We travelled more or less in company with Kurt for a few days, nodding and "bonjouring" at first, each unsure of each other's native tongue. Then he spotted our flag and knew that he could speak English better than we, and the communication didn't stop. We now have the benefit of his decades of trawling the waterways close to his home on the Saar.
Kurt is German, who with his wife Ursula travel the rivers at every opportunity on their somewhat rustic vintage police boat, and like so many water travellers, the term "affable" comes to mind by way of description.
The downside, if there is one, with our lifestyle is that every few days we are saying farewell to people with whom we know we will be in contact for a very long time. Like Kurt.