Friday, February 20, 2009

New pontoons

The good news is that we are getting new pontoons in the port, and they are wonderful, but the bad news is that since our telephone lines run through the pontoons, we, the residents on the side of Boulevard Bourdon (the Boulevard de la Bastille side of the port went through this last fall), have lost our phones and Internet connections and won't have them back until............

It has already been 3 weeks and it seems like an eternity. No longer can we pick up the phone and call family and friends in other parts of the world without thinking about the cost. We still have our call back service, but it is not cheap on a cell phone, and we have been spoiled by the convenience of making long distance calls without charge. When you are paying for the call and you have to wait 20 minutes at long distance rates for a company in San Francisco to finally pull you out of the wait queue, it feels like torture.

When our pontoons went away, we had to leave too. For one week we lived in front of the captain's office on the other side of the port way down by the lock. It was like moving to a new neighborhood. Suddenly, we were no longer in the 4th arrondissement; we were in the 12th. The Bastille métro station and the shops that we frequent were much further away, and we had to add an extra 15 minutes to our estimate of how long a métro trip or a quick run to the bakery would take. Without our land telephone line, we had to go to the captain's office with our computers to check our email or do projects. While we whined about this at first, the captain and his team could not have been nicer, offering people who were there to use the Internet coffee or juice, and letting us use one of their desks when we had a big project to complete. People came and went, with and without their computers, and we saw neighbors from the other side of the port that we normally don't run into in the course of a day. So we realized that it was a fun place to hang out, and now that we are back in our Bourdon side mooring waiting for our phone line, we pack up the computers to make the trip all the way down to la capitainerie, just for the fun of it.


Dj Johnston, of said...

Hello Bill and Nancy,

I’m wondering if you are the same Bill and Nancy my good friend Ed Phipps (the Chief) talks about. We quiet often talk about his friends who moved to France to live on a barge because my wife and I are planning to do the same thing soon. Whenever I mention it, the Chief mentions his friends Bill and Nancy. Are you them?


Bill and Nancy on Eclaircie said...

Yes, we are them, and we would be very happy to talk with you about your future plans.

Bill Koenig
SFFD, retired

AM said...

I am so sorry to hear of the pontoon troubles, but so glad to see you're posting again. We were worried about you. Looking forward to your new and improved blog. Glad to know you are well and all your viruses are of the computing variety.

Ted said...

Hi, You guys are my hero's. What a good move you made.
I google mapped the port and guess what? You're on the sat map!
Happy trails

Bill and Nancy on Eclaircie said...

Our phone is finally back and along with it the Internet. Whew....that was hard to live without the ability to pick up the phone and call family and friends, and not being able to look something up on the Internet drove us nuts.

Anyway, all better now.

Thanks Ted for liking what we have done. We have seen that Sat map, and we know exactly when it was taken. When we arrive here in the Arsenal we moored with our barge in that direction for just 48 hours before we turned around to have the fabulous Bastille view from our back deck. That was in 2006, and they haven't updated the map since.

Bill and Nancy on Eclaircie said...

Well, I just went to look at Google Earth and they have updated the sat map of our port. They must have done that last summer, as the port is not full. I didn't realize how long it had been since we looked to see if they had taken a new sat photo.

Megan W ( New Zealand) said...

Hi Nancy

Great to meet you on Thursday , it was a lovely lunch and stroll - I really loved hearing all your adventures, you have inspired me !.

Hope your weekend boating was great. I am back in Paris in July ( earlier if I can swing it ) so will let you know and we can catch up for a glass of the bubbly stuff or two

Best wishes


Bill and Nancy on Eclaircie said...

That would be great Megan, I look forward to it.