09-15am we leave our winter mooring in Ghent for Bruges on the first leg of our journey to meet up with Bill and Vickie on Eugene. 09-49 we turn onto the Ghent Ringfart and pass Passé Lagom on her way down stream.
After 5h 30min we arrive in Bruges and moor in VPF Coupre having covered 47km
07/042015 09-15 am we depart Bruges for Oudenburge passing through the system that bypasses Bruges town and tie up at 12-15. There is a slight breeze with moderately sunny spells. We book our passage through the one way system for the following morning destination Nieuwpoort.
08/04/15 07-41am. Depart moorings good passage until St Joris sluis where there was no response to VHF after phone call eventually passed through to moor in Westhoek marina to meet up with Eugenie we will stay here for a week.
15/04/2015 08-43 am Depart for seasons cruising heading back to Oudenburge. We stay for two nights. This is a good mooring with free electric and water.
17/04/15 depart for Bruges but this time we moor in Flandria Haven at 12-45 pm. Staying here for three nights.
20/04/5 09-30am slipped mooring at for Deinze arriving at 15-20pm we have now covered 200km
23/04/15 09-29 St Georges Day depart Deinze for Kortrijk at Sluis Herellgem Bill lost a fender entering and there was much hilarity and encouragement from the lock keeper as we picked it up as we entered for our turn.
27/04/15 09-29 am slipped mooring at and turned onto the Kannal Bassuit Kortrijk the first pound was very low after vandals had opened the paddles overnight we finally moored above Sluis Bassuit at 13-45pm.
28/04/15 09-10 left mooring passing through the sluis on to the Hauit Escuit entering the Kannal De L Espierres 10-11 mooring at the small village on the border between Belgium and France we were met by the Mayer who took Photos of both boats at the Sluis. We moored at 12-45 on the village of Liers- Nords moorings free electric and water. They made us very welcome we were the first boats of the season to pass along the Kannal and next morning we were in the local paper. We both took the opportunity to fuel up here 110 litres from the garage in the village it is quite a walk but with a good trolley or sack truck very doable. We all had a great meal in the small restaurant also owned by the mayor though not on the menu we watched all the locals ordering steaks so we asked if it was possible. It was and when it arrived was huge great value.
01/05/15 08-30am Depart mooring cross into France 08-31 canal gets very shallow and weedy have to clean raw water intake filter 6 times and weed hatch lifted to clean intake and remove Plastic from around the prop. moored 15-45pm above Ecluse Marquette before Duel.
02/05/2015 08-30 Depart for Lille arriving at 12-00hrs behind the Citadel this mooring is not very well known and has no services although there is a tap for drinking water if you fill by container. However it is a stunning mooring in the center of Lille and is secure with good access to all amenities’.
Grotto in the park next to the boats
Citadel Garrison Lille
08/05/2015 09-40 VE Day Depart Lille and on passing through the port we come across an interesting conversion pictured below
we moored at Don at 11-45 on the new pontoons.
09/05/2015 depart Don 09-32 and arrived Courcells Du La Lens 12-45 having covered 24km to find no harbour Master no services absolutely Nothing but stunning mooring and we became the talk of the village as we are the first boats to use the new moorings. More pictures taken for yet another paper.
10/05/2015 dept. 09-23 bound for Arleux to moor in the Basin at the base of the Canal du Nord on the East side. another 21km
Arleux promotes itself as the Garlic Capital of the World
11/05/2015 09-32 Dept. Arleux destination the Bassin Ronde a distance of 17km arriving at 11-35 we both moor on the Halte having it all to ourselves. since the last time we were here there are considerably more Permanently moored boats that have taken over the majority of the Bassin.
12/05/2015 09-06am Depart Basin Ronde arrive Maryognie 16-41 having done four Ecluse and 47km and crossing back into Belgium. Both underway below.
13/05/2015 09-27 depart mooring destination Ecluse Pommeroul arriving at 13-30. this used to be a route into France but due to silting has been closed for some time although the lock is operational and you can arrange to enter the lock and take on water. there are no services but it is a popular place to work on/paint your boat with good access.
14/04/2015 10-02 depart for Mons intending to moor in Grand Large. we arrive and moor in the marina at 12-08 we have now covered 426km. we spend two nights here to give us a chance to replenish stores and take on water.
16/05/2015 11-01 After watering up we depart for the Ascensier De Strepy Thiu. ascending 70 odd meters of the lift at 13-43pm we finally moored for the night below Ecluse 3 Vesville at 17-17 on a low wall after covering 46km.
17/05/2015 09-25 am Depart mooring and travel for 36 km passing through five locks and mooring up in Auvelais here we took on 334.64 litres of diesel which we hauled from the garage cost Euro 385.32.
18/05/2015 09-35 depart mooring it is very windy today and there are long waits at the locks especially Ecluse Salzinnes as there is considerable commercial traffic. WE finally moor in Namur on the Quay at 15.00hrs. we will stay here for eight days at a cost of euro 74 including electric and water.
26/05/2015 09-42 Call Ecluse La Ponte on VHF 20 to request passage and Depart arriving in Profondeville at 11-30. here we met Varleyon who we last met up with in Dockum Netherlands. lovely mooring this with two small pontoons, it was a beautiful evening with the cliffs opposite illuminated under a cloudless sky.
2 7/005/2015 09-45 Depart for Dinant we are entering a beautiful part of the river here as can be seen by the Photos
30/05/2015 0936 We depart Dinant on our journey southwards and pass back into France at Les 4 Chemmes after our papers are checked we are issued with zappers for the locks and arrive Givet mooring on the quay at 14-08pm 584km pictures of the river and Givet below.
31/05/2015 09-45 Depart Givet pass through six Ecluse and moor in Fumay at 15-15 will stay here for two nights.
02/06/2015 09-12 depart Fumay destination Laifour arriving at 13-40 to moor on village moorings this is a beautiful little mooring well looked after by the village which unfortunately has suffered decline in the recession.
whilst here I decided to add an extra VHF whip Ariel and to fit a proper through deck VHF port to tidy things up a bit and save me lifting and dropping the large 3 meter Ariel this done and was all tested and working.
04/06/2015 09-23 Depart Laifour destination Charleville Mezieries arrive on mooring at 15-44. this is a very beautiful town with a fantastic square . there is a grand harbour for visitors unfortunately when they constructed it they failed to provide sufficient height on the pedestrian bridge over the entrance so most boats moor on the old pontoons where we moored.
07/06/2015 09-15 depart from the mooring and travel 29km to Sedan where we moored on the wall. facilities in the camp site which is also administered by town after paying mooring fees hooked up to electric over fence. Missy our Dog became very ill here one of the staff took us to the vet who diagnosed heart failure, but it is hoped medication can control it. In the evening two old Morgan cars arrived on the campsite with a support vehicle an their way back to Calais after attending a rally. we stay here for two days weather great.
09/06/2015 09-01 depart mooring and moor in Mouzon at 11-50 17km put 60 litres fuel in tanks 78.63 euros mooring cost euro12 a night inc water and electric.
10/06/2015 09-23 depart Mouzon destination Stenay a distance of 25 km arriving 13-50
11/06/2015 08-57 depart mooring and arrive Dun sur Meuse 11-30 13km it is a beautiful day and the scenery is absolutely stunning.
12/06/2015 09-01 depart Dun Sur Meuse arrive Consenvoye 12-14 and moor in harbour 18km
14/06/2015 Depart Consenvoye 09-01 for Verdun arriving in Verdun 13-20 and moor on the very end of the moorings some difficulty in securing but manage to pass long line to shore where there is a small ring 24km . We will stay here for 4 nights to enable us to visit some of the battlefields’ the fort of Verdun and the National War Memorial this really makes you pause for thought, the crypts under the building are filled with bones and skulls of recovered but unknown fallen. The trip round Verdun fort was well worth doing there is an automated train that takes you round all the underground chambers whilst the story of a soldier that fought there is told through the media of sound and film in your own language.
18/06/2015 08-34 Depart Verdun for Ambly-sur-Meuse a distance of 20km arriving at 13-10pm and mooring in the small ancient harbour next to the village playing fields. We notify the lock keepers that we will be staying overnight and will leave about 9am the following day. You need to do this on some canals in France as the lock keepers have to come out and turn on the locks for you and set you off. they need to know who is on their section at all times. It is another hot day and we put the shades up.
19/06/2015 Depart the mooring at 09-10 there is a scramble as two cruisers had arrived last evening and had not booked passage and this morning took off like rockets when they saw the lock keepers. because of this there was a 40 minute delay while we let them get out of the way. they had a ticking off as they went through the lock.we ,moored in Sampigny. Another hot day but a wonderfully shaded mooring and a pretty if run down village.
we have since found out that the reason a lot of buildings look so run down is because the government taxes buildings on the state of the exteriors. So if it looks good you pay more tax, gas ran out today change bottle.
20/06/2015 depart mooring 08-41 and arrive Commercy at 10-33 10km and moor on the old commercial key now VNF no services but secure
21/06/2015 depart Commercy 08-34 crossing the aqueduct at Troussey 11-11 am and moored Pagny-Sur-Meuse at 11-58
22/06/2015 depart Pagny sur Meuse after turning to retrace steps to junction at 09-00 moored on quay at Void.
23/06/2015 depart Void at 08-56 arrive at Tunnel entrance Mauvages at 12-43 and moor to await passage. Enter Tunnel at 13-16 and moor at Junction PK 85 at 14-33 having covered another 19 km. there is a problem with weed here the water is exceptionally clear aiding its growth but it does threaten to close the navigation if not addressed. It not only wraps around the propeller but on raw water cooled engines like mine blocks the water intake and causes us to stop and clear this every km or so.
24/06/2015 Depart Tunnel mooring at 08-57 and moored at Treveray at 13-00 when I stopped the engine it became apparent the starter motor was jammed in and was spinning, I had to isolate the battery power to stop it and after some investigation found that the solenoid was stuck. Judith tapping with a hammer finally freed it, an old trick but one that often works.
25/06/2015 Departed 09-00 and moored Ligny at 14-34 we have now covered 916 km
28/06/2015 Depart Ligny at 09-06 and travel for 15 km to moor in Bar-le-Duc a nice mooring by the station with 4 amp electric. another beautiful town with original 14th century paintings in the church.
30/06/2015 depart Bar-le-Duc at 10-44 and moor on VNF Key above lock 52 Rivigny at 15-45 after a further 16 km
01/07/2015 Depart mooring Rivigny 09-17 and moor Pagny on the village mooring at 13-56 a beautiful spot yet again outside a restaurant the cost 9 euro for two nights including water and electric bargain!
just too hot for both of the crew. Missy finds the coolest spot in the boat. the Bridge in the lock lifted and then they all went for Mange (lunch)
so nothing for it but to put on the kettle and make a sandwich.
03/07/2015 we depart the mooring at 09-03 and at 12-26 we turn on to the Champagne et Burgoyne Canal.after 18 km we moor for the night in Vitry le Francois. 10 euros including electric. more heat so rigged the sun sails.
04/07/2015 we depart the mooring at 11-13 as we only need to travel 14 km today to get to our next mooring Orconte.
05/06/2015 Depart 09-06 and travel for 15 km through 5 locks to arrive St Dizier at 12 36 and 1000 km on the log .
06/07 2012 Depart St Dizier at 09-09 through 8 locks mooring at 14-27 below lock 50 Chevillon for the night.
07/07/2015 Depart mooring 08-36 weather very hot clear blue skies and arrive Joinville 11-16 decide to moor here for 4 nights.
11/07/2015 Depart from Joinville 08-43 and moored at Donjeux 11-56 tight fit here for us and Eugenie because of narrow boat style wide beam who refused to move but we managed, but as he left the following morning he deliberately cut the electric supply not only to us but to the camping site as well.
13/07/2015 Depart 09-06 destination Froncles arriving 11-42 .It is a great place to stop, The village has many interesting buildings one which many villages in this region have is the wash house shown below.
15/07/2015 Depart Froncles 08-57 and covered a further 27 km mooring at Chaumont Port de la Maladiere 14-45 after passing through yet more stunning scenery. Another village with a wash house.
18/07/2012 Depart 08-45 and pass through eight locks mooring at 13-00 hrs in Foulain.
19/07/2015 Depart Foulain 08-43 and pass a further seven locks to moor in Rolampont at 11-45 am you will notice that we do not cruise a long day especially when in company . There are several reasons for this the weather is hot, It is always sensible for a boat of our size 21 meters long to moor either just before lunch as today or mid afternoon as we are more likely to be able to moor on a decent mooring, and finally we like to explore the villages and countryside as often as possible. as you can see a picturesque village.
20/07/2015 Depart Rolampont 08-40 and moor Langres famous for its cheese at 11-55 on the Quay it is somewhat away from the Fortified town which sits on an escarpment in a commanding position overlooking the valley. we will stay for two nights here to take advantage of giving the town time to explore. The mooring is good with free water and electric this comes on three times a day for an hour each time.
we took a cab to get into town and while there decided to take the guided land train ride along the walls and through town meeting some French scouts along the way. whilst waiting for our taxi back to the boat I managed to get a couple of pictures of a humming bird moth feeding on nectar from the geraniums.
22/07/2015 Depart Langres 08-39 trough two locks and then transit the Balesmes tunnel it is controlled by lights to keep you at a steady 4 km p.h. if you go to fast the next light ahead stays red keep to the correct speed and they turn green in front of you. Bill went to fast and got told off by radio and when exiting by the tunnel keeper who asked if we had traffic lights in the UK. you can see the green light above the boat and in the distance the light is red. the tunnel is 4800 meters in length and we entered at 10-32 exiting at 11-36.
continuing on through another ten locks we moored on the halte nautique in Piepape a wonderful name for a village, at 15-30 a distance of 20 km. we all walked up in to the village past the Chateau, the village now looks deserted it only needed some tumble weed to complete the picture is a medieval village which must have been built at the same time as the Chateau to serve the estate. The small church is delightful with intact wall paintings and an updated heating system that consists of a very large wood-burning stove in among the pews with a chimney Heath Robinson would have been proud of.
23/07/2015 Depart Piepape 09-07 pass through fourteen locks and moor on the Halte Nautique PK 181.6 at Cussey at 13-15 odometer now reads 1161 km
25/07/2015 Depart 09-06 and moor Poully PK 197 at 12-26 We decide to stay here for two nights
26/07/015 depart mooring 09-00 through eleven locks and moored on old silo quay next to a winding hole PK 214.5 Cheuge. Bill decides to do a Brie (BBQ) I go off hunting for black berries so Carol can make the desert. while out it decides to start and rain and by the time I return is hammering down. Bill has the joint of ham in his Cob on the front deck and later on we join them on the boat as it is still raining. Bill goes to retrieve the joint and we hear a terrific crash, realising he has fallen I rush outside to find him now gazing over the side at the joint which is now making its way down the canal. seeing my meal trying to escape I through myself on the ground and manage to scoop it to safety. Dinner is saved (after some washing with boiling water) we all sit down to a great meal and a good laugh.
27/07/2015 depart Cheuge 08-43 and after passing through three locks we arrive at the last lock on canal Marne a la Saone / entre Champagne t Bourgogne and here we deposit, (return) our telecomander before we turn on to the Saone.
we call all traffic on Ch 10 before we exit at the junction and enter Ecluse sur la Saone Heuilley back on twist rod controls. we travel downstream and moor in Pontailier-sur-Saone 2.00 hrs we will stay foe two nights.
29/07/2015 Depart Mooring at 08-57 and moor on the town moorings n Auxonne at 11-25 with Eugenie, 1224km on the log. we stay for three nights there is electric and water but you have to walk into the centre of town with the number of the electric plug you are connected to and pay at the Tourist office they then turn on the electric and water for your plug.
while we were here we went to the Son et Lumiere play at the castle not really knowing what to expect e sat right at the front, (these seats being oddly vacant) and waited for the spectacle to start. it was the first night and after some delay it got under way. It was a storey of the 1st World war and the life of soldiers in the trenches. We found out why the front rows were not taken the play was on gravel and the action going on led to clouds of dust covering all who sat in the front. Lesson Learnt we also discovered that this play was to be in almost real time! about two and a half hours in there was a lull and the friends we went with started to get up to go I stopped them and explained we are in France and watching a spectacle so it wont be finished yet. I was right and we finally left at one in the morning.
01/08/2015. Depart Auxonne at 09-04 heading for St-Jean-de-Losne there is no room on the town quay so we go into the H2O marina and manage to secure a mooring for bot boats in boxes a little tight but after turning we reverse into the box and secure the boat. Bill joins us in the next box after he has refuelled at the bunker quay. the cost here is one euro per meter plus electric.
03/08/2015 mooring 09-56 and proceed back upstream to enter the Canal du Rhone au Rhin mooring at 12-45 in Abergement la ronce Jura. Great little spot. but quite narrow as we found out when a Hotel boat of maximum width came up. it was so square tat when it entered the lock above us it had great difficulty getting in because the water in the lock could not be displaced easily round the hull. we arrange our passage with the lock keepers for the next morning as there is a section passing trough a chemical works in which it is forbidden to stop.
04/08/2015 depart and enter 1st lock as arranged at 09-06 and after 5 locks we moor at 11-55 in Dole the moorings are quite full and we are to large to moor with Eugenie but we re welcomed alongside Swiss Luxemotor. we will be here for three nights and are able to move when another boat leaves mooring free and free electric for the next two nights. A wonderfully picturesque town and the birthplace of Louis Pasteur.
06/08/2015 Depart Dole 09-07 leaving Bill and Vickie on Eugenie and proceed back down towards Auxonne again as we are going to leave the boat in Port Royal to go back to the UK for our Sons Wedding to Shelly Barnes. We moor in Choisey 10-00
07/08/2015 depart Choisey 08-6 and moor back in St Jean H2O at 12-35 we need to Bunker but it was closed so will do tat as we leave. we stay here a further three days
10/08/2015 depart 08-39 and fuel up at the Bunker station taking on 350 litres in the main tank and 60 litres in cans, 1.253 a litre cost 438.55 Euros depart here 09-36 and arrive Port royal 12-29. after mooring the boat we start to prepare to return to UK for the wedding some pictures of which are below . left to right john with his best man John and Shelly all the men carol with our great grandson Noah the room and Noah and his mom Becky seated.
20/08/2015 Depart Auxonne Port Royal having ben joined by our friends from our Narrow boating days Garry and Ruth and turn once again downstream and travel for 34km mooring in Seurre on the pontoon net to the small harbour entrance. The pontoon appeared to be taped off with hazard tape and a no mooring sign however the lady in the permanently moored boat there came out to explain that they have done this to deter the hire boats from mooring there and preventing larger craft from taking advantage and that we were welcome to moor. this we did and it is another great overnight stop.
21/08/2015 depart 09-10 and moor I Chalon sur Saone around the back of the island against the bank on the starboard side you can’t get right in here. but we are to big to get in the harbour. the two girls and Garry head off to re supply and I stay behind to get some jobs done. this is when tings started to get interesting. The gardens opposite on the island were being mowed by a large sit on mower and suddenly the driver lost control on the wet grass and the mower and driver gracefully slid down the bank and n to the river. Luckily the driver managed to get clear as he went in and scrambled back out on to the bank with just the back end of the mower showing above the water. there was now much scratching of heads s the ret of the team arrived to see what had happened and about half an hour later two barges with a crane appeared round the corner.
above some pictures of the trip down and arriving Chalon, below the Garden Incident when they were swinging it ashore with the crane the first attempt failed and it crashed back in nearly sinking the small boat that was assisting.
22/08/2015 depart Chalon and enter the Canal du Centre passing a derelict barge there is a 1.5 hour delay at lock 30 as it is Kaput! and another at 28 things not going to well finely Moore in Chageney after covering 20km We meet up with Bill and Vicky again here and stop for three nights. great little harbour not over used and room for one boat of our size with facilities. but there is good mooring over the other side of the Canal on the wall with room for about three barges but no electric or water. while here we check the station and train links as Garry and Ruth will go back to Auxonne by train.
While here we all take the train in to Baeune this town in the centre of the Burgundy vineyards’ and renowned for its wine auction but we were going to look at the town and its Hospice. The roof of which is covered in glazed tiles common in this region of France.
very advanced and comfortable and ahead of its time heated, and built over the top of a running stream which cleared away waste.
25/08/2015 depart Chageney 09-21 and moor in Santenay another place famous for its wine. beautiful mooring just outside the village when settled we walk in to the village and bought two cases of wine, even better they will deliver to the boat!
26/08/2015 Depart Santenay and moor in St-Leger-sur-Dheune this a is a boat hire centre and a lot of the hotel barges turn here so it can be difficult to moor but we got in ok.
27/08/2015 depart at 08-52 and Moor Moulin St Julien we will turn back here and leave Bill and Vicky to return to our winter mooring.
28/08/2015 We wave good bye to Bill and Vickie and set of to retrace our steps 08-44 mooring St Leger
29/08/2015 Depart 09-52 and moor in Santenay 12-55 will stay two nights.
31/08/2015 Depart o9-04 arrive Chageney 10-05 sty tree nights.
02/09/2015 depart 08-40 and moor Fragnes 12-27 now have 1,469 km on log stay here for two nights, nice spot with plenty of moorings full facilities.
04/09/2015 depart mooring at 12-50 in Verdun having phoned ahead to book there is only one place for a barge (although it looks like yo could moor two boats it is very shallow because of the slipway. there was stone directly in front of the boat just under the surface) with electric however it is possible to moor on the wall further along just behind the tree you can see in the picture,without electric or water
06/09/2015 depart Verdun sur-le-Doubs 09-02 and call the lock on VHF 20 at 10-35 finally moor Seurre PK 187 a before tape still in place. stay for two nights
08/09/2015 contact the lock on VHF22 to advise tat we are departing and move off at 09-05 and arrive H2O St Jean 11-32 wind speed is 19.1 gusting to 26.2 knots we are directed round to an end T mooring quite difficult to get to as is in the middle of a load of Lilly pads.
which you can see in this picture we stay for a week.
15/09/2015 we depart H2O with the intention of taking on fuel from the bunker dock but it is full so we decide to moor on the empty town quay, this is the first time we have seen room on here. stay her further three nights as we are in no hurry. whilst here we manage to but a new folding gang plank great deal cost us £168 normal retail price would be £599. also order new name decals for the boat for when she is painted next spring.
18/09/2015 leave town moorings and after fuelling up 275.5 litres cost 340 euros we leave at 08-45 arriving on the town moorings Auxonne 12-20 stay three nights.
21/09/2015 Depart Auxonne 09-44 and travel to Pontailler-sur-Saone arriving 11-50
22/09/2015 Depart mooring 09-47 and moor port Saint Pierre 11-15
Depart mooring Port saint Pierre at 09-33 and arrive Montoche at 11-43 moorings are completely empty so we have our pick very few boats on the river now.
24/09/2015 Depart mooring 10-00 moor in Grey 10-52 electric and water free
25/09/2015 depart Grey 09-37 moor saint Pierre and fixed hanging points for fenders on port side.
26/09/2015 depart 09-05 and moor on public quay Pontailier at 10-25
27/09/2015 depart mooring 09-19 turning into Port Royal at 11-20 and finally tied up on winter mooring at 11-43 1,645 km on log main engine hours 1500.4
Engines all serviced ready for the winter ant freeze renewed gear box ATF oil and filter renewed checked all belts and topped up remaining led acid batteries. 26/10/2015. we are going to be lifted out of the water in the sprig for work on shaft rear bearing which has some play and anti foul renewed then we should be good for another three or four years.