Saturday, 29 April 2017

16th - 22nd April 2017

We spent our first week with a lovely family, who arrived from sunny California and Costa Rica.  All week the barge rang with three languages.  Captain Francisco was in his element, speaking in his mother tongue - Spanish - with the younger generation in the wheelhouse.

Superb Kimberley and George our hosts created magic in so many ways, George's butter man was highly amusing! Thank you for seeing through the start of our season George. Happy travels onwards.

Mr Butter-fingers George with his butter-man

Jade our returning chef from last season, swung into gear.  Following the impressive array of DIY skills during the refit weeks, one could be forgiven for forgetting Jade was the Luciole chef! High five to you cheffy.

Ian is our new matelot for this season and he learnt the ropes and counting the Luciole into the locks so quickly. William as a past matelot was present to guide Ian through the learning of the ropes, in every sense, passing on the Luciole traditions. 

Andy drove the bus with his usual calm aplomb, guiding the passengers on the visits and explaining of yesteryear. He also proved he had not lost his mooring spike hammering skills over the winter months!

Mooring in the countryside

Our lovely family, watched the bird life along the river bank. Heard the nightingales, watched the diving grebe and the swooping swallows in Vincelles. Jim you will be remembered for your passion, with your trusty binoculars of our feathered friends. It was a lovely start to our season. Our thanks to you all.

Auxerre agent rendezvous

Kindly visiting from around the globe, a group of barge agents, on a short cruise from Vincelles to Auxerre. Wined and dined in the evening in celebration of 50 years of barging, a speech by the man who started it all, Richard Parsons, aptly joined by his son George who was helping us out on the Luciole.

Some major changes on the Luciole; moving of the stair case to create more room in the saloon, new passenger bathrooms in the stern and new crew cabins in the bow. A mammoth effort by all to get her ready on time, of which we are extremely grateful to all the effort put in.

Dinner was then served for 32 in a hotel on the quay. A lovely evening shared by old and new faces. We thank those who joined us and those who helped out.

Barge agents cruising into Auxerre

Richard Parsons, his right hand man, son George.