Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stumped by Rechicourt - AGAIN!

The big angry mean sucker which telepathically removes parts of our boats workings and habitually refuses to let us pass and to which we have on occasion referred to perhaps over-familiarly as "Rechicourt" is by its full name, Ecluse 2 - Rechicourt-le-Chateau. Once we joked that it was our nemesis. We even proudly proclaimed that we had it's number now, or thought we had, passing through it's clutches smoothly and without incident on our outward journey.

No thought at all, except perhaps for taunting it by taking the photo above, until the starter motor failed to so much as turn over after we had sat patiently for it to fill, in a silence interrupted only by the odd call of a cuckoo in the trees nearby.

I obtained permission from the eclusier to push poor crippled Joyeux into the creature's bowel, convinced that I could find the problem before we ourselves would be spat out fifteen metres below. As a contingency, I wisely made friends with the young Swiss chap in the boat ahead, and surreptitiously passed a line across, "just in case, you understand".

After leaving no stone unturned in my diagnostic process, and being completely flummoxed by the starter motor's lack of co-operation, I did what any sensible person would do; accepted the tow to the bank, and had lunch.

There was no point in making any calls for help in any case, as everyone else in the country was occupied doing exactly that and would be for at least the next two hours. When finally the phone was answered, after an ever increasingly halting conversation in English, having failed to understand so much as one word I offered in his native tongue, the young man at the end of the phone enquired if I was actually speaking German.

I suspect there are now several drawing boards to which I must return.


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