In the stronghold of indland waterway sailors
47° 6′ 3.1968” N
5° 15′ 52.2792” E
July 17, 2016
We shop and break up. The air is sultry. The weather forecast promises 38 degrees, perhaps with thunder. It turns out to be a fine decision to drop the extra day in Auxonne, for out on the river there is wind and relative coolness. We sail to St-Jean-de-Losne – inland waterway sailors stronghold. Here, the multiple channels run together. Here, most sailors pass, whether south or northbound.
In a large inner harbour are 250 large riverboats. At the start of the Canal de Bourgogne is a further hundred, and out on the Saone River is the major, rebuilt boats and people like us, who with a draft of 1.75 cannot enter the inner harbour without going aground. The official Fluvia chart says otherwise, that there is room for a draft of 1.80, but several have warned us, that it has no basis in reality. There is a maximum of 1.40 meters.
After getting diesel from something as rare as a river located diesel station, we place ourselves beside a warm Dutch couple, who have moored in the river and signal us, that we are welcome outside their boat. Shortly after we get an extra bout at our side – our friends, the Swedish boat Sofia, who like us are heading towards the Mediterranean in a maxi-yacht. The boat is sailed by a couple, who are on leave until the end of October and wants to sail around Greece, where the man originally come from. He moved to Sweden in 1987.
We have been sailing with them – more or less – since Chalon-sur-Champagne, where they witnessed our fatal motor collapse on the day, that we since have tried to forget.
We explore the city. It is more charming than Auxonne, less poor, less worn, and a little more accommodating. At the same time, however it is a tiny town with its main profile from the riverboats lying all year round for the repair, winter storage, conversion. We move around in slow motion from shadow to shadow to not be affected by the heatwave, which, , according to the Norwegian weather service YR thankfully is over tomorrow, then instead we get rain showers and only 27 degrees. Hallelujah! It will be a celebration.
We are happy with YR, probably because they often promise better weather than other weather services. But let’s see.
The worst thing about heat waves are the nights. The many hours where you are bathed in sweat trying to rest. We remind ourselves, that if you want to explore the hot countries, you have to accept the heat, that comes with them. But we actually discuss these days, that conclusion on our “Ronja Around the World trip” may be, that the very best sailing ground in the world is Denmark. Well, right now we cross our fingers, that YR gets the weather right.
Log book: Today’s distance: 18 km. Sailed time from 10.00 to 12.00 = 2 hours. Locks: 1. Weather: Unbearable in port. The sun beats all day long.