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To Frontignan

April 24, 2014
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Last night we went into town to get dinner. It was my kind of restaurant–lots of color and eclectic art.

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We were in a marina so our water needs were cut off. Bathrooms and showers were over half a mile from the boat, so that is why we chose to eat out. We were backon the water at 8:45 having to steer clear of oyster and mussel traps.

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20140424-190831.jpgwe were searching for a drawbridge after open seas to get to ournew canal. We thought we were there but we were in the port de Sete.

20140424-190949.jpgtimes to go through were limited, but weweren’tcertain we were in the right place.we had a confabto look at maps and check google maps.

20140424-191125.jpg and then we were back on the move. We saw some beautiful sites.

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And we found the entrance to our new canal and motored in. The draw bridge only goes up at 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 pm, so we decided to tie in for the day.

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20140424-191511.jpg we ate lunch on the boat and went exploring and scavenging in town. Tonight we are eting on the boat with a meal prepared by Margaret and Eldon. So far Debbie has been the winner of Scrabble and Chris of Spades. Bananagrams has been great fun too.

Part 2

April 23, 2014
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As we sailed today we passed ponds full of wild flamingos.

20140423-184343.jpg they weren’t pink since they don’t eat shrimp. Several of our crew took turns piloting the boat today, but Clay took over when we did locks or docked.

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We found a quaint restaraunt inBessan and hiked up the hill.

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La Guinguette had wonderful food. Many of us had the fish soup and then I had the spaghetti carbonara

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20140423-184935.jpg they even had a topsy turvey
–a bad idea anywhere

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We finished the canal du midi today and crossed over into open water.

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We pulled into port at Marseillan where we will spend the night. It was a beautiful day. Tomorrow we transfer to the canal du rhone after going through bassin de thau.

Villeneuve les Beziers to Marseillan

April 23, 2014
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Last night we had a gorgeous sunset foretelling of a beautiful day. Debbie and Paul cooked us a wonderful meal

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20140423-184020.jpg and after we cleaned up we played a little scrabble before bed.
This morning the sun was shining brightand we had a gorgeous day of boating. We had 3 locks today and we got through them great.

Tuesday in France

April 22, 2014
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We awoke to a rainy day, which was to continue most of the day. We ranerrands, replenishing stocks and were on our way by 11. We had the stairstep locks which we had to go through today. Going our direction they were only open from 1:30 – 3:30. We were first in line at fonserannes, so we tied up and explored a bit

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We ate an excellent asparagus soup lunch which Margaret made with asparagus we bought that morning at the market, plus bits and pieces of leftovers. By the time we ate and cleaned up, it was time to begin our decline of 7 locks.

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The women were the lock masters on land and we walked the ropes through each descending lock. It was lightly raining as we started, but was pouring down before too long. We worked amazingly well together and made it through in 45 minutes. We then went over an aqueduct and saw Beziers in the distance.

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Clay did a great job piloting

20140422-195616.jpg and our crew worked really well. We could be fulltime lockkeepers! We did have a moment of panic when our thrusters stopped working. Charles called and found out we had to reset a fuse and then we were back up full speed.
We ended up going through 3 more locks before our day ended.

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20140422-195942.jpg we were all thoroughly soaked and pretty cold.
We tied up in Villeneuve les Beziers for the night.

20140422-200139.jpg we changed out of our wet clothes and went exploring.

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We saw there version of crape murder.

20140422-200431.jpgwe also saw an amazing jasmine.

20140422-200502.jpgafter getting local items for dinner

20140422-200556.jpg Paul and Debbie are cooking us an amazing dinner. The rain has stopped and clear skies are forecasted for tomorrow. Bon nuit!

Colombier

April 21, 2014
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We had our best meal yet on the trip last night in Capestang. We walked back into town with a fine misty rain. The restaurant was a little past the town center and next door to a wonderful street art installation. Whoever painted this was quite good.

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The restaurant was called La Galiniere, and we were met by the owner Sebastian. His wife Sandrine helped serve, and her brother Stephan was the chef.

20140421-165126.jpg most of us got the price fixed menu which was fairly inexpensive and was more food than we could eat. Many of us started with the camambert in pastry with salad, or spiced chicken on salad, or soup. Then we ate either fish

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20140421-165512.jpg We had a lovely cheese course, then outstanding desserts.

20140421-165604.jpg it was a delightful end to a full day.

This morning we got some free wifi before heading out. We cooked a brunch enroute,

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20140421-170021.jpgTwo of our crew got off to check on boats on the other side, and we planned to pick them up on the other side. We got there and we were missing one. Luckily we had our walkie talkies and found him and were good to go. We ate our brunch and tooled on to Colombiere. Clay had to backup into our slot anddid a fine job.

20140421-170335.jpg we have walked the city. The sun is now up and we are resting before going out todinner. The storesall closed at noon for Easter Monday.

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Easter in France

April 20, 2014
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We awoke to a rainy, much colder day. It was a good day to do a longer boat ride, steering from inside the boat for the first time.

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We went about 16 miles today. When we did the 5 locks, Debbie and I were the lock people. I rode a bike between the locks! Thankfully it was level riding, but it was still a good workout. I rode/walked the 3.2 miles. At the last lock, we loaded back up the bikes and we jumped back on.

We pulled up to the bank and pegged in for an on-boat lunching experience.

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Margaret made deviled eggs in honor of Easter and we also had a lovely salad nicoise and roasted potatoes from the night before. It was all quite good and I actually ate an anchovy and liked it somewhat.
Then we took off and made it into our port for the evening Capestang around 3:00. The small village was loaded with boats.

20140420-164834.jpg This is a harbor where we can use electricity and charge up all our electronics that cannot be charged using a usb port.

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Thankfully the rain had ended, but it was still really cool. The stores were all closed for Easter, but we have reservations for dinner in town tonight. It is Debbie’s birthday today.

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Here is your mystery plant challenge for the week
Mystery plant a

20140420-165654.jpg. A perennial all over the roadsides here,but sold in nurseries back home.

Mystery plant b

20140420-165830.jpg anevergreen shrub

Mystery plant c

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20140420-165908.jpg an herb growing in the wild here.

France and my birthday

April 20, 2014
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For some reason, my first attempt went to drafts, so here is my second attempt.
What a wonderful way to spend my birthday! We got up and had fresh pastries then took off down the canal. We stopped in Somail and had a great birthday lunch.

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They turned down the lights and played a birthday song throughout the restaurant and brought me a tiramisou with a lit sparkler– plus a kiss from the owner.
We walked around town and then back on our way.

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There are yellow flags lining the canal.

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We did 5 more locks today. We are working quite well as a team.

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