We spent most of the morning preparing and waiting. Around lunchtime, we decided that we would go out on the evening tide. We would go to the gas dock about six or seven and keep going from there. It is no use going when the tide is coming in, or you are fighting the tidal current the whole way out. I went for a final trip into downtown. I took the little water bus across for €3. It was a nice little ferry ride through the port and out into the channel, through the old pier and into the city. I walked through the old city, it was very festive since this is a holiday weekend - for the end of WWII occupation* and they were running a marathon. I walked along the waterfront, and through some of the back streets. It is a lovely little port city, and would be a nice place to live.
The one thing I have noticed here, ever since driving in from Paris, is there is no smell of the ocean here. When I come near an ocean, I can usually smell the salt air, but not here. It is very clean and fresh smelling here. I’m not sure whether that is refreshing, or whether I miss that.
I walked back to the aquarium and took a bus to the port. We packed up the last few things, untied the boat from the dock and off we went … right across the channel to the gas dock. Wow, first trip on the boat, 100 metres. We then were cut off by the 80 foot cat that came out right behind us, as they stole our spot on the gas dock. We waited, and then John was able to slip into the tiny end piece of dock behind them. We tied up without too much incident, not bad for our first piece of teamwork. Gazole’ing up took about half an hour or so, and then we pushed off and headed out to follow the second star to the right, and straight on till morning.
We stowed the lines and fenders and Jon drove of course, and I offered to cook our first supper. Perhaps a little bit self serving of me, as I like my cooking, and also because I know cooking is going to get a lot more difficult on bad waves and weather and I might as well put some in the bank now while it’s easy:) In the middle of cooking our spaghetti and meatballs, I noticed Jon and John chattering back and forth and scooting up to the front and down to the electrical panel and humphing and fidgeting with things. Our navigation lights were not working. They were the first thing Jon checked when we reached the boat. They worked then, but they were not working now. They had flickered a few times and then gone out.
They tried many things, but eventually, we resigned ourselves, and headed back into La Rochelle. No Nav lights, no go. Not smart. We enjoyed our spaghetti dinner on the way in, and everyone managed to stay in good spirits. We won’t be able to get this fixed until Monday - no one will be around tomorrow - (Sunday on a long weekend). So it looks like I will be stuck in France for a couple more days. Such a hard life….
* WWII Victory Day (la fête de la victoire, le jour de la libération) is a holiday to celebrate the end of World War II and the French people's freedom. It is the anniversary of when Charles de Gaulle announced the end of World War II in France on May 8, 1945.
On Board my new Home
Ready to Go!
The Captain's Quarters:)
Farewell La Rochelle!
The Old Town of La Rochelle
Towers that guard the City of La Rochelle
It is a large harbour here in La Rochelle. All the boats here were lined up so pretty for a picture.
This Lighthouse is a replica of the 1884 lighthouse on Staten Island east of Cape Horn.
Jon and John
Our first sunset underway
Goodbye La Rochelle