Surprise: Reliable french craftsmen?

Surprise: Reliable french craftsmen?

Posted on Jul 29, 2015

43° 23′ 16.2492” N 4° 48′ 11.61” E

July 29, 2015

We pinch ourselves in the arms. What is with the French? All craftmen actually showed up at the agreed upon time. We explain what we want done, and they promise to submit estimates on tasks within a few days.

The motor man has a spontaneous laugh when he goes down to the engine room and sees the universal joint, as we have twice had it repaired in northern France. “What happened here”? he asks, as he had finished laughing. He does not believe, it is a viable repair that we had made. We doubt that ourselves, so we ask him to do an estimate on a new installation. New spare part. New installation.

When we receive his offer by mail later in the day, we must pinch ourselves in the arm again. New parts: 4,000 DKK. Wages: 2,000 DKK. Devil and Hell. At the garage mechanic in Epernay the cost of the spare part was 12,000 DKK and the total repair amounted to 23,000 DKK (approximately 3.000 €). Life is full of hard lessons. It is important to learn as much as possible along the way. So we do.

At 10 o’clock we say goodbye to Ronja, leave the keys to Florence at the port office, and put Jørgens car in gear bound for Denmark with a few nights spent in postcard-beautiful Eguisheim in Alsace, where we take two nights to savour the beautiful Alsace wines, to celebrate Hannes’s birthday and to gather strength for the last day’s drive to Denmark.


Ronja at her home for the next 11 months. Navy Service at the brink of the Mediterranean

Happy moment: Boat and mast reunited after two years

Posted on Jul 28, 2015

43° 23′ 16.2492” N 4° 48′ 11.61” E

July 28, 2015

Port Saint-Louis-du-Rhone: It is the day of reunification. After having sent Ronjas mast and boom from Rouen in northern France to the Mediterranean with a german lorry in 2013, today will show whether the mast will be found – or whether, in the two years has been lost or sold to a scrapyard.

It’s there! It is in the forefront of all masts, it has the port’s absolute lowest registration-number, and Florence at the port office looks a second time, when she sees, that it has been here for more than two years.

Port Saint Louis du Rhone mast found

Long time no see. Yes! The mast has not been scapped, though we have been under our way to the reunion for an extra year

Navy Service turns out to be a super acquaintance. The company specializes in taking boats out and in the water, and taking masts of or putting them on again.  Also, if you want help with inspections and repairs, then the site contains a number of smaller companies that offer their assistance.

We get at time for picking Ronja out of the water at four o’clock. Ronja are ready on time at Navy Service, and at 16:30 she is solid in a winter stand monitored by video cameras right beside the harbour office. Perfect.

We are contacting three companies and ask them to meet us at Ronja next morning between 8 and 9. One company we want to repair the bow thruster and give the engine an overhaul. The second company we want to sew a new spray hood and modify the cockpit tent, so that it works better in warm climates. The third company, we want to make an offer for fiberglass repair, cleaning, antifouling and polishing of the freeboard.

Ronja has marks of her trip through close to 200 locks. Enough marks that we will have to have something done about it. The freeboard has got a few scratches, which hopefully can be polished out. The keel is a more damaged. It has got some damage to the fibreglass at the front of the bottom- certainly from the part of the journey, where we scraped over the channel’s concrete base, because the water level was 40 centimetres below the normal water level.


Port Saint Louis du Rhone Navy Service keel

The keel is damaged in the fibreglass at the front and the bottom- and we know exactly where that happened