The journey begins . . . here.
Selling our boat
Friday 31st August 2018 – 24th September 2018
St-Jean-de-Losne to Gray and back
I had planned to do a day-by-day account of our boating for our last time on Shangri La. But I just couldn’t. We knew we had to sell her and at this point it was looking like she might just have been sold. A person doesn’t want to get their hopes up. Anything can go wrong. But this would be the end of a dream life meandering down tranquil waterways, exploring tiny towns, visiting bigger cities, emersing ourselves in amongst French people and learning to speak and eat and live, just like they do. I was happy and sad in equal measure. But I felt lost. We were losing our “Happy Place’. Who was buying her? Would they love her like we did? All we hoped for was to enjoy our last few weeks on Shangri La and to deliver her to her new owners in the best condition possible.
Our first day back on board we woke up late and prioritised catching up with commuications. Our boat was parked right at the front of the “For Sale” section so we had Wi-Fi on board. Yay! Wi-Fi is excellent at H2O marina in St-Jean-de-Losne. Except it was a little less “Yay” when I realised how much catching up I needed to do. Firstly we needed to revive our life back in Cape Town. Menus, recipes, tests runs, photographs, social media for the one business. And then we had to deal with bills, tax and a massive backlog of e-mails that weren’t urgent, but could no longer be ignored. Laundry, food shopping, cleaning, preparing for some friends who were joining us in a day and trying to get our rudimentary French going again. I wanted to go straight back to bed. It was hard to decide which was the most important issue to tackle.
And then of course we had boat repairs to deal with. These are an inescapable fact of life on a boat. And one aspect of boating we would definitley not miss. My better half is near obsessive in replacing and tightening and cleaning and checking. But cold winters and then hot engines as well as vibrations from motion and idling will inevitably cause connections to be compromised. Ignore them and they turn into even bigger boat repairs. Getting on top of this was his top priority.
Most of the things my other half had earmarked for fixing had – for the most part – been dealt with. But when it comes to boats, if you’re not around, you go to the bottom of the pile. Other boats have problems too and if their problems are greater than yours or they complain louder or more. You’re issues get forgotten. The last few things had simply not been done in the 6 weeks we’d been away. We had an oil leak coming from some connection relating to something in the engine. Not a big one. But a persistent one. The engineer arrived late morning and before long the floor boards were up and he was delving into the bowels of the boat. It is disruptive and I felt beyond unmotivated to do anything at all. It’s not easy to move around with no floor boards so I gave myself permission to take time out and caught up with news, blogs, Mail Chimp newsletters and e-mails. By close of day and beginning of the weekend, sadly the problem had not been fully resolved.
The next day our lovely friends arrived laden with vegan food from the Netherlands. So kind. They had recently emigrated from South Africa to Holland. Sigh! They’re also vegan so they know exactly what vegans miss. We only had two nights with them but it was wonderful to have them with us. France has been kind to us. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a myth that French people are unfriendly. But there is definitely a connection between people who have the same heritage that runs deep. I see it when we bump into fellow South Africans on the waterways. Complete strangers embrace like long lost friends.
The journey continues . . . . . . on this link.