Part 2: Rouen - Paris
Rouen - Paris. Saturday, 10 September.
After a week of close contact with the natives, it can be said that the rumors about the arrogance and arrogance of the French are greatly exaggerated. It is also a delusion that they completely refuse to speak English.
Kind words and a smile work wonders. - Bonjour, Madame. Or Monsieur, depending on the situation. Excuse me, do you speak English? And in ten cases out of ten, you can get the required information.
Today there were no plans for records in time and distance, but there was just sailboating. Here and further throughout France, due to the lack of a mast and sails, it would be correct to call it motoring. We left the marina at 9 am, got to the parking lot at almost 7 pm. Aft 37 miles, a lot of impressions and the first French lock.
Depths on the segment varied within 5-10 meters. Immediately at the exit of Rouen, upstream on the left side, I found a gas station. Gas, gasoline, but did not stop. Surprised by the huge amount of dirt and driftwood. Once I even chopped a stick with a screw, I hope without consequences. Later I had to watch the situation every minute.
Passing by landscapes and castles suggest thoughts of beauty. So you expect that D "artagnan with faithful musketeers will be waiting for you at the next turn of the river. Cinema is a strong thing. A whole generation of Soviet people, France, was represented precisely from the pictures from this film.
The first, our joint with Irina, locking experience took place. Not without errors, of course, where without them. Instead of twirling around in front of the entrance waiting for the green light, I decided to moor at a pole designed to guard cargo ships. And just in this place there is a strong current from the bypass channel. In the end, probably on the fifth try, we got attached to him. But then the green signal to the entrance lit up.
Not to say that everything went smoothly, but there were no special jambs. Unless they got dirty like hell. We climbed about 9 meters, and several times I had to bandage due to the lack of lifting eyes. There was also the first grounding, though not serious, but still it was unpleasant. The thing is that when choosing a parking lot, I focus on the book The French Waterways, Rivers and Canals, where a pretty pontoon was described. And the time was in the evening, just the time to think about the most beautiful. The depths at the pontoon itself were not in doubt, and the echo sounder showed 5 metersov. However, starting to pull the boat with my hands, already standing on the pier, I realized that it was sitting on the ground.
A Frenchman who arrived in time for my misfortune advised me to go to the nearest marina for the night, about which nothing was said in the book. He swore and swore that the depths there were at least 5 meters. As I later found out, he was right. Parking really is, and the depths are safe. The only amenities are water. It turned out that there was no one to pay, I hope to leave early in the morning. Due to the disgusting connection, photos will be later.
Rouen - Paris. Sunday, 11 September.
Last night, for some reason, I converted the miles traveled into kilometers. The calculator showed an unkind figure of 66.6 km. Irina, without hesitation, offered to circle a little more near the marina. Of course they laughed and forgot.
Before going to bed, we talked a little with a neighbor in the parking lot, a Frenchman, on the subject of where I am going so interesting. Hearing about the Mediterranean, and my 1.8 draft, he grabbed his head and ran to his boat for a map with shouts - a bad idea. As an argument, I brought him my PDF with depths, downloaded from the French site. Judging by which, it is still possible to pass on my boat. Looking at her, he was slightly surprised, and wished a happy journey. On that they parted.
Knowing that the harbor master does not come to work before 9, we scheduled an early exit. Saving on parking is a holy cause. Yes, in fact, the parking lot did not offer anything other than water. But I was glad to have a depth of under five meters, and everything else on board with a margin. As it seemed to me.
But no matter how. In the morning, the engine did not respond to turning the ignition key. On board the problem, I thought, and began to sort out in my head the possible options for starting the engine. I also remembered yesterday's 66.6 and got to deal with the batteries. There are three of them on the sailboat, one for the starter and two for autonomous power supply: refrigerator, appliances, light, water.
After some manipulations and rearrangement of the batteries, the diesel engine came to life and we quietly left the marina. Naive, I thought that during the night they planted a battery and business. Now the motor will rumble and everything will return to normal. No matter how. An hour later, the autopilot stopped working. The circle is closed. It wasn't about the baboon. Apparently the alternator has not been charging for more than a day. So far, only generator brushes come to mind.
However, in any trouble, you need to look for your pluses. All my previous attempts to teach Irina to stand at the helm did not give results. There was a strong fear, and the watch was episodic. Without the autopilot, the situation has changed. Realizing that I physically cannot be at the helm all day long, Beloved approached training with more responsibility. And it worked! Now it's hard for me to tear her away from control.
We passed a couple of locks during the day. Having yesterday's experience, and taking into account previous mistakes, they approached the work in more detail. First, following the instructions and signs, they put on life jackets. Secondly, they worked with gloves. The first lock passed almost perfectly. In the second, an unfortunate error occurred.
If in the previous locks we passed alone and moored only to the stairs. Then we entered this one with a large vessel and for fastening we were left with only fixed bollards built into the wall, which were spaced with a large vertical step. Approximately 2.5 - 3 meters. When the water rose, it was necessary to quickly reattach the mooring lines. And if I coped with mine, then Irina did not succeed and the sailboat turned around. I had to urgently knit to the opposite wall.
The locksmith, noticing this, ran to us and tried to explain something in French for a long time. Of course, we did not understand anything and he left. But later he came back with a hand-drawn instruction that he made especially for us. From which it followed that it should be fastened for one mooring line, winning back the pressure of the water with the engine. Behind the bow, if on the ascent and behind the stern, if on the descent.
Adventures for this day was enough, and we decided to get up in the parking lot. Moreover, right behind this gateway was the Port ILON marina. The entrance to the marina is a little creepy and looks more like a swamp, but then a beautiful lake opened up with an equipped parking lot. If in a straight line, then to Paris from this place is about 40 km.
On the map, the minimum depths are three meters. In fact, I have never seen less than five. Electricity, water, internet, shower, everything is included in the price. There is a gas station, and fortunately for me, they sell fuel for cash. A liter of diesel is 1.2 euros, I was charged 11.7 euros for parking. The nearest store is two kilometers away. Perhaps we will stay here for a couple of days, I will deal with the generator.
Rouen - Paris, 13 September.
Today was such a wonderful and calm sail that it seemed to me as if this was not happening to me. One of the rare happy days that we probably got used to not noticing. And in the evening I will have to write in a diary about nature, weather, castles and palaces that remain behind the stern of our sailboat. But who cares?
Therefore, I will cut the truth of the uterus. And if there are children among my readers, then the following text is from the category of +18. So, when we went on a trip to France, we firmly decided to stop smoking. Yes, we smoke. We smoke for a couple and so far it hasn’t bothered us much. Living in Montenegro, you do not feel the press of a healthy lifestyle. Since everyone smokes, they smoke everywhere and no one bothers about this.
Tobacco prices there are significantly higher than Russian ones, but still bearable. From French, and in general, from Western European cigarettes, I get heartburn. Six euros for a pack - from such a one you want your head will go round. In a word, knowing this and in anticipation of victory over a bad habit, they flew here without a reserve. And so, this morning, having smoked the remaining cigarettes, we left the marina.
By the way, in France you can't buy cigarettes on every street corner. Yesterday, anticipating nicotine hunger, we went to the village next to the marina and were surprised not to find what we were looking for in any of the local shops. So so be it. However, happiness did not last long. Half of today's journey, I threw like a hamster everything edible that was on the sailboat. The expense went: sweets, cookies, apples, oranges. It seemed like a little more and I lit a rope.
A beautiful day went to the dark, but there was no trace of joy left. But giving up meant that our budget, according to the most conservative estimates, would lose weight by almost 700 euros during this time. This is more than we spend on fuel. European smokers have long thought of a way out of the situation. Cigarettes, by local standards, a luxury. People use tobacco, in its purest form. Marking the process of making cigarette rolls.
An entire industry has emerged. On sale: special paper, filters, and even machines to automate their own production. In short, I chose a bigger town, moored the boat and went in search. Having measured two kilometers, in the center of the city, I found the coveted shop.
No, you can imagine such that in a normal Russian city, you had to walk two kilometers for cigarettes. Okay, that's all the details, let's move on to the main thing. The process has started. I remembered the army, the dashing 90s and a difficult childhood. Now we roll cigarettes, we are happy again and for some reason we feel like rastamans.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot - the route. We didn't go much today, only 26 miles, because we got out late. The electrical problem on board seems to be the starter battery. He ordered to live long and urgently had to be changed. A woman, a harbor master from the Port ILON marina, responded to my misfortune. She called a dozen stores and found the battery I needed. And what's more, I went to fetch it myself, and this morning I had a new battery.
In general, well done, they keep the brand, although territorially, this is a godforsaken place. However, the Marina is growing with new berths, work is in full swing around the arrangement of the territory. Highly recommend.
We spent the night in the marina of Port Saint Louis. Although the name is loud, but the best years of this place are in the past. The berths are old, in the captaincy there is something like a warehouse or even a workshop. There is no Internet, but there is a gas station, a shower, a toilet. Electricity, water free. For a boat up to 9 meters I was charged 10 euros. Depths 3-3.5 meters.
It's very scary to look at, but there are many abandoned boats with folded dreams in the marina. Someone's dream ended halfway. An accordion is playing on a nearby boat. Typically French motif. Passing by, we noticed a couple. He's about 50, hippy type. She, a pretty Frenchwoman, is not even forty. They live on a boat. Love, a bottle of wine and dinner on deck. It's just some kind of happiness!