May 2013 - Page 1
Back in France
AMAROK headed for the first lock of the Canal de Bourgogne in St-Jean-de-Losne. Only 198 locks to Auxerre!
We were glad to find her in the water, we
hadn't had much communication with H2O
recently - although we had given them our
expected arrival date. It appeared they'd
plopped her into the water, then taken off
for (a very long) weekend. Because of the
holiday, everything here (including the
grocery stores) was CLOSED.
Fortunately, the restaurants were open!
Thursday, 09 May - Ascension Day
(a BIG Holiday here in France!)
We came back to Saint-Jean-de-Losne
to find the AMAROK sitting in the
launching ramp where she was hauled out
last fall. (See photo at right.) Because of
the holiday, there was not a soul in sight.
Fortunately we brought a set of keys with
us, so we climbed aboard.
The AMAROK looks great with her freshly painted shiny black hull.
Most everything is working, but there are a few issues. H2O did not
connect the 12-V charger to the generator battery (as I specifically
asked them to do, even following up with an e-mail), so the battery
was totally dead. I bought a new battery (at the Intermarché, for a
mere €69) and the generator started right up. Unfortunately,
however, it stopped in about three minutes and showed a "Water
Pump Failure" warning. Upon investigation, I found a ruptured end
on the heat exchanger manifold. (Looks to me as though it might
have frozen!) Anyway... No generator until we get that fixed.
This was the scene upon our arrival in Saint-Jean-de-Losne on Thursday afternoon.
Looking spiffy with her new bottom and hull paint.
|. Sno' Dog (and KELINA) in the USA
Naturally, there isn't even anyone to talk to until Monday. Apparently
a Thursday holiday in May in France calls for a long weekend.
There's nobody here but a few locals working on their boats - plus a
But we're not suffering... Plenty of cleaning up and organizing to do.
Nancy's making curtains - with the new sewing machine she brought
over! (We just squeaked by on Air France, each with a 49.8-lb
We still don't have our French SFR "dongle" and cell phone working
as of yet. I actually tried two places in Dijon, but they were unable
to recharge our devices. Apparently, the Centre Commercial
(accessible by tram from downtown Dijon) is the only place that can
do this. Guess we'll try that when we get back there. Here in
St-Jean, we can use the H2O WiFi by walking over and standing
outside their (closed) sales office.
. Something new for 2013: Red, white & blue (and yellow)!
We decided, while we're aboard, we'll fly the Stars & Stripes.
Nancy happilly sewing curtains for the guest cabin with
our new AMAROK sewing machine!
Thursday, 16th May - We're still here...
One week later! Waiting for the repaired
generator heat-exchanger manifold to be
We've had lots of time to discover
I wonder if every French town has its
Official Panel? This one was on a little
side street where few people ever see it.
Here's where we've been hanging out for the past week, this is the H2O work yard.
The lock in the foreground is the first lock of the Canal de Bourgogne, the same
one which appears in the photo at the top of this page.
A peaceful evening view (actually about 9:00 PM) from the bridge over the first lock of the Canal de Bourgogne
looking out across the River Saône toward the town of Losne.
While we were waiting for our generator part to be repaired, we decided to take the train to Dijon and see if we could
get our French cell phone and Internet "dongle" rejuvenated for 2013. Apparently, if these devices aren't used for six
months or more, the contract expires and the company can assign your number to someone else.
Thursday 16 May - one week after our arrival in France...
As we were about to give up, we went back into the Orange store (an SFR competitor) and asked them what they
could do for us. They cheerfully sold us a "Domino" portable WiFi gadget - just like the Verizon MiFi we use in
the US. The price was a mere €49 (without a contract) and it is rechargeable in €20 increments - each of which
gives you one month and "20 Go's" - which I think are gigabytes.
The dongle, however was another matter. SFR insisted that we needed a new SIM card and unfortunately they were
temporarily out of stock of the type we needed. We traipsed all over the mall looking for the right card, or a suitable
alternative - but nothing worked.
Happily, the thing works splendidly! And, like the MiFi, it's wireless and it provides a local WiFi connection for up
to six devices. Very cool. The SFR dongle we had previously, plugged into a single computer and required software.
In Dijon, we took the tram from the RR station out to the Toison D'Or Centre Commercial. It's a giant mall where
(we were told earlier) is the best place to go for this. We went to the large SFR store and, with only a small amount
of discussion (in French), we were able to successfully recharge our French cell phone.
Friday 17 May - The repaired part for our generator
arrived back from the welding shop at 4:30 PM this
afternoon, and H2O was able to reinstall it and get our
generator running by 6:45 PM! Which was a very good
thing because it turns out, this is yet another another long
French holiday weekend! Monday the 20th is "Lundi de
Pentecôte" (Whit Monday), a national bank holiday,
wouldn't you know!
Samedi 18 Mai - 11:00 AM - Dep Saint-Jean-de-Losne
(actually the H2O boatyard in St-Usage)
headed NE up the Canal de Bourgogne
Yeah... We're finally underway!
12:00 Noon - got through one lock before lunch
3:15 PM - Arr: Longecourt-en-Plaine
Today: 6.8 mi - 2.9 eng hrs - 6 locks
Our first day of travel. So far, so good!
Our first tie-up seven miles up the Canal de Bourgogne in
Longecourt-en-Plaine. Nancy is hoping this is a chocolate
factory and that they'll start dumping directly into our boat!
Dimanche 19 Mai - Biked to Boulangerie (in rain)
9:15 AM - Phoned lock-keeper to say we were prêt à partir
9:30 AM - enter L'écluse No 69 - Longecourt-en-Plaine
12 noon - 1:00 PM - l'heure du déjeuner (lunch break)
3:15 PM - Arr: Dijon - Port de Plaisance (next to Biggles)
Today: 10.4 mi - 5.0 eng hrs - 15 locks (!)
Free dockage & elect here because the Port Captain
quit and they're still looking for a replacement!
Waiting at the Brazey-en-Plaine lock for lunch-hour to be over.
The Canal de Bourgogne is basically straight all the way to Dijon.
Typical view along this part of the canal. Many bright yellow
fields... Not mustard, but "colza" or rapeseed. Grown for its oil.
A very well-restored hotel barge "Hirondelle". If you click on
this photo, you'll see Amarok in the background.
Saint-Jean-de-Losne to Dijon