Part 3: Paris
Paris, 14-16 September.
It's hard to admit your mistakes. Especially in public. One small, black number in the table, which was worth paying attention to, led us to lose five running days. Yes, friends, when the Creator handed out perseverance, apparently I was standing in line for something else. Henceforth, there will be science. However, first about the good, the eternal, the beautiful. Paris.
So we did it. Without exaggeration, I emphasize once again that WE did it. Together. Me and Irina. Maybe one of ours was here on a sailboat, but I have not yet come across such data. And I suspect that not many Russian sailboats have taken this route. And now, in a series of my crazy ideas, there is one less fad.
However, a sailboat trip is not only beautiful selfies from unexpected places. It is also a daily, exhausting job. And besides: laying a route, finding parking lots, providing provisions and countless cases that you simply never encounter in ordinary life. And even if the day goes smoothly, in the evening, there is only enough strength for dinner and a toilet.
But to hell with everyday life - who is now easy? The sun has been shining for the past five days, and hello there! We entered Paris in the pouring rain. But this city is beautiful in any weather. How can some rain spoil its architectural splendor. History was written here, the best minds worshiped him.
The day before we moored in the suburbs of Paris. Deciding to leave all the beauty for the next day. To say that there was concern would not be true. He was so worried that he did not close his eyes all night. There were two reasons for this. First, the insane Parisian pleasure craft traffic. And secondly, immediately after Paris, a series of shallow canals began. And I never had a firm conviction that a sailboat with my draft would be able to pass there.
All night I planned possible escape routes. Up to the point of returning back to Le Havre and preparing the boat for the sea passage. And just fell asleep in the morning. Doubt is a terrible sin. In the morning I got for it from Irina. We'll be fine," she said firmly. And we went.
Behind the stern were: the Statue of Liberty, the creation of Eiffel, the Louvre. It makes no sense to list the pearls of Paris. They must be seen. But this time I looked only behind the situation and sometimes in the eyes of my Beloved. They glowed with happiness.
We walked through the center of Paris in a couple of hours. X-hour has come. Immediately after the eastern river port, the Marne River flows into the Seine. Us there. Two locks and one tunnel. If everything is clear with locks, then the tunnel for ships is something. The oldest in the world, construction began in 1825. Length 597 m, width 8.8 m, height above water level 5.6 m. Traffic is regulated by an ordinary traffic light. The echo sounder showed a depth in the tunnel of about 5 m.
After 5 miles and two locks was the entrance to the first channel. My doubts were in vain. Throughout the entire length, the echo sounder showed depths in the bypass channel of the Marne River of about 3.5 meters. I was finally let go. You can go south along the canals. But happiness did not last long. In the next lock, we talked with a Frenchman. He, like us, was sailing on a sailboat with a folded mast.
As it turned out, he lives in the town of Lagny, which was about a dozen kilometers away. The Frenchman told the terrible news that the next lock and tunnel will be closed for repairs until October 9th. Sailed. After reviewing the information in the marina of the town, I was convinced that there was no further way through this channel. Either stand here for a month, or look for other options.
Returning to the beginning. Yes, I had a canal closure map before I hit the road. Yes, this gateway was marked on this map and the timing of its repair. Where I looked - I do not know. Fell asleep like the dead. I had neither the strength nor the desire to write something in my diary. Morning evening is wiser.
According to the most modest estimates, the detour will add five extra days to my journey. I had to return back to Paris. Today we walked through the city for the second time. We moored for the night on a pontoon 45 km from Paris. There is no light, no water, but it's free. Tomorrow we will enter the Oise River.