Saturday 7 - 9 September
Went to the market in the morning (which was good – bought local delicacies such as Brie and other stuff.)
In the afternoon undertook a short passage and stopped off at Lagny sur Marne.
Gen wasn’t feeling too well on the Sunday so we stayed another day.
On Sunday they had a market which was great - bought a (big) spider crab for10E and various other local delicacies.
On Monday we pushed on, joined the Seine, and ended up at in Paris. The introduction wasn’t the greatest – at this end there is lots of industry and construction works – so pretty much a building site – and to top it off the weather wasn’t the best. After going through the lock we ended up in the basin in the Bastille area. Wandered around the area a little seeing sites we hadn’t visited before.
Tuesday 10 September
Today was magical. Although it took ages for us go get through the lock as the staff were attending something by the crane. Which meant we had to hover around the bridge awaiting the green light to enter the one way system through Paris.
It was a sad sight seeing Notre Dame but thankfully it wasn’t completely destroyed in the fire.
Going through Paris was stressful, even for me. The amount of traffic – tourist boats, barges etc etc made the river quite turbulent. But what a sight – the palaces, museums, the Eiffel tower – man!!! this is one hell of a memory.
So besides the lock to the marina we have travelled 1018km from St Louis du Rhone to Paris and going “the Marne” route we have been through 304 locks.
So our thoughts:
* we are glad that we did the canals when we did (I can’t imagine us doing them in 10 years time or on a sail boat – so, so much hard work).
** there we certain stretches which were awful – 1) the final 8 lock ascends leading to the summit; 2) the five locks from Vitry – where they were overflowing / close to the brim so worrying about damage to the hull; 3) the first couple of locks entering the Canal Champagne et Borgonge – where the locks were turbulent and difficult to secure onto as there were no cleats but rings and they were floating pontoons with the rings distant apart; and 4) the amount of weed in the canals – especially in the locks – needed to cut the engine and empty the strainers on a number of occasions.
*** nearly each lock or section of locks was different re length and distance between bollards, types of bollards and location of (e.g. recessed or metres beyond reach / lassoing or at the tips of the pole) or distance between bollards.
Do I want to see another lock again? Not in the immediate future, but we will encounter them. But we are glad we have done this. It’s been trying and stressful but we have seen snippets of France which have been great. The canals, hour after hour can become a bit boring but then there are rewards.
Tuesday 10 to Monday 16 September
Once through Paris we stopped off in the outskirts beyond Le Defense at Rueil sur Seine. Then continued on in the morning to go through some of our final locks and anchored in in such a pretty spot behind one of the islands on the Seine.
Enjoying the autumnal colours we continued on, with a slight diversion, and anchored at Ile de la Cage.
Friday our final lock before entering tidal Seine. This was fun. It was a drop of 7-8m (as it was low (spring) tides on the other side. We were left with very little rope to hold on to as we dropped – we were both standing holding on to the last inches. Anyway – last lock on this journey – YIPEE!!!!
Continued down the Seine and headed for Rouen – the pontoons were full so needed to go into marina. Not the greatest of places but found a spot. We need to remember now it’s tidal.
Early morning (at dawn) left and took the tide against us for a while. Then it turned and we had up to 4 knots with us – Great!!!!
Deciding to go the Honfleur we were either going to go with the tide and go for the 6pm lock or take advantage of the tide and go for the 5pm lock – we decided on the latter and motored with the tide going 11 knots and made it to the lock in good time.
We love Honfleur and enjoyed our Saturday there and decided to stay Sunday as well – a fitting end to this adventure.
Monday 17 September - ……….
Monday, left Honfleur and headed for Le Havre – No.1’s winter home. Were in the marina for one night then headed for the “technical area” where we would be reunited with the mast, have her remasted and then hauled out for the winter.
I must admit it’s a bit sad leaving her, but there are more adventures to come.