We knew it was coming, but we still watched in mock horror as the Peniche crawled past our little fleet less than thirty minutes before we had access to the waterway.
A quick international conference was called, and it was unanimously decided that we had nothing to gain by attempting to follow the thing all day when there was a perfectly good tree to sit under right where we were. Then, someone did the maths and discovered that if we left after three hours we would catch up with it in Pagny, five kilometres away, where there are some more trees and more picnic tables and a splendid workers cafe.
There was no need to take a vote. Four boats laden with Australians, Germans, Dutchmen (and women) and a dog which spoke at least three languages converged almost as one on Pagny, and settled (after lunch) in the shade of the cherry trees where, interspersed with the odd nap, the problems of the world were solved.