49° 26′ 35.6352” N 1° 5′ 59.8956” E
July 21. – 2013
We say goodbye to Monsieur Eric. We say goodbye to the French couple, who are staying in Rouen for another three days while they get their mast put on again, and we seek our one hundred percent French-speaking friend at Lamanage, because we are in search of two pieces of fender boards. At first he is unable to understand one bit. He believes we are in search of a kind of trestle where we can chock Ronjas boom up. Only slowly he understands the fumbling nature of our handling of the French language. “Oh, You want another board,” he says, pointing at the board, we have already stolen at his harbour area.
He takes us in search of a stack of wood and pallets. We find some old, great boards and point where we would like to have holes in the board, which is hard to explain, when you do not remember the French word for hole. Finally we succed. Per offers him 10 Euro as thanks for his help. But he refuses. And we thank him the more verbally with our still somewhat rusty French.
We sail for almost eight hours on an increasingly abandoned Seine. Beautiful. Desolate and largely without moorings. The rule in France is that yachts may not sail later than half an hour before sunset. So we must seize the opportunities that arise.
In the town of Les Andelys we hope to have some luck. They have no ports. But we bet on a particular jetty for river cruising ships. There are no cruise ships at the moment. So we think it will work? It does not. A French person from a riverboat nearby stands up and shouts. “Get away! Not even I am allowed to moore there!« We understand only a little of his tirade and an attempt to get him to indicate where else we can moor, gives no result.
We drift further up the Seine River looking for an anchorage for the night.
Damn Frenchmen. They are apparently still dismissive toward strangers. We have read that French people working in the hospitality industry are sent on courses to learn something new: Being friendly and service-minded towards strangers. Surveys have been shown, that foreigners generally perceive French as arrogant and condescending. And that image the French government wants to do something about. But our aggressive and vociferous friend in Les Andelys probably does not work in the hospitality industry.
Some kilometres further up the river we find a bulwark intended for barges ten times as long as ourselves. We make Ronja firm to the bullwark, and again we find that we’ve got a great place with sunset, birdsong and peace for another wonderful evening meal.
The river map says that there are another 168 kilometres to Paris.
Log-book: Sailed distance: 33 miles. Time: We leave at 12 o’clock after having stowed the sails and bicycles and garden bunkered diesel, which in these parts is in entirety Gasole. Weather: Magnificently hot. Hot in the morning and up to 34 degrees at seven o’clock in the evening. Perhaps we should go back home to more humane temperatures?