As I said, it was our plan to get away by the end of March but here we are half way through April and we are finally under way after a few extra days required to address some boat problems. During our preparation period like changing the oil, and the filters etc, etc, my mate Jo was testing the tension on the belts which run from the number 2 alternator and found that even without the engine running it was hotter than you could keep your hand on. A call to the local marine electrical expert determined that the alternator to be a really faulty unit despite it only being 15 months old so a new one had to be ordered in.
The trip went well as we cruised along the motorways at 130 kph which seemed like riding in a rocket but we were passed all the time by cars and motorcycles which I swear were travelling at speeds of up to 200 kph. In France there are tollways but through Belguim and Luxemberg and Holland all roads are free.
Rhonda's Comments: It's not Avatar but St Patricks Day in St Jean-de-Losne and it was also Jana's Birthday.
Rhonda's Comments: Note the only one eating was Jo who came dressed as an Englishman at a Barbeque - they are really odd these Englishmen - why would you wear a
Rhonda's Comments: Big, eh!!!!
On the 20th and we left Tournus somewhat reluctantly at 9.00am as it is a beautiful day again and the river is really inviting and made our way down to Port Arciat where the mooring consisted of a pontoon alongside a camping ground which was still closed up but was getting ready for the summer hordes with lawn mowing and gardening etc all getting done. No water or electricity but that didn’t bother us as we were loaded up as from Tournus so had a quiet night only disturbed by the wash from the odd commercial as they passed along plying their wares.
First thing this morning, (day 5) we viewed the biggest hotel boat we have seen to date. It looked quiet beautiful in the early morning sun with many passengers having their breakfasts out on the top deck while others ate in what appeared to be luxurious dining rooms. The Saone here is running with us at about 2 knotts per hour so we can just cruise along easily at around 5 knots and sure seem to cover the ground or the water whichever you prefer without any pressure.
While I am writing this blog, Rhonda is at the helm and is doing really well. I have been showing her how to check the oil, the water level plus the water filters so she has learned these on top of “doing” her part on the ropes and so on. If this continues I will be able to rest easy everyday. Yeah right! Time for me to go and get lunch ready. You know what it is like, a man’s work is never done.
Ok, so at around 3.45pm we worked our way through the city of Lyon. France’s second largest city after Paris, approx population of 1.2 million offers a lot to see and do so we will make a point of spending some time here when we make our return voyage next year. We had difficulty finding a really suitable mooring point so just before going out onto the Rhone we turned back and tied up in the city centre which is not ideal but will do fine for us. We have been warned that we should not leave the boat unattended at night but as we are so tired the idea of going out was not on the agenda. Rhonda's Comments: No, we did not go the wrong way and end up in Paris - this is Lyon.
So ended our first step on this new adventure and we will bring you more when we enter the mighty Rhone which we sincerely hope will be as docile as the Saone has been.
So far from Saint Jean-de-Losne we have travelled for 5 days, covered 205 kms, have run the engine for 24 hours and gone through 6 locks and all is well, so fingers crossed for the future.