You can’t have an adventure in Paris that doesn’t involve the Seine, and Perilous and Sparks had a few encounters with the river in Les Stone Cold Killers. Here’s a sneak peek from the novel as well as a reel of vintage footage of the city from British Pathé. Prendre plaisir!
The world around Sparks ground to a halt and darkened, miring her in a murky silence. When she gasped for breath, she swallowed water instead. The shock jolted her into consciousness, and she began to kick wildly, propelling herself upwards. Surfacing, Sparks coughed up filthy, green water from the Seine, only to be doused and re-submerged by a passing barge. Her lungs burned and her head throbbed when she surfaced again.
Paddling in place, she tried to get her bearings. To the left, les Jardin des Plantes was giving way to the newly constructed buildings of Paris’ grim Campus de Jussieu. To the right, two old men were fishing from the Quai de la Seine. Somewhere in between, Sparks was an insignificant speck in the turbid flow of the river.
While Sparks’ experience of the Seine wasn’t the ideal vacation scenario, studies show that spending time near natural bodies of water like oceans, lakes, and rivers actually reduces stress levels significantly. I’ve personally experienced the soothing effects of water aboard our new home the Sea Shanti. While living on a half-renovated sailboat isn’t much more comfortable than camping, waking every morning to a view of fish leaping out of the water, ibis lingering on the banks to catch glass minnow in their curved beaks, and nutria wading through the waters makes even the most miserable days more tolerable.