About Me

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The name describes my demeanour and voice! I love narrowboating and that is why this blog is mainly about the boat and our interaction with it. I have been keeping a log for Sonflower ever since we bought her and moved onto her as our main residence. Some incidents in our boating life have been hilarious, some scary and some down right dangerous. I cannot tell what will come in the future but you can now share them! The crew are an 'ordinary' couple. The Best Mate and I.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Learning the ropes (in France) Pt 3: Stopping for lunch

In France, everything stops for lunch.

As we were travelling just around Easter time when there were not too many tourists about we also found that in the villages lunch was a very lengthy meal. There were several days that we stopped when the sun was high and walked into a village to obtain the basics, milk and bread, to find that it was closed for lunch. And I mean everything! Church, shops, garage, houses and businesses.

But there are some things that one does not expect. We approached an automatic lock at a time just about lunch time. Being good English boaters trained on the ettiquette of the canals, we looked back to see a plastic hire boat approaching the lock about a third of a mile away. We waited for them. As they entered the lock the gates automatically closed behind them and the Best Mate pressed the "Ascend" button at the controller.

Nothing. As it was now 1302h, the lock had closed for lunch. The Best Mate was ten feet above us and we were trapped. We were in the lock, the Best mate on the lockside. All we could do was have our lunch. With no way of getting off we made sandwiches on board and attached some of them to the end of the mooring line in a plastic bag. The Best Mate pulled them up. We then tied on a plastic bottle of tea to refresh her spirits.

What can you do when you are in a lock? Well one thing is splice the rope that was cut when it got crossed on the bollard! So that is what I did.

Lesson three: stop early for lunch. [To be continued

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