49° 2′ 39.6348” N 3° 58′ 1.56” E
July 4, 2015
The day is spent cleaning Ronja, soapy water and algae remover, water tanks and a gigantic shopping in Carrefour and – for Lasse, Tian Ling and Nellie – an excursion to the deep cellars under the champagne producer Mercier, who has so many kilometers of underground passages with fermenting bottles, that they have invested in an underground train to get around.
In the evening we barbecue dinner on the quayside. The sun grilling us from above. The heat wave.
July 3, 2015
After a late lunch in the town of Bouillon on the border between Belgium and France, we arrive in the late afternoon to Epernay. Great reception.
Port captain, Monsieur Bernard, explains with grand gestures, how he has been fighting against nature’s unpredictable attacks on Ronja through the winter. Five times, the sea level has risen in the Marne River. Way up there, he says, pointing high up the slope over Ronja. Five times he has been out and reinforce the sloped path to keep Ronja clear of the quay.
There has been some progress in the fight, though we must understand, that it has been a struggle against powerful forces. Madame Bernard kisses his cheek and consents: Monsieur Bernard fought and won.
It is more than 11 months ago, we left Ronja in Epernay with engine problems. She seems fine now. Dusty, dirty. But overall in a better state than, when we revisited her last year after an entire winter in a port north of Paris.
We pick Kirsten up at Epernay train station at 9 o’clock p.m. She has had a meeting at the school Friday morning, and therefore she travelled to Epernay by plane and train. We ate a late dinner in the heavy heat wave. Even at midnight it feels like well over 30 degrees.