Sunday, 26 June 2011

Week 19 - 26 June

Cruising from Auxerre to Clamecy this week; 7 passengers took a balloon trip, leaving from Lucy sur Yonne - flying to and over Vezelay’s basilica - apparently an incredible experience.

Balloon flights from the Luciole towards the Basilica of Vezelay,  over the glorious Burgundy countryside
A first for me this week, I fell in the canal. Helping Alice to retrieve a lost item with a broom she over balanced, bringing me in with her! Dressed up in our smart clothes just after captain's dinner. It was a bit of a shock to the system, and worst of all; caught on video camera! 

Overall a really relaxing week, one couple returning to the Luciole 3 years later, bringing friends. June is coming to end and the hot summer weather is starting to arrive.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Week 12 - 18 June

The 8th week already! Time flies when you’re having fun. Burgundy as beautiful as always. Photo below showing the Luciole in the lock, while passengers take photos of the butterflies and bees in the lavender.

Week went very well, no real bumps into the locks and the boat looking top notch.  Some fantastic skies this week: in Auxerre the sun setting on storm clouds, a river sunset at Bailly and the full moon earlier in the week.

Passengers were great. One of whom travelled miles on the Luciole bikes, while others relaxed with the slow pace of the cruise and Burgundy life style.

Our passengers catching a snap of the butterflies on the lock house lavender

Week 5 - 11 June

A fantastic week. A great group on the Luciole who re-set the high bar. Lots of laughs from the moment they stepped onboard till the very end. Highlights being the continuous pranks played on the girls during service and through out the cruise, everyone in the kitchen helping Sebastian the chef, every passenger donning a life jacket (as a joke) and the Rose wine went down very well! A great sunset in Bailly over the river once again allowed some fantastic photos.

Luciole passengers enjoying chef Sebastian's delicious diner 
A bit of rain this week didn’t manage to dampen the spirits and Sebastian's food was loved - as shown in the picture above! A trip to hospital for myself to sort out my hands and my first transfer to Paris in the bus was rather daunting but all went well in the end.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Week 29 May - 4 June

Sunset over the River Yonne from the deck of the Luciole
This week started with a bang. The second lock we became stuck on a log, two metres long and hidden bellow the water line – the width perfectly fitted the gap between the lock wall and the boat. Trapped half way out, unable to continue or reverse back into the lock. After various scratching of heads it became apparent there was only one solution; a tractor was called, within 3 minutes of the farmer arriving we were pulled back off the log enabling it to be fished out – it was huge! Cruising was resumed and so did the week. Who said barging was boring? 

The passengers made full use of the bikes and well kept towpath, as well as swimming in the river at Lucy and Bailly. A mid week storm provided a freshness to the air after a hot day and helped relieve the areas drought after all the good weather.

Week 22 - 28 May

Lavender sky over the Luciole on her tranquil mooring at Lucy-sur-Yonne
Purple sky as the sunsets, the Luciole moored at Lucy sur Yonne next to the old village wash house, just off to the left is the river Yonne which passes through an old mill just up river.

An active week; cycling, walking and fishing. Cruising is still going extremely well, the dreaded lock of Basseville – where the river current crosses perpendicular to the lock entrance, was entered without a bump – that’s two weeks in a row! Hopefully that’s not jinxed it. A Birthday celebration made captains dinner ever more special.

Week 15 -21 May

The barge Luciole leaves a lock escorted by swans

Chef Sebastian's delicious gourmet puddings
Another great week, another ‘wedding’? Champagne and cake for all. Remembered for the nicknames given to the crew: The tailor – Francisco for his ability to thread the eye of a needle (the boat into the lock) Gandalf – Sebastian, for his magical cooking. The women that lived in the shoe – the girls. Swiss army knife – me? Googless Wikipedius – Neil for his unfathomable knowledge.

The sky has been incredible this week, with some fantastic sunsets. The canal is getting busier with summer months, and the water level is getting extremely low. We’ve passed herons fishing, cows grazing and hawks circling, don’t think I will ever get bored of this scenery. The photo above show an escort of swans as we leave the lock.

Week 8 - 14 May

Luciole takes on extra passengers looking for greener pastures!
   Various generations from a family of nine were on board this week, with a great mix of ages and by the end of the week had gained four more members, with the four others fitting in amazingly. Plenty of sunshine but with a much needed storm thrown in overnight, soaked the region and provided a spectacular lightening storm. Photo above of two horses using the boat to cross into a grazing paddock - providing an alarm clock for the chef!
    Lots of card games this week, with some chess and jumping off the boat thrown in. The Birthday of passenger Paul meant an evening of celebrations. 
    Made some great friends with smiles all around, continued the season at the same high level of where it left off, having to remind myself that i’m working and not just on holiday as well!

Week 24 - 30 April

Luicole in the early morning at Mailly-le-Chateau
  The second week saw a mixture of nationalities: American, Australian and English. Water level on the canal was low meaning we got stuck! Sat on the bottom, saved by some extra water provided by the lock keeper we lifted off, cruising continued, further dramas included a snapping of a bow rope, quick reactions helped saved the lock gates and probably the boat. Sun and cool air made a pleasant week for sitting on the sundeck drinking cocktails. Returning to Auxerre

Week 17 - 23 April

The 2011 season has officially started, and what a great week to start off. The boat was looking as good as new. Cruising went without a glitch and the weather was perfect, especially for April. Seb’s food set off at the same incredible standard he finished last year and the two new girls coped with everything.

Barge Luciole's wonderful crew from left to right: Captain Neil, deckhand Will Liley, hostesses Alice & Fiona, chef Sebastian and pilot Francisco

A lively bunch of 14 American/Canadian passengers got on extremely well, the highlight of the week being the re-marriage in celebration of two client’s anniversary - with Captain Neil playing the roll of priest and the crew providing the live band. Pilot Francisco’s birthday was another celebration. 

Spent the week laughing and met some great characters, some of which I had trouble keeping up with. Some great memories had by all, and now looking forward to the rest of the season.