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Published: April 17th 2017
Welcome to Spring in Paris
or is it "April in Paris??" Either way, it is wonderful
Cell phone connected
Sand & varnish right side of boat
Cleaned & organized garage
Cleaned & organized head
Walk St. Martin canal and Butt-C? park
Walk at night along Seine
Went to market
Got refrigerator fixed
Still doing more
Started washing boat
Went to marine store
Picnic in the park
Our first week back in Paris and it has been busy with many housekeeping chores that needed to be done, but still got off the boat a few times to do some exploration. We were greeted with beautiful weather when we returned with lots of flowers in bloom and flowering trees in their glory. After a long trip and traveling over 6 time zones, the first we had to deal with was jet lag. We ate and slept at strange hours for a couple of days, but in between our “naps” we took care of some business. With dependence on wi-fi for our communications one of the first things we did was get to the “Free Mobile” store to get the correct sim card for our new phone which gives us 100 GB of data a
month and unlimited phone calls (with the ability to call the US as well as other countries here in Europe) – a great deal indeed.
Of course with being gone for the winter the cupboards were bare of the basics so early the first morning we went to the shop to get a few basics such as yogurt, cheese, eggs, milk and bread. When we got back to the boat we realized that the refrigerator was not working – oops! Fortunately we didn’t stock up on too much and the marina sells ice (which is quite dear in price, but currently necessary). We will have to find out if there is a repair person around to help out. It seems with all of these boats in the marina with many of them liveaboards we shouldn’t have a problem. Well, think again as we found that many of the boats here do not have built in refrigeration systems like ours, but separate units more like a refrigerator in your home which are built quite different from ours.
night we were here was the regularly scheduled barbeque at the marina so went to that to catch up with
people that we had met in the Fall. We were really surprised to also meet up with people that we had first met back in 2011 in Trinidad. This was actually the 5th
time we have “bumped” into them. It definitely is a small world. Since seeing them in the Azores, Portugal and the UK they changed from a sailboat to a canal barge – fortunately for us they invited us for a tour of their new boat and got in some more socializing with others as well. What a difference from a sailboat – it is definitely a beautiful “cottage on the water” in the true sense of the word complete with a fireplace!
Well, the refrigerator became the top priority and after checking around with others in the marina we decided to check with the local chandlery (marine store). Fortunately for us the person working there (Paul) was very helpful and even called a couple of places. He connected with Delta Electric and told us they would come to the boat on Monday. We told others in the marina about our luck and everyone was suspicious as they wondered if they really would come on that day
Tango Seems To Be Popular Here
many were experienced but others were learning
as most have not had that much luck with getting repair people that quickly. Lucky for us they called Monday AM, told us when they were coming and they arrived on time. Even better within a short time they had charged up the refrigeration system. We had hoped to have them check the lines as well to see if we had a leak, but he told us that he thinks we lost refrigerate because Bob decided to adjust the thermostat for the winter this year. We haven’t done this in the past and guess now we won’t ever again! He thinks that the lack of pressure on the gaskets is what caused us to lose the refrigerate. It wasn’t a cheap fix (200 Euros cash as they don’t take credit cards), but it is definitely worth it to get it working again. When I stated earlier that he told us what he thought caused the problem it definitely wasn’t due to our command of the French language or his of English. Thank goodness for the iPad and translation apps where you can just say what you want in one language and it speaks in the other – what did we
do before such great technology!
The city of Paris may be the City of Lights but it like other cities is a dirty one as can be seen by the accumulation of dirt on the boat and our canvas. We had our canvas professionally cleaned in the Netherlands, but now it looks as dirty as it did before the cleaning – oh well, another project to work on.
Bob has been busy since getting back to the boat working on cleaning the outside of the boat (with much more to do), but with the wonderful weather he concentrated on sanding and varnishing the teak on the starboard (right side) of the boat. He has gotten quite a few coats on, but definitely want to put more on before he calls it “done”.
I don’t want you to think that Bob was the only one doing work on the boat. I was working on the inside. First we had to do some major adjustments in order to just get the suitcases put away. We have a spot that we typically keep them, but … it is in the back of our garage and we had filled it in
with other things when we had to put the mainsail and staysail inside the boat last fall when the mast came down. With only small storage areas on a 40 foot boat you take advantage of every opening you have and fill it! This project meant crawling back into the aft quarter berth, rearranging everything and actually taking stock of it all to see if there were better places for the “stuff” or if we could finally part with it. Fortunately we did a little bit of both. Just now hope we will remember where we moved everything to – thank goodness for our excel inventory spreadsheet!
One of the first evenings we were back we took a lovely evening walk along the Seine and then returned to the boat through town. It is so lovely to be able to walk around in the evening in April with only a light jacket on. It is nice to return to a city that we have spent some time in before as we at least know our way around enough to be able to take a wander and know our way back without a map! It was a pleasant weekend evening
and everyone was out having picnics or just socializing along the river. There were even a couple of places where you could stop to listen to music and one area where we stopped to watch some great tango moves.
On Sunday morning we heard drumming from our boat for a “long time” - we had no idea what was happening but there was no let up so decided to go check it out as it was coming from up on the street bordering the marina. Once we were on street level we saw lots and lots and lots of runners with a group of “cheerleaders” drumming and cheering the runners on. We could see we were trapped by runners going completely around the marina – as we walked around for other views we finally saw the signs advertising the Paris Marathon. Now we know what one looks like! We watched for a while seeing runners of all ages and abilities, walked near one of the watering tables where people were either taking the time to take a sip of water or just pouring it over their head leaving a road full of broken plastic cups (we did see that
the cleanup crew cleared them out quickly afterwards). We had hopes of going to the market that day nearby at Bastille. Finally we saw our chance and ran across the street when there was an opening. This is how everyone was dealing with moving around this area. As always we enjoy our trips to the open air markets. This is not the one we typically go to but as it was later in the morning we went to the closest one to us. It has everything you could ever want and more! We always have to be careful to buy only what we can cook in the next few days but more importantly what we can easily store either in the refrigerator or counter. We have to help each other out with willpower on that one as everything looks so good.
We would try to work on the boat in the morning and then do some walking around the city in the afternoons when we could. One day we took our friends advice and walked up along the St. Martin canal, stopped for lunch at L’Atmosphere for probably the best burgers we’ve had in a very long
time and then headed over to Parc Butte-Chaumont. We hadn’t heard anything about this park but it looked like it wouldn’t be too far to walk to and still give us time to be back to the boat in time for Bob to put another coat of varnish on the boat. The park is lovely with grassy hills for people to lie on, a nice lake to sit beside and plenty of walking trails. It is nice to see so many green spaces within the city of Paris. In doing some research found out that Napoleon III envisioned this park as being a garden showcase. It was established in 1867 and there are currently 47 different species of trees, shrubs and plants in the park with many of them here since the initiation of the park. Many of the species are from Asia, but you will also see in one of the photos a Giant Sequoia. When the park was started it was just outside the limits of Paris with this area actually having been a refuse dump. Another part of the park was a former gypsum and limestone quarry which you can still see some of the quarry walls
today. This is where there is a land-made lake with a suspension bridge running over it. It took 3 years of lots of hard work and plenty of topsoil for terracing to get it to the beautiful place it is today. From some of the photos you will now see that parts of the city actually surround the park, giving the residents here a beautiful reprieve from the city. It made for a wonderful afternoon outing and still got us back to the boat in time for Bob to put one more coat of varnish on.
We spent some time doing a major re-organizing and cleaning as will be having a few people over. Company always gives us a good excuse for a thorough cleaning! We were very excited to re-connect with a niece that we haven’t seen since 1979! Thankfully with Facebook we have been in touch recently and knew that she and her family were going to take a vacation in London and Paris. How lucky for us that they took time out of their vacation to come to Tsamaya to see us! It was wonderful to connect with Amy again after all these years as well
Back "Home" on Tsamaya
as the pillow says "Boat Sweet Boat" - thanks Fran!
as meet her wonderful family. Her husband David and she have definitely done a wonderful job of raising Hannah and Colin. It was our delight to host them for lunch this past Saturday. Hopefully it will not be as long before we see them again. Always great to connect with family wherever it is!
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