July, 2019 La Rochelle (Centre)
We only spent
one night in the massive Les Minimes marina and then went all of 300 yards to La Rochelle proper. This is a very small basin entered through a single lock gate and a bridge which lifts about every hour between -1 and +2 hours around high tide. This basin is
just below two medieval towers between which a chain used to be hoisted in order to keep out English pirates; now we are welcomed perhaps because we steal very little. Our fellow boats are largely very new and expensive so we serve as a useful foil to their
thermostat finally arrived after 8 days (TNT ‘Express’ [sic, £25!]) and when fitted turned out to be, not exactly redundant, but unnecessary. The culprit was a tiny card between the thermostat wires and the compressor controller which a) said 12V or 24V and
b) set the compressor at 2500 rpm; the compressor’s default was however set at 2000 rpm and it was already set to 12V, so the card was superfluous. We took it out and all is now perfect. The Cadiz carpenter’s floor replacement broke so that had to be fixed
and I also very bravely updated the Raymarine chart plotter’s software without any obvious hitch so far. Had I asked her, Clare would have said leave well alone but previously it refused point blank to change depth from feet to metres or anything else. We’ve
started on a bit of varnishing but thankfully most of the boat’s exterior is, quite deliberately, left to age unvarnished.
is a lovely place (a bit like St Malo) with loads of cafés
and restaurants but few nearby ‘working’ shops; the chandlery at Les Minimes was miles away from the marina and not particularly good. Tomorrow we go back to Wimbledon for 5 weeks, not however for the tennis which we do our best, unsuccessfully, to ignore.