What is the Boating Community Like? Friends and Visitors on the Canal.

One of the best things about living on this boat:
The great community we've got going here.

It's so easy to wander by someone's boat. 
Get involved in a conversation. 

If they're up for it, a glass of wine.
A cup of coffee. 
Or one of Stan's famous salads. 

And - it's also easy to say no.
Come by later.

It's all so close.
And casual.

Ron came by with a kilo of shrimp.

"They had a 2-for-1 sale at Intermarché.
-Want a kilo of shrimp?"

Patrick brought us a sack of freshly picked green beans.

Luc brought sweet onions from his garden.

And then invited us to a paella party.
On the towpath.

So many of them are talented musicians. 

They aren't all French. 
We have a wide variety of nationalities.

There's always a lively discussion going. 

They aren't all "boat people".
They're also from the village itself. 

Anton and Hugues. In Hugues' wine cellar.

Hugues called down to us from his terrace: 
"Isn't it time for an apéro? 
Okay, I'll bring the wine!"

And he clambers down the canal bank with a chilled bottle of good rosé.

Turns out, he's a wine distributor, who's become a friend. 
Lives in the house where his grandmother grew up. 

A friend with a LOT of good wines. 
Right next to our mooring.

This is very handy.

The owner of the local top restaurant came by. 
Would Stan consider playing guitar for the National Fête de la Musique? 

Bien sûr. 
Of course.

We wound up dancing - again.

There are village festivals.

Plus - people come visit us. 
Which inspires us to explore even further.

Wolfgang and Monica came from their ranch in New Mexico. 

Bob and Sharon visited from Albuquerque.
Oddly enough, we even went to a snail farm (!) during their visit.

And last year, Chris and Tim. 


All the kids.

It's great.

Yes, some of the people on boats take off.

They throw off their lines and go up the canal for a week or a month.

But eventually - they usually return. 

Each boat needs to have its official mooring spot.
A place where it belongs.

Ron and Fiona pass by us on "The Swan".

I don't think I've had this good a social life since college.
Can that be true? 

Whatever it is, it's fun. 

The connection with people. 
It's one of the very best things about being here. 

-Or maybe - that's true anywhere.