If the absence of anything resembling life as we know it was disconcerting in the evening, it seemed even more so when we woke. Despite using our best endeavours we couldn’t find anyone to take our mooring fees before we left. On the one hand that means we have eight Euros to pour back into the well being of businesses along the way, but there was a small warning tinkling in the backs of our heads. How can these businesses continue to provide services without payment for them?
It turned out that the tinkle was actually a real warning that we hadn’t heeded; it was the sound of the swings moving gently in the abandoned playground. Lest imaginations begin to work overtime, there were no axe-wielding fiends just out of scene, but the wind was steadily increasing, and with that comes a commensurate increase in the degree of difficulty in navigation.
Winds that in a sailing boat on an open water would be welcomed create near havoc in shallow draft boat in a narrow space. Seen in a positive light though, fighting its attempts to convince us that it was possible to fit ten metres of boat sideways into a five metre wide lock on a couple of occasions put us in good stead for when we arrived at Châtillon.
Mooring in the wind can bring out the inner Tourette’s in anyone. Mooring in the wind in a crowded harbour is the time when words long repressed rise involuntarily to the surface, whispers become shouts which in turn can be misinterpreted and become shouted replies over the roar of an engine in full astern, NO ahead, NO the other way. This is one of those activities which entirely more fun to be a spectator than to be a participant.
So perhaps it was to everyone’s surprise, not the least of them ours, when we managed through a combination of miracle and accident to slot without fuss, neatly in the only available position in the harbour, with millimetres to spare all round apparently using little more than telepathy. Here we will sit for a day or two in the shadow of the Chateau hoping that our departure will appear to be equally controlled.