Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône - Compiègne

Last week we were forced to stay in in Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône (Pontoise, Cergy-Pontoise) for the third consecutive week. The weather conditions were slightly better than ‘heatwave-level’, so we decided to do some jobs on our ship, like paintwork and –shown here- cleaning and oiling the wheelhouse as well as both dog-boxes.

There are possibly readers thinking: ‘what on earth is a dog box?’ This is one of them – after cleaning and (re-)adding two layers of oil. The dog boxes are situated on the roof of our ship and let in light – it’s as simple as that. This one –on top of our bedroom- serves as an emergency-escape too. Both are decorated with stained glass. Very nice indeed!

The most recent blog was about visiting the ‘Axe Majeur’ and finding an iPhone there. We were able to trace the owner and have sent her an email. The only reaction was a question about where we found the phone. After answering she never contacted us again…

Last Wednesday, the 5th of August, we were woken up at 6:30AM. We know that some people are already full of activity at that time – we are not. Someone seemed to be walking on top of our ship and we couldn’t believe our ears. The male part of the both of us went out of bed, upstairs and this time couldn’t believe his eyes. There seemed, indeed, to stand a person on top of our ship next to the mast. He went back inside, got his glasses and returned to the wheelhouse, this time accompanied by the female half. Yes, indeed, positive, there was a 30-ish female on top of our ship making photographs of the early sunrise, combined with the bridge that is visible on the next picture. We’ve made it ever so clear that she was trespassing. She left in a hurry, looking ashamed. Later on we discovered that she had damaged the still soft paintwork. It was all unbelievable, really!

The day before we, at long last, would leave the Cergy-Pontoise agglomeration we saw to our astonishment this large, fully laden, commercial ship cruising on the wrong side of the river. A sharp bend and an island in the centre of the river are just visible in the background. The ship should have passed the island on the other side, thus using the right bridge-hole. See the signs on the bridge and every boater will know. For the non-boaters among us: boats are obliged to cruise on the left hand side for some kilometers upstream of the lock in the Pontoise-area. Ships of this size probably have an Automatic Identification System (AIS) on board, but especially a lot of smaller recreational craft have not – are subsequently not identifiable, and possibly become visible when it’s too late. A potential dangerous situation.

Saturday the 8th of August we finally left Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône (Pontoise, Cergy-Pontoise). We’d been there for 22(!) nights. We had an overnight stop at Saint-Leu-d’Esserant and are now, Sunday at Compiègne. Both overnight stops are highlighted in the past, so we’ll not bore you anymore with a picture of it. Instead a picture of a river-turtle. We spotted one on the way, somewhere on the Oise. It was probably not a genuine river-turtle (pictured) that we saw but one that was escaped or, worse, done away with. In our amazement (‘look, look, a turtle’) we forgot to make a picture of ‘our’ sunbathing turtle, sitting on a branch on the river bank. Tomorrow we’ll travel pastures new so we expect to be able to offer some new experiences to you next week. Hope to see you again!