Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Choisey to Dole back to Choisey

Tuesday 30th June
Choisey to Dole
3km 2 locks 55 mins

On Monday evening we cycled into Dole to see what mooring space was available on the quay.  We thought we’d look after 7pm once the locks had finished for the day so no boats would arrive and take our space before we got there early on Tuesday morning.  The space on the quay where we had moored last year was full with barges but a new space had appeared, because a large peniche that had been permanently moored up was no longer there.  So we checked out the depth and decided we’d be fine.  We then went for dinner in a new restaurant called Le Local, we had a great burger and chips.  The food was very good but the service had a feeling of being disorganised, but the setting is lovely and I am sure they will get better over time.  We booked a table for Saturday as we have friends coming to see us for the weekend.

Tuesday morning we were up early and off by 7.45am and we were moored up where we had planned to be by 8.40am.  It’s great when a plan works.

Arriving in Dole

Safely moored up....what a great view from our galley window

Dole is such a pretty town

Le Local restaurant, a new venture in Dole
it is in a great position, great food, and service hopefully will improve over time!

We stayed in Dole until Monday, and we spent 7 days roasting in a stupendous heat wave, we’ve never known anything like it. 

Every Thursday during the summer there is a communal BBQ

Town BBQ - bring your own meat and salad or you can buy it off the stalls
selling local produce set up around the park

We had a fabulous weekend with our great friends Marion and Phil and we were really sad to see them go very early on Sunday morning, the time went far too quickly. (Luckily for them they had booked into a hotel in Dole as they would have been far too hot to stay with us on the boat, we were cooking!)

The fountain looked very inviting to jump into to cool off

We walked to the river Doubs near the campsite in Dole
The weir is a great place to have a swim
Phil and I braved it, it was fantastic to cool off

The pictures can't convey how hot the weather was

Marion and Phil went home early Sunday morning, they stopped by at 7am to drop off 12 bottles of
mineral water for us, saved us lugging it back from the supermarket.  We've been going through so many bottles (of water!).
It was great that I was up early to see Phil and Marion because I saw lots of balloons take off just near the quay.

Early morning take off

On Sunday, late afternoon/early evening, a large 1927 23m Luxemotor barge called Nomadisch arrived into Dole.  There was no space for them to moor up on the quay, so we said they could moor alongside us.  The capitaine and his female crew of two, did an excellent good job of mooring up.  We then had people arriving at the quay to come onboard Nomadisch; a young couple and a little boy of about 3 yrs.  As he was so young, we let them walk through our wheelhouse to be able to clamber more safely onboard Nomadisch; then two young ladies arrived, one was carrying a racing bike on her shoulder and they came onboard our boat, still carrying the bike, to get onto Nomadisch. 

Our new, young neighbours

Makes our boat look so small
Rangali is 18m - Nomadisch is 23m

Later in the evening the young family and the original female crew of two, left to go home and we ended up chatting to the young Capitaine Jean Luc and the two girls who had arrived in the afternoon.  We found out that the old barge was a new venture for Jean Luc and that he had picked the barge up from Beziers on the canal du Midi, and had been travelling up the Rhone and Saône since 15th June with a variety of crew and that he was on his way to Besançon where he was going to do up the barge up as a live aboard.  Today we had just witnessed a changeover of crew.  The two girls who arrived with him this afternoon, had only been on the barge for two days, never having been on a barge before in their lives!!  We joked that if we’d known Jean Luc and his crew were so inexperienced that we wouldn’t have let them moor alongside us!! 

The new crew were two Spanish girls and were friends, one now lives in Besançon, and she knew Jean Luc, the other girl lived in Barcelona and knew him as well as we did!  Neither had been on a barge before.  Kev was very impressed that Jean Luc managed to get so many young women to crew for him. (I think Kev was wondering where he had gone wrong being stuck with just me!!!)

While we were chatting to them, we invited them to look at our boat to see what a new boat was like and one of the girls said that Jean Luc’s barge was ‘disgusting’ and that our boat was better and bigger than even her apartment in Barcelona!!  We ended up having a drink with them on our back deck and had a very interesting time talking to them.  The girl with the bike had cycled that day from Besançon, about 62km (over 3 hours) in the searing heat.  She said normally the Velo route was very popular and very busy but because of the heat wave she hardly saw anyone.  We don’t know how she managed as it had been in the high 30’s/low 40's all day.  The other young lady had travelled from Barcelona using a website that organizes car shares and she amazingly found someone who was leaving Barcelona early that morning who was travelling to Dole.  We do meet some interesting people.

Monday 6th July
Dole to Choisey
3km 2 locks 55 mins

We luckily weren’t in a hurry to get going this morning as we had to wait for Nomadisch to depart before we could move.  Jean Luc had to do his training session for his new crew before he could safely continue on his journey to Besançon. 

The two new girls are having their instruction

They are looking very concerned

Kev making sure they don't damage our paintwork.....all was fine

Jean-Luc concentrating hard

Au Revoir Nomadisch

We set off at 10am hoping to moor back at Choisey and luckily there was plenty of space for us and we were really pleased to see Tesserae moored up on the pontoon.  Tesserae is another Piper 60’ barge built the same year as Rangali.  We had a cup of tea with Louise and David and caught up on our news and they kindly invited us back for drinks at 6pm. 

So lovely to see Tesserae and also great to have lots of space to moor up


Later that day Détente, a steel cruiser arrived with Frank and Gill who we’d met at Migennes in April. Louise and David also knew them so we all met up at 6pm onboard Tesserae and we had a really lovely evening. 

Tuesday 7th July

We think today had been the most unbearable day, heat and humidity wise, our bodies were just sprouting water, we just couldn’t cool down.  We had a short, very heavy downpour, late afternoon due to a thundercloud going over us but the air afterwards was still very humid and then the sun came out again, so it didn't cool us down at all. 

We had everyone over to ours for pre-dinner drinks and we had a great evening…..I am not sure if we were a bad influence but we had everyone over for 6/6.30pm and we were still all drinking at11.30pm!!!  6 bottles of Cremant/wine and one 1.5l wine box later!!!!!  Dinner seemed to have been forgotten!

Wednesday 8th July

The heat wave is over……hurray!!!! We got dressed in our normal shorts and t-shirt when we got up this morning to realise we were actually feeling COLD!!!!  This is what we had fantasized about all week, suddenly you feel you can function properly.  It’s not really cold but its down to around 22-24 degrees C which is over 10-15 degrees cooler than it has been for 8/9 days.  Tesserae and Détente moved on today to Dole.  Tesserae may go on further depending if they find a suitable mooring in Dole.  We decided to stay at Choisey.  We walked up to the Grand Frais supermarket to buy bread and fresh salad and fruit.  We’ve decided that Grand Frais is our favourite supermarket, their selection of fruit and veg is amazing.

Hopefully we will see Tesserae later in the summer before they go down to the South of France

Détente tucked in at the end

We were so glad we saw Frank and Gill again this year