May 24, 2010: OUR LAST MOMENTS ON THE RIVER RHONE! Finally, Port St. Louis and our shipyard destination, Port Napoleon…Grateful Red’s becoming a sailing yacht once again!
Port St. Louis was nice and we got a slip right away. Backed into a slip with shore crew waiting to take our stern line, and within moments became a curiosity for the “neighboring” boats. Our first visitor was English and he gave us some “low-downs” of the area. After checking in, we opened some cold white wine and sat in the Cockpit. People are funny and will just stop and stare at you. Rare sight to see a big beautiful red sailboat from America!!! Eddie was a hit as usual and with our big American flag off the stern of the boat, we were “ogled” by the people that would walk the promenade back and forth.
Early the next morning we paid for our mooring and prepared to leave. We had made prior arrangements with Port Napoleon to bring our boat over Monday morning and they would start work on Tuesday after taking the boat out of the water. This left us with Monday to clear, clean and prepare for the boats being taken out. We motored through the well-marked shallow canal leading into Port Napoleon. Arriving, we were greeted by the M-Marine manager who directed me to a slip close to the haul-out. Ken said I did a perfect job docking and must have impressed the Frenchmen standing around watching. Glad to show that a woman is not just a pretty deck hand, but can also maneuver a big boat.
Checking into the Captaineres office, we made arrangements for a bungalow to stay in (setup for transients and temporary housing for boat owners) and also found we could rent a container to store our boat equipment that we would take off during the repair and mast re-stepping. We knew the boat would get dirty during this next 2 weeks so we took all cushions, clothes, fenders, bimini, sails, etc off and hauled them to our container. Tuesday the boat was promptly taken out of the water and put in a location near the marine shop. Estimates and work lists discussed and promises made.