From Graincourt to the tunnel we cruised in glorious isolation & in glorious sunshine! You would never think you were on such a major water motorway! Really lovely with rolling countryside and ripening crops (wheat, barley) all around. Lots of birdsong. We saw grebes, herons, gulps (collective noun) of cormorants and mummy ducks with tiny tiny ducklings. Delightful.
Then to the tunnel. We hardly had to wait before the green light came on letting us enter. The lady on the radio rattled something off to us (we think) but was very difficult to understand and did not repeat when I asked her. We thought she was advising us to wait in the lay by half way through the tunnel for a commercial coming in the opposite direction. It turned out she was telling us a commercial would be waiting in the lay-by for us to pass.
As we approached the lay-by we slowed down as we could see a red light. Need green light to proceed along tunnel. But this turned out to be the commercial’s port side navigation light. The hull was huge & all black which didn’t help. However, we realised what was nearly our mistake, picked up speed again and continued past. Just shows how confusing lights can be & how easily mistakes can happen.
Not sure exactly how long it took us to get through the tunnel – around 40 minutes – but we were very glad to reach the end and to emerge into the sunshine once more.
15 kms and 5 locks (6.5m deep each) down the other side brought us to the junction of the Somme.