Sailfeed
November 19th

Ring, ring.
“Hello.  This is Boat French.  Would you like to go with us to Le parc provincial de la Rivière Bleue for a picnic on Sunday?
“Sure!”
Bon.  See you at 0900 on Sunday.”
Ring, ring.
“Hello.  This is Boat Swiss-German.  Would you like to go with us to Le parc provincial de la Rivière Bleue for a picnic on Sunday?
“We’d love to, but Boat French just asked us.  How about Tuesday?”
Toll.  See you at 0900 on Tuesday.”

Sunday: French picnic
0530  Get up.  Roast a chicken.
0700  Pack a picnic bag with heaps of cheese, baguette, olives, chicken, cookies, drinks, apples, etc.
0930  Meet friends (late).
0945  Drive to Rivière Bleue, an enormous provincial park.
1100  Arrive at Rivière Bleue.  Stop at friends’ favorite picnic area beside river.
1100 – 1600  Eat continuously while children play in the river.

You’re better off with this picture of the kids swimming than seeing the ridiculous amount of food we ate.

1601  Depart Rivière Bleue.
1730  Arrive in Noumea.
1745  Arrive at Papillon.
1750  Friends on American boat not seen since New Zealand anchor next door.
1755  Friends arrive on Papillon.
1800-0000  Eat, drink and tell loud stories.  Move children to the V-berth and away from the noise as necessary.
Take-home message:  French picnics are about picnicking.  You go, you sit, you talk, you eat.
Bonus message:  Even passage-tired Americans will say yes to a beer with friends.

Tuesday: Swiss-German picnic
0530  Get up.  Roast a chicken.
0700  Pack a picnic bag with heaps of cheese, baguette, olives, chicken, cookies, drinks, apples, etc.
1000  Meet friends (late).
1005  Drive to Rivière Bleue.
1130  Arrive at Rivière Bleue.  Discover it is closed because it rained a little this morning.
1131  Drive to nearby waterfall: la Chute de la Madeleine.
1210  Arrive at waterfall.  Discover that neither picnicing nor swimming are permitted.
1210-1215  Eat a snack in the parking lot.
1215-1345  Look at the waterfall, then hike along the trails.

Some people like to eat before they hike…
…but that’s just too darn bad.

1345  Drive to nearby village of Prony, under the pretense of finally eating lunch.
1400-1430  Discover your sneaky husband just wanted to read the 800,000 plaques in this historical village… where there is no picnic area. Watch kids throw rocks into the water while you wait.

Pumice.  Is there any rock more entertaining?

1431  Walk back to the car while ignoring distant cries of: “Wait, there’s just one more plaque, wait for me!”
1432  Insist that it is now time to eat.  Eat or die, your choice.
1445  Arrive at nearby beach.  Unpack food.
1450  Watch Germanic males make a fire.  “Hey, look!” shouts Erik.  “A piece of roofing tin!  We can cook sausages!”

He wasn’t kidding.

1500-1730  Eat and swim, swim and eat.  Admire canal/harbour system built by kids.

 

1800  Pack up and head home.
1930-2030  Drop friends off.  Say goodbye for an hour.
2050  Arrive at Papillon.
2051  Shovel kids into bed.
2052  Hear distant shout: “Erik!  Amy!  Heeeeyyyy!  Guys!”  Discover American friends are having a party.  Agree Erik should represent.
2053  “I’m so tired,” says Erik.  Pause.  “Can I have three cold beers?”
2055  Listen to torrential rain that lasts only for the 90 seconds while Erik is going next door.
2056 – 2300  Listen to distant sounds of hilarity on neighboring boat while writing this post.
Take-home message:  Germans will delay lunch forever if there is walking involved.  (How did I forget that?)  Carry a snack.
Bonus message:  Even picnic-tired Erik will say yes to a beer with friends.

This article was syndicated from Sailing Papillon

Leave a Reply