Updated: Mar 15
The good news is that we are not going to sink. The bad news is that we caught on fire.
We have just spent a couple of busy weeks in dry dock, out of dry-dock, and then back in again, as we tried to determine the thickness of our hull. The first ultrasound survey showed high numbers indicating a very thick hull, which was good. Because of some doubts about the first survey, we had a second survey done. The second ultrasound survey showed a few low numbers indicating some problems with the hull, which was bad. We didn't know which survey to believe.
To solve the problem, we used the old fashion method of drilling holes in the hull. Drilling found that our hull was good, not quite as good as the first expert's report, but that it was much better than the second expert had reported. We only needed one small 6 mm plate welded onto the hull.
On Saturday, April 1st, in the area where the welding was in progress, the wiring inside our hull caught on fire. It was a small fire, more smoke than flame, but we will have to replace the newly installed electrical system, and there was some interior smoke damage.
Between the hull problems and the fire, we haven't been sleeping too well, and we're feeling a little stressed. It now looks like our projected cruising date will be delayed.
When everything settled down again, we looked at each other and said, "We need a vacation." We decided to go to Barcelona to visit friends.
When the fire started, we did discover that our French improves under stress, so that was good, and we met many new people from the town who came to see what was on fire.
When we stopped by the next day to thank the firemen for putting out our fire, they gave us a tour of the Saint-Jean-de-Losne firehouse. It is a volunteer department, so now we know the pharmacist, the butcher, and the baker.
Before we left for Barcelona, friends from San Francisco came to visit, and we were happy to go sightseeing with them. We drove along the Burgundy canal and visited a few small villages that we remembered from our first rental barge trip. We went to Dijon, Dole, and Beaune to see the sights and enjoy long French lunches rather than our usual trips when we went shopping for light fixtures, carpets, or tile.
In Saint-Jean-de-Losne, our old friends met our new friends, and everyone had fun; it was a delightful change from all of our recent worries. We were ready to drive to Spain for a few days of sun and relaxation in Barcelona.
Even the donkey looked happy again