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June 15, 2013

16 Juin 2013 Parade de la Seine 0700

Bonjour! We are motoring down the Seine having taken a pilot onboard. The voyage crew were all awoken at 06.00 to help prepare the ship for leaving the berth, which involves taking in the gangway, taking in mooring lines, stowing equipment and the Watch on duty are taking the helm and keeping a good lookout as the river is really busy with Armada ships and boats. Our French representative, William, is travelling down river with us and will leave with the pilot.

Yesterday was action packed, with a visit from the French Admiral and plenty of other visits to show people the ship. Jon, John, Charlotte ,Christine, Ken and Pam kept the shore side stall going all day, and raised a further 400euros. We have been amazed at the generosity here and very grateful for the boost to our funds.

From 16.00 the new crew joined the ship, and everyone had managed to get here relatively easily, and had had time to stroll the stalls and get refreshments before joining the ship. There are several return sailors, and a good number of new ones, so there will be plenty to learn.

After signing on and getting wet weather gear, there was an evacuation drill briefing , before supper on deck, accompanied by a French /Scotts pipe band, bagpipes and drum. Then it was time for the introductions and Captain Steve to brief the crew on the voyage plan. We are hoping to visit Cherbourg next, with a 70 mile river trip today before we reach the sea, and then a night at sea.

Richard, the Mate, finished briefing the crew, and it was time to do an evacuation drill, which went well and to bring in part of the gangway so that we could leave promptly today. Then people were free to explore Rouen, unpack or whatever. Most went for a short walk and early night, but several stayed up for the finale fireworks, which sounded splendid from my bunk at 23.30.

So, we are enjoying bacon or egg butties while sight seeing now, and then at 08.00 it is time to learn how to fit and wear a harness and climb the mast. An action packed start to a Sunday!


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