26.06.2015 - 29.06.2015
Ah yes, it was a fine barge - Over 50 feet long and about 15 feet wide. (Compare to England: Over 70 feet long and 7 feet wide)
Notice the smiling picture of the Captain Simon Faithful, MD PHd . This is the last time I saw him smile for the next 48 hours.
We tried to start out with a good attitude.
We floated past the chocolatier's
over the Loire in the bridge canal.
The French countryside along here reminds me of an "untidy" Indiana.
Most of the time Captain Simon Faithful, MD PHd was shouting at us "sit down, pay attention, hurry up, look at me, get out of the way, be quiet, don't do it like that, you don't know how to mop this floor!"
Finally, I had heard enough. I needed to get off the barge for a while and ride the bike for a couple of miles. Although this was supposedly allowed, he started yelling at me. I had had enough and yelled right back at him "Shut the F--- Up!"
His eyes literally spun in his sockets. I don't think anyone had ever yelled back at him.
Jim spent every minute of the trip being treated like a slave - including being yelled at every time he tried to follow directions,
On the French canals, a lockkeeper is in charge at each lock. Most of the other barges and boats allowed the lockkeeper to take the ropes, open the gates, etc. However, Captain Simon Faithful, MD PHd refused their help and instead yelled at Jim the entire time to do it and to help the lockkeeper.
Jim kept smiling, I kept fuming,
By the way, Captain Simon Faithful, MD PHd is not really a ship captain. He owns six-week share of this barge with others, Obviously, he has an MD and PHd because he signs all his personal emails with that complete signature. He also flies airplanes and balloons. He also ad nauseum....
The only times he is not yelling is when he is telling you about all his other endeavors, talents, prestige.
I said I would give it 48 hours.
My traveling companions had expected something a bit more relaxing and pleasant also. We tried to keep up a good attitude. We did have some pleasant picnic meals. (Except, notice who is not smiling.)
One of the rules of the boat is that we all shared in the cost of the food and snacks. I fully agreed with that.
However, it also applied if we went out to a restaurant. We were not allowed to go out to eat at a restaurant unless Captain Simon Faithful, MD PHd permitted it.
Here we were on a canal within walking distance of the Seine,
There were three charming French restaurants on the banks of the Loire.
Could we eat there? Oh no, there was packaged pasta and canned spaghetti sauce in the cupboard that had been purchased before I came on board. Furthermore, there was enough food in the cupboard for two more days of meals "The French can do wonderful things with tinned food."
Well, I am not French and I did not come all the way to France to eat spaghetti sauce out of a jar and canned green beans for a week.
Barb and I spent most of our time either crying or cussing in the galley.
Jim spent all his time working like a dog and being treated like one,
Oh, I could provide more examples of how Captain Simon Faithful, MD PHd made this a most unpleasant experience. I think I would be better served by forgetting them.
I chose to jump ship at the beginning of the fourth day.
I certainly did not gain any favor with Captain Simon Faithful, MD PHd and I think I probably even lost the friendship of Barb and Jim.