We Are now French Canal BOAT Owners!

Celebratory picnic on the beach after sale docs are received.

Survey - completed.
Engine oil - analyzed.
Painter - hired.
Funds transfer - initiated.
Documents - sent.
Insurance - quoted.
Bilge - emptied.
Visa - investigated.
Anodes - chosen.
Mooring space - secured.
WiFi on board - researched and found.

Bill of Sale - signed.

The mouth of the Hérault River, flowing into the Mediterranean.

Everything depends on something else.

We can't get a WiFi contract without a bank account.
We can't get a bank account without an address.
We can't get an address (at the mooring) without an insurance certificate.
We can't get the insurance certificate without owning the boat.
We can't own the boat until the documents are signed.

The current owner has signed the documents, but:
The current owner is in the Canary Islands, and doesn't trust the mail.
He finds a friend who is traveling to the UK.
He'll take the documents along with him to mail to France from the UK.

We can't sign the documents until we have the results of the survey and engine oil analysis.
The painter can't start until we own the boat.
We're running out of time before Christmas to have the repair work done on the boat.

And yet - step by step - everything begins to fall into place, like dominos - in a good way.

We now OWN Maggie May.

23 TONS of Durham steel. 
Well designed.
3 cabins. 3 heads. 
Galley and living area.

Pre- paint job. And: It's larger than it looks! And higher!

No, we still don't have a long-term visa to stay in France. 
We still don't understand everything about the boat. 
Maybe - 50%. But: We're learning. We ask questions. 
We read about the differences between magnesium, aluminum and zinc anodes. 
(Surprisingly critical!) 

Magnesium it is! 6 x 1.5 kg.

We read about macerators and generators and battery isolation switches and decide whether to use bituminous or vinyl paint, or whether a corrosive undercoat or an anti-fouling topcoat is necessary.

The painter starts sanding the boat - the minute the contract is signed.

We read inland waterways regulations. Mooring contracts.

Books on wine and cheese (ok, that's probably not technically necessary, but - they were on the boat already, ok? And: There's a LOT to learn on those fronts, too. This IS France, after all.)

Bottom line:
As of this weekend, we own Maggie May.
We have a "home on the river" in France, so to speak.
And we're learning how to take care of her.

Stan follows the surveyor down into the "engine room".

And - although it sounds like it went so smoothly and quickly (and - comparatively speaking, it did-) - it's been a heck of a learning curve. There were times when we felt totally afloat (pardon the pun-). We really only had a vague idea of how much we didn't understand. 
We didn't even know what questions to ask.

It's getting better.
And now: Time to celebrate. 
I'm sure we can find a bottle of French wine here somewhere...