So after a wet night in Fragnes we headed off along the Canal du Centre trying to time our departure amongst the hotel peniches which frequent this canal. As always, best laid plans and all that, we found ourselves having to moor up and hang on, like crazy, to the boat while a hotel boat came out of a lock in front of us. There was another boat also waiting for it to exit and they were asked to change to the other side of the canal so that the hotel peniche had room to exit and then swing into the channel. Luckily that boat (Bon Viveur, a syndicate boat) had both bow and stern thrusters so could do the sideways manoeuvre as per Misty Morning. Oh for such manoeuvrability! We followed that boat up to Santenay – nice to have some company in locks – where the crew all dashed off into town, bought wine (just the one box it looked like), rushed back, cast off and continued on up the canal! Adrian did his cycle ride to pick up the car and I rested ‘cos I have a recurring problem with my hip / back.
The next morning we went into Santenay and bought several boxes of wine, found places to store them on the boat (Adrian has made a ‘cave’ under the galley floor) and then set off after lunch – and it was not actually raining!!!!
This weather is really adversely affecting the boating season. We are hearing tales from various friends. Most of the rivers seem to be in flood so that navigation is closed to pleasure boats.
- At Decize boats are not being allowed to cross the stretch of the Loire to enter / leave the Canal du Nivernais
- Boats at Vermenton (Canal du Nivernais) cannot move out of the port
- And at Moret-sur-Loing the situation is pretty grim as the Loing is in full flood and access to the Canal du Loing is closed.
- Martin and Jacqui on Akaroa are stuck there – playing crib, doing odd jobs & reading
- David and Sue had to wade through knee high water to get off Akaroa having been stuck there with the water rising around them for several days
- A hotel peniche came across the river there to take Akaroa and another pleasure boat to safety on the other side, beneath the lock entrance, out of the river flow. They remain tied up to the hotel boat and will have to wait it out – but they don’t know for how long as the area all around is flooded
- Part of the Canal du Loing above Montargis has collapsed so that canal is closed and repairs are estimated to take between 1 & 4 months
- Throughout Paris the Seine is in flood with many walkways under water & both the Musee D’Orsay & the Louvre are closed and volunteers have been in to take stored works of art up to safety in higher rooms. Not expected to reopen for several days
- The newspapers are full of photos and stories of the situation in Paris. A week ago the river was 1.5m above – now it is over 6m above normal.
- Stories of people in apartment buildings who have only ever said ‘bonjour’ before, now banding together to look after and help the more frail inhabitants.
- One elderly lady managed to get down the stairs (lift not working because of water in basement) to get out to do some shopping but couldn’t get back upstairs so spent several hours in a neighbour’s flat waiting for son to come home and get her up stairs. They talked & talked.
What a year!
I am so glad we left Pont de Vaux when we did because I would think navigation onto the Saone will also be closed now. On the Canal du Centre we seem to be safe from it all. One eclusier joked that other day that we should lock through with Bon Viveur to ‘save’ water!
So we are currently moored in the middle of nowhere and have taken an enforced day’s rest because of my hip & because more rain was forecast for today. In fact we have returned to St Leger sur Dheune so that I could go to see a GP because the pain in my back / hip got worse and worse. I am now on various pills and resting the offending part. No point in hurrying anyway because of the situation re the flooding. Like an awful lot of other people we will have to revise our plans as it is unlikely that we will get up to Paris as planned.
What a year!!!
Yesterday it was lovely to see Tony & Sue on their new boat Waimanu with his sister Sue & her hubby Tony. Yep, 2 Sues married 2 Tonys! I think they believed I was feeling rough when I declined a glass of wine!
No photos thie time I’m afraid as the network here is pretty poor….