was 500Euros. The following day was a Feast Day, followed by a weekend so we had visions of spending another 3 nights in a hotel without a car.

Fortunately, the garage had a replacement pulley in stock and we were on our way within a couple of hours.
Weather sunny all day.

Day 3. Thursday MWNN knew there was a leak on board but didn't know where it originated. It didn't take long to find it. The leak was in the water pump which is English, with Imperial sized pipe-work. A replacement from the French supplier was in metric and cost over 100Euros.

There was another English narrowboat in port and I mentioned the problem to the crew. Eric was an instrument maker by trade. Not only did he diagnose the problem with the pump, he said he would make two new gaskets, out of paper that night.
Weather sunny all day.

Day 4. Friday Eric fitted the newly repaired pump and it hasn't leaked since.
The mastifxGSD from the resident French Peniche (who was afraid of Loony GSD) attacked Ron and ripped his head very badly. We didn't spot the damage until the following day so were late taking him to the vet. Nevertheless, with the aid of antiseptic wipes and tea tree cream, we prevented infection and the vet gave antibiotics as a precaution.

Ron has been extremely good and not made a fuss apart from when the wound started to itch. We got an Elizabethan collar to stop him scratching at night and I let him into my bed when he wanted for the next 4 nights. Poor Ron, his first trip to France has not started very well although he's his usual happy self and is very pleased that there is much ball chasing to be had in the lovely landscaped gardens of the marina.

Weather sunny all day.

Day 5Saturday MWNN left all his contact email addresses and important list of dates at home and couldn't contact his Canadian Cousins who we'd arranged to meet at Compeign. They'd come to France especially to meet us and taken a gite jst 35km from Compeign. We were still in port and should have been half way to Compeign by now but had no way of contacting them to let them know.
Weather sunny all day.

Day 6.Sunday. Eric and Linda, the other English narrowboaters were given an extra day at their mooring by the Capitaine so we were enjoyed the weekend of their company, exchanged mobile numbers and arranged to meet them when we eventually set off after the Canadian Cousins' visit.
Weather sunny and hot all day.

Day 7. Monday
Weather sunny and hot all day but, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, we had such a violent storm that the rain poured in through the hopper windows -more water in the bilges.

Merv had MWNN's mobile number and phoned the evening they arrived at the gite having driven through the storm earlier in the day. Merv and Cathy insisted that they would drive to St Quentin on (another hour's further north of Compeign) on Wednesday as they were both very keen to have lunch aboard an English narrowboat.

Day 8. Tuesday. We scrubbed and polished the boat in preparation for Merv and Cathy's visit. MWNN shopped in Monoprix and I finished cleaning the boat.
Weather overcast and windy

Day 9 Wednesday. A very overcast day with rain forecast, so I set up the lunch table inside the boat. Merv finally rang at 1.30pm to say they were at the railway station as they'd not been able to find the Port de Plaisance. We drove to guide them the rest of the way and had an extremely enjoyable lunch that lasted from 2 - 7pm. We started with Kir and nibbles in the rear cabin, then moved for the main course, desert and cheese in the dining area in the front cabin.

Both Cathy and Merv loved little Ronnie and were sad to take their leave of him but were anxious not to outstay their welcome. Next time, they promised they'd give us more notice of their intended visit to the UK so that they can stay with us at home for a couple of days.
Weather Overcast with showers.

Day 10 Thursday. Another day of pumping bilges and engine checks. Hopefully all will be well and we can set off on Friday, if the weather improves. We have to be back in Port by the 16th so it will be a very short cruise this year. That will be an improvement on last year when we didn't get one at all.
Weather Overcast and humid.

Day 11 Friday. We needed more stuff for the engine oil change so stayed in port today. I did another was load and we have cleared the boat of things that haven't been used for years. What d'you bet we'll need something on this cruise?

Weather hot and sunny all day.
Comments 
29th-May-2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
It's that old game "The good news and the bad news" isn't it? At least you're all safe and in a boat without leaks. Here's hoping the cruise goes really well!
27th-Jul-2009 08:52 am (UTC)
After a start like that, I reasoned things could only get better.
29th-May-2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
well I sincerely hope the rest of the summer is good news all the way
27th-Jul-2009 08:53 am (UTC)
It was - mostly - until the news of Ma-in-Law's decline came through.
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