Wednesday, June 14, 2006


After a lovely time with our friends Jamie and Anne on their boat, we came back to Cambrai to do some more work on Biesbosch and to have it looking nice for our first visitors. The weather was awful, however, until the day they arrived. We managed to do some touch ups between rainstorms, but not much to the exterior. In the wheelhouse Bill was able to set the table so the four of us could eat together. It is a beautiful mahogany table which he built in California and finished here.

Jeff and Susan were coming from Italy where they spent a few days in Lake Como. They went to Paris for a few days and took the train to come to see us. Bill picked them up at the station in Cambrai and brought them over to the boat. This was a totally new experience for them. Although it was still a bit cool, we had good weather when cruising to Vaucelles the next day. The trip is about four hours along the St. Quentin Canal. It is a lovely stretch with 11 locks between Cambrai and the abbey. Vaucelles is a XIII C. Abbey which is said to have had the second largest library in France. It has suffered horrible damage especially during WW I. Throughout the year many events are held there to collect funds for the restoration of the abbey. We happened to be there on Monday of Pentecost, when they were having a sort of art fair. There were dancers, a fashion show, artists of all types and food in the gardens. It was a gorgeous day for such event, so we very much enjoyed it. The walk from the boat to the Abbey is less than 10 minutes.

We had drinks and dinner on the boat and managed to have a good night sleep despite the fact that Jeff was getting a cold. He was such a good sport about the whole thing, although he was not feeling well. On Tuesday we had a leisurely breakfast on the boat and started our trip back around 1100 AM. The morning was sunny and crisp, but by the time we got back, it had warmed up a bit. Upon our return, we went to the train station to see about buying tickets for their trip back to Paris. After that, Jeff and Susan took us out to a lovely restaurant where we had a very nice meal. Wednesday around lunchtime, Bill drove them to Douai, a nearby town so they could take the TGV straight to Charles de Gaulle Airport. It was sad to say good bye, but it was wonderful to have had the chance to share this experience with them. It meant a lot to us.

It has been a week since the weather changed. We are finally having summer weather. The last 3 days, the temperature has gone up to 35 C, very hot but dry. Bill is now setting the floor in the wheelhouse, and I am finishing a table he built for the living room. Today is supposed to be another hot day, so I am sure a lot will be accomplished. Our friends Tag and Enid are going cruising tomorrow, so we are having them over for dinner tonight.

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