What a season it was! Great from the point that we sold Shangri La to a good home, and that we achieved a reasonable price. Not so good from the cruising point of view.
With regards to the first point – when we bought Shangri La at the end of 2012, I said that we must aim for at least five years with three months cruising each year, and, be able to sell her for more-or- less what we paid. Well we had her for 6 summers. We had nearly three months aboard each year, and the exchange rate (Euro/Pound) played into my hand and, even after agent’s fees, I got back a few hundred pounds more than I paid for her! So not bad. Yes, we did spend quite a bit maintaining her, but I think it paid off.
And boy do we miss her! We loved our time aboard.
And with regards to the second point – we really did not do much cruising, mainly because we had more mechanical problems than before, and we were fitting in around the sale procedure.
So where did we go this year?
We returned to Shangri La in Roanne where she had been wintered. From there we motored back down the Canal de Roanne a Digoin to Digoin. Detoured via Canal Lateral a la Loire to Decize. Backtracked to Digoin and via Canal du Centre to Chalon-sur-Soane and then back up the Saone to St Jean-de-Losne. Followed by a brief trip to Auxerre. And then up to Gray and back. (See first photo)
For the year – 520 Kms, 100 Locks, 95.5 Engine hours. Not much at all when compared to 2015 when we did the trip from Netherlands, through Belgium, and into France where we did 1274 Kms, 300 locks and over 200 Engine hours. (See second photo)
The plan had been to attend to the mechanical issues with the help of a South African engineer who was based in Roanne. Unfortunately, he was taken ill and there were no other options but to keep things going as best by myself. As any boater will know, the issue usually is the access to the engine. As I repeatedly said to my wife, if the engine was standing nicely on a work bench I would have no problem fixing anything. The trouble is at my age, working upside down, twisted into a figure of eight, sweat dripping on one’s glasses, not being 100% sure what one is doing…………
When we got to H2O I hoped they would solve all, but they didn’t really. We managed to get up the Saone to Gray, which quite honestly was a bit of a disappointment, considering the rave reviews it gets.
The highlights for us are always the quiet, ‘wild’ stops we find, and the people and boaters we meet along the way.
The pictures can speak for themselves:
The last two I suppose were not really wild in the true sense, but they were not at a quay or jetty and there was no power or water or ablutions.
For Karen’s take on our travels see her blog here