Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Excitement is building

We are getting very excited now.  Over the past few weeks we have seen the successful crossing of the channel by three sister Piper Barges, Archangel, Le Koala and Monquique, trips were delayed because of bad weather, lets hope we get away as planned on 12th July.

We met up with our pilot, Stefan Fritz, at the beginning of May when we went on a trip down The Thames to Old Windsor.  We have to be in London on 10th July for a social event and we will take Rangali down the river at the beginning of July to be ready to leave on the 12th or there abouts.  It obviously depends on the weather and we are definitely not going in anything other than good conditions!

We planned to go to Calais but as the lock into the canal system there is not operational at the moment we have to go in at Dunkerque, which is a pain.  We still plan to go over in one stint (20 hours) but we are flexible, if we have to do it in two legs we will.

Just to give our family and friends an idea of the canal system in France and our proposed route through France to our winter mooring in Auxerre here is a map.  In October we aim to be in Auxerre to leave Rangali there for the winter.

In the words that some of the readers will recall - "on the French map it does not show when Holland becomes the Netherlands and they have missed off Germany altogether !!"

We want to make our trip as relaxing as possible so we are not putting pressure on ourselves to be anywhere by a certain time, if we like somewhere we will stay, if not we will move on.......but watch this space, best laid plans and all that!

We have been reading with great interest other Piper owners blogs of their trips in France, it makes us feel very green and the learning of French hasn't progressed much (not at all!) so life will be very interesting for the next few months.

We have had some nice short trips out over the past couple of weekends, enjoying the better weather, we ended up at Beale Park on both occasions giving us a chance to walk into Pangbourne to the fantastic Butchers there to stock up on pasties, sausages, steak etc.

One trip we had three Pipers moored up along the bank at Beale Park, Simon Appleyard on Josephine, Phil and Marion on Jean Audrey and us on Rangali.

Jean Audrey and Josephine at Beale Park

Early Monday Morning Mist
(Jean Audrey had to go home Sunday, you have to give up work you two!!)