Disaster with the mast

Bordeaux Travel Blog

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DAY 23

Sunday 1st July

The mast comes down

The very helpful man in the marina said he could lift the mast out on Monday, but we needed to have everything loosened and ready so I set to. Not really knowing where to start I loosened a pin on the forestay and the mast fell down, raising a lot of interest in the marina and lots of consternation in the Frenchman in the boat behind, who’s boat cushion the fall. We spent the rest of the day untangling the rigging and apologising to the Frenchman. The damage wasn’t too bad, just a small chip in his deck. I made it up to him by helping him lift a new, very heavy engine into his friend’s boat. Anyway, I saved the 80 Euro crane fee.

DAY 24

Monday 2nd July

Got to know Ron and his partner on a nearby boat. They have been away from the UK for 7 years and spent last winter in Rome; gives you ideas when you talk to people. Anyway, Ron turned out to be extremely helpful and spent the morning helping me to undo some very large screws holding the arch together; the arch is over the stern of the boat and carries the traveller. The man in the marina said I would have to take it off to get through some of the tunnels on the Canal du Midi. Also met Tony who kindly gave me a plank and a book about the Canal du Midi. We are starting to meet more interesting and certainly more helpful people now

Left Pauillac at 6pm to catch the tide up to Begles. We had to time our arrival at Begles just right, said the man in the marina, otherwise the current would smash us into the pontoon. An exaggeration I thought until we got out into the river and were carried along by a 5 knot tide. Arrived at Begles at 10pm which turned out to be exactly right as everything was calm.

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photo by: anywien