National Geographic : 1964 Aug
nessed 800 years of France's history, and var ious incidents come to life as narrated by different voices over the loudspeaker. The lights pick out significant parts of the com plex building, aspects that the eye overlooks in daylight. We stood on the left river bank, separated from the cathedral by the narrow, dark flowing of the Seine. Quietly a low sight seeing boat, lights darkened, glided by. "Couldn't we take Yankee past here?" asked Louise Strongman, who had joined us in the Netherlands. "That would be exciting, with all the lights out. Do you think they'd let us?" "Probably better not ask," answered Terry Glenn in the spirit that took her around the world in the brigantine Yankee. "How about it, Skipper?" So next night Yankee hovered in the shad ows to let the bateau mouche, a sightseeing boat, go first. As we followed, a policeman on a bridge seemed startled, but I don't believe he had specific instructions for a case like ours. Yankee kept going past the Ile de la Cite, center of Paris since the days of Roman Gaul. Lights played over the great cathedral walls and the dramatic voice reached the time of Henri IV in France's history. I doubt if many spectators even saw the little American yacht in this strange situa tion, but Notre Dame was much more thrill ing to us as we floated by than it had been when we stood tamely on the bank (page 186). We circled the island, drifted to the down stream end, and then saw much activity on what looked like a gunboat ahead-coming in our direction? But the crew was not in terested in us. They were the pompiers firemen who sprayed any stray sparks from the fireworks of the finale. Yankee returned quietly and innocently to her dock. 189 Locks Between Paris and Saone Nine trips across France have by no means exhausted possible routes for Yankee. On this 1963 "voyage," for the first time we fared eastward from Paris on the Seine. Approach ing the Forest of Fontainebleau, we traveled through quite a different setting from that of the canals of the back country. Here we cruised past attractive houses with well-cut lawns, charming gardens, and docks where power- and sailboats tie up. Not far from Paris, these people enjoy space, pri vacy, and the pleasure of the river along with the beauty of the forest. The Seine was taking us to the Canal de Bourgogne, considered the most scenic route 190 through France. Though a boat must nego tiate 189 locks before reaching the Sa6ne at Saint Jean de Losne, any effort is repaid by the experience of cruising the Burgundian countryside at a leisurely six miles an hour (opposite). I marveled at the mellow beauty of this his toric province. Flowers bloomed byfarmhous es, dahlias predominating in the September days. Miles of horse chestnuts bordered the canal, making me want to come back to see them flower in May. Old stone barns blended with nature as though they had grown there. Grapes ripened for the famous Burgundy wines. From the time we entered the Canal de Bourgogne we had heard about the Pouilly en Auxois tunnel ahead: Some skippers told us jagged rocks would rip pieces off our ship. Garnishing a roast, Mrs. Johnson prepares to serve dinner from her compact galley. Mirrored at her mooring, Yankee finds a peaceful haven on the tree-lined Bour gogne Canal near La Repe.