By mid – morning we we upon the river and ‘motoring’ toward Bordeaux. Fifteen months after departing Adelaide and three major ocean crossings later, it was almost with disbelief that we realised we were truly setting out upon the next leg of our adventures: exploring Europe and the Mediterranean.

Approximately 5 knots speed of the water and motor at low revs saw Gratis moving along at a steady 7 – 10 knots.

Turbulence created by larger boats provided reminders of the swells and waves created in storms upon the seas.

A few short hours found us on the outskirts of Bordeaux where the decision to moor was made. With the current still incredibly strong, Bob turned the bow into the stream and powered us in at 2100 revs. Having four of us on board was a major advantage, since it meant the bow and stern lines could be set almost simultaneously.

One factor quite noticeable is the change in speed of the tidal current. Where one would believe this would be a slow steady increase, we soon discovered this was not the case. The time it takes to do a click of the fingers is the fraction of a second in which the water’s current alters from a gentle murmur to a gushing almost thunderous roar.