My Travel Blog

They Did It! They Called The Cops On Us!

I can’t believe it.  They did it again.  They called the cops on us.  Before you know it our pictures will be hanging in every post office in France.  We were tied up in St. Miheil, a small town of 5,000.  Wilco had driven Marscha home leaving Lisa and me to fend for ourselves.  That evening we found a restaurant that had Wifi, and also served a pretty decent meal.  When we returned there was another boat tied up behind us.

“Rabelo tied up in front of a little village that I don’t even remember the name.”

“An amazing carving by Ligier Richier in a small church in St Miheil.”

The next day Lisa had tons of laundry to do.  Our shore power connection was not strong enough, so I started up the generator and she went to work.  We don’t like running the generator because it’s noisy, the exhaust fumes smell, and our neighbors don’t like it.    Typical generator etiquette around the world is on after 10:00am and off before 10:00pm.

“Rabelo in St Miheil with the two boats that called the cops.”

“The main boulevard in St. Miheil. It’s a farming community.”

The next morning while Lisa and I were getting ready to go out we heard a pounding on the hull.  Now you have to understand Rabelo’s hull is made of steel, and a simple knock does nothing.  It takes some serious beating to make that kind of racket.  Lisa and I looked at each other and simultaneously said, “What is that?”  I went up on deck to find out.  It was the lady from the boat behind us.  She said, in relatively clear English, there was another boat that wanted to park at the other end of the quay and that she and one other boat had to move up closer to us.  I told her if the other boat wants to tie to our side they are more than welcome.  She said no they were happy where they were, but that now her boat was right behind us and we can not use the generator. I explained that was not going to work because we could not cook or do laundry without the generator, but that I would try to use it as little as possible.  About that time another lady had joined us.  She piped in saying we were not allowed to tie up at the municipal dock because it was only for private boats.  I told the second lady that we were a private boat.  She said it didn’t matter because we were the size of a commercial boat.  I then asked where does it say that?  Her response was, “Well just look at the dock, you are too big.”  With that comment I told both ladies we were not moving, and to have a nice day.

“It really is this beautiful.”

“One of the houses where the lock keepers use to live.”

About 30 minutes later as Lisa and I were getting off the boat we noticed a municipal policeman looking a bit puzzled.  We ignored him and started to leave when he called to us.  Fortunately he spoke English, and said that we were a very big boat and that other boats could not use the dock.  I said other boats were welcome to tie up next to us, so it was not a problem.  He then asked how long we were staying.  I told him we were waiting for our captain to return, but that we may leave this afternoon or tomorrow morning.  He said no problem and wished us a Bon Journey.  The French policemen must be the nicest cops in the world.

Wilco showed up that afternoon and we decided to leave, but not before turning on our generator one last time to bid our neighbors a found farewell.  When I told Wilco the whole story the first thing out of his mouth was, “The ladies were Dutch, right?”  He smiled when I said,  “yes,” and explained that in Holland they have a saying.  The rough translation was, “The ladies had a small penis.”

“Are we really going to fit in there?”

“A view through our kitchen window.”

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.