Friday 31 August 2018

The river Seine to Paris/Marne/Canal Lateral a la Marne/Champagne Bourgogne Canal/Saone

Sunday 7th July
Moret-sur-Loing PK48 to Melun PK110
21.5km/2 locks/3.45hrs

We departed Moret-sur-Loing at 7.45am and joined the river Seine some 10 minutes later.  We don't have AIS fitted, so I was positioned at the bow acting as look out and straight away there was a large commercial coming upstream across our intended path to join the river Seine, so we held off until he had passed before we turned downstream.

Our first large commercial

Or first lock on the Seine, we shared it with a large, empty commercial.
Quite daunting as we watched it slowly come into the lock to join us.
Our ropes really strained as it went along by us.

Captain Kev, happy to be back on a river

We saw lots of commercial traffic, but the river is so big they are not a problem

Exiting our second lock with a large commercial waiting to enter

We got out of his way as quickly as we could.
We moored up at Melun PK110 at 11.30am.  We didn't manage to moor here the last time we came through 5 years ago as we didn't get through the lock in time before it shut.  Its a good mooring, but there is a lot of wash from the commercials going through.
Three commercials coming through Melun when we were moored up.
We enjoyed watching the commercials go through all day
We didn't go to bed until after midnight as we had some youths sitting on a bench near to the boat and we felt a bit uncomfortable going to bed while they were still there, but by midnight we were getting tired so we thought, oh well we will just have to go to bed, as soon as we switched our saloon lights off, they went, maybe they were waiting for us to go to bed before they left, so we should have gone to bed sooner!!!

Monday 8th July
Melun PK110 to Lock Évry PK138
28km/2 locks/4 hours 10 mins

We had a Wagtail as a passenger for a while

The mooring at lock Évry was great, we moored before the lock and as far upstream as we could as we'd read that commercials turn up quite late and sure enough three commercials arrived around 8pm and they left very early the next morning.

Tuesday 10th July
Lock Évry PK138 to Paris Port du Arsenal PK168
30km/4 locks/4 hours 45 mins

We shared two locks with three smallish commercials

Coming up to the junction with the river Marne

Its great seeing the road signs for Paris

The entrance to the Port du Arsenal coming into view

A better view of the entrance to the Port du Arsenal and Canal Saint-Martin

The lock taking us into the Port du Arsenal
Floating bollards but we advise using the ones on the opposite side as this
side the floating bollards don't have a cap so the ropes slip off!!

Our mooring for two weeks

We enjoyed our stay at Port du Arsenal despite the city noise and pollution
We had a very enjoyable two weeks in Paris, we walked miles and miles, used the Batobus once which was great, visited cathedrals, museums, exhibitions, had friends visit and the weather was amazing, a bit too hot, but better than rain.

Padlocks are everywhere
Bassilica Sacré Coeur

View from the Basillica Sacré Coeur

Walk back down to Monmatre

View from our mooring of Bastille monumnet

We visited Sainte-Chapelle, well worth going to see to enjoy
the amazing stain glass windows that have recently been restored, absolutely stunning
No more room for anymore padlocks!  Full of love, hope and promise!

We also visited an exhibition on the artwork by Gustav Klimt
 We went to a digital exhibition at Atelier des Lumière featuring work by Gustav Klimt, I think I enjoyed it more than Kev!
We took the Batobus along the Seine to Eiffel Tower 

We were in Paris for the football World Cup semi final and final.  Paris erupted when France got through to the final and then when they won, well the celebrations lasted ALL night.  We were pleased to be in a secure mooring at Port du Arsenal, the noise outside the port was tremendous, I don't know how the Parisians had the energy to make that much noise for so long!!  We were jolly glad England wasn't in the final, we might have had to hide our flag!

The remainder of our 2018 trip will be written very succinctly as its taken me until April 2019 to write it!! also I'm writing the onboard and Ive left my note book at home so the hours indicated for our trips now is engine hours not true journey time as we tend to switchoff engine when we can, especially going down.

Tuesday 24th July
Paris Port du Arsenal to Nogent PK171 3 locks 1 tunnel

We departed Port du Arsenal and made our way to Nogent on the river Marne.  We got delayed at one lock where we had to wait for two hours for commercial traffic.  Nogent wasn't a particularly great mooring under a bridge but we were pleased we had booked there seeing as we were delayed so long at lock St Maurice.  Our mooring guide had the incorrect VHF number for lock St Maurice so we were not getting a reply, the correct number is VHF 19.

not a pretty mooring for us but it felt secure

Wednesday 25th July
Nogent to Lagny sur Marne
22km 2 locks 3 hrs

We enjoyed watching the commercials motor on through Lagny

Lagny is a great mooring, we stopped here our first year in France on our way to Paris.  This year we stayed here for two nights.  Free mooring and you pay at tourist office nearby for electric.

Friday 27th July
Lagny PK152 to Meaux PK 134
18km 1 tunnel, 3 locks 3 hours

A very busy but nice mooring

Meaux is a great mooring, lots of pontoons, but it does get busy.  They'd had floods at some point and one of the pontoons the electric points did not work.  There was no charge for mooring there We stayed here 4 nights and visited the World War 1 museum which was excellent and well worth a visit.

Wednesday 1st August
Meaux PK134 to St Jean Les Deux Jumeaux PK 100
34km 2 locks 4.5 hrs


A very nice mooring on a floating pontoon with electric and water

Thursday 2nd August
St Jean PK 100 to Chateau Thierry PK51
49km, 4 locks 6.6hrs

It was a long days cruise but very beautiful on the river.  We stayed 2 nights at Chateau Thierry, a very nice place, with a great market.

A beautiful river

Not a bad mooring, the pontoon mooring was full

Saturday 4th August
Chateau Thiery PK 51 to Dormans PK26
15km 2 locks 3.2 hrs

Dormans is a great mooring with electric and water, very popular, we saw quite a few boats coming and going.  We had our  friends Dave and Clare for dinner one evening, which was lovely, Barge Lyneve with Steve and Lynda had moored up and they came for drinks to meet Dave and Clare and we had Dean on Piper barge Angela Dawn moor alongside for one nigh so we had a nice sociable time there.  All this time from Paris we are in a heat wave which was great but very exhausting.

Tuesday 7th August
Dormans PK26 to Damary PK5
21km 2 locks 3 hours

We were pleased to see a vacant pontoon at Damary as we wanted to stop here to go back to a Champagne house to buy some more of their Champagne.  We only stayed one night as there was quite a bit of coming and going at night with youths jumping into the river off the nearby bridge in the dark and we felt a little unsafe.

Wednesday 8th August
Damary PK 5 to Mareuil sur Ay PK59
12km 4 locks 2.3 hrs

We left the river Marne and joined the Canal Lateral a La Marne.  We were sorry to leave the river, it is a beautiful, meandering river, lined with vineyards and trees.
Mareuil is a great mooring, lots of space and has a very nice feel about it, so we stayed 2 nights

Friday 10th August
Mareuil PK59 to Chalons en Champagne PK32
17km 5 locks 4.2 hrs

We had reserved a place at Chalons.  There is plenty of space for cruisers but not so much for barges and even less if a hotel boat is in port.  The town grew on us slowly over the 3 days we stayed there.

We visited the war graves in Chalons

Monday 13th August
Chalons PK32 to Pogny PK18
12km 2 locks 2.4 hrsTuesday 14th August

deparitng Chalons

Pogny PK18 to Couvrot PK5
13km 5 locks 2.6hrs

We are pleased we moored here the night rather than going on further to Vitry le Francois as when we went past Vitry the following day it didn't look like a very nice port, very crowded with old barges and commercials, but this mooring was only worth staying one night.

Wednesday 15th August
The start of the Champagne et Bourgogne Canal
Couvrot PK 5 Orconte PK66
7 locks 3.1hrs

The locks on the Champagne Bourgogne Canal are filled to the brim

The first part of the Champagne Bourgogne Canal didn't look too promising but once we'd got through the first lock it improved.  We were given a controller for the locks and quite a few of the locks you didn't even have to pull the blue pole you just used the controller to work the locks.

We stayed two nights at Orconte, it was a nice mooring, and we met a very nice couple on barge Riccall , called Alex and Louise who had spent quite a few days moored at Orconte.

Friday 17th August
Orconte PK66 to Chamouilley PK38.5
21.5km 10 locks,  4.5 hrs

We stopped at St Dizier but there was no shade, still very hot weather, so after we'd popped to te supermarket we carried on our journey to a much nicer moored at Chamouilley.  We liked it so much there we stayed 3 nights.

Monday 20th August
Chamouilley PK 38.5 to Jonville PK 62
23.5km 11 locks 3.7hrs

Another nice mooring at Jonville,  we stayed here 2 nights.  It is a private mooring belonging to the hotel and there is a restaurant there where we had dinner one night, very nice.

Wednesday 22nd August
Joinville PK 62 to Rouvroy sur Marne PK72
10km 4 locks 2 hrs

This was a nice quiet mooring.

Thursday 23rd August
Rouvroy PK 72 to Froncles PK85
Froncles is a big mooring, lots of space, with a big camper van park right next to the mooring, it was busy but still a nice mooring.  Supermarket within walking distance.

You can't see all the motorhomes parked up here in this photo

Friday 24th August
Froncles PK 85 to Chaumont PK 110
25km 11 locks 4.7hrs
The scenery is lovely on this section of canal. pine trees give the canal a different feeling.
The mooring at Chaumont wasn't that pretty, strange concrete bollards but we stayed for two nights.  The was electric and water.

Sunday 26th August
Chaumont PK110 to Foulain PK 124
14km 8 locks 2 hrs
The mooring at Foulain was lovely and quiet.

I loved the different feel the pine trees gave the canal in this section

Monday 27th August
Foulain PK124 to Rolampont PK138
14km 7 locks 2.8hrs
A nice mooring, the village has a boulangerie.

Tuesday 28th August
Rolampont PK 138 to Langres 149
11km 7 locks 2 hours
The port at Langres was quite busy but we got a space to moor and we stayed here for 3 nights.  We caught the bus to the town centre and enjoyed looking around the town and seeing the fantastic views from the city walls.  It was great to meet up with Lesley and Stewart off Calliope.  They were on their way to Sillery for the winter.


Great views from the city walls

Friday 1st September
Langres PK149 to Villegusien-le-Lac PK 167
1 5km tunnel, 10 locks (all down now to the River Saōne)

We early departed from Langres and had problems with the first lock of the day and typically there was no where to tie up, we managed to ring VNF and after about 30 mins a lock keeper arrived to sort out the lock.  The tunnel was fine, but long.  We then had some big locks to go down, I was pleased we were going down rather than up, so it was all very easy.


We have permission  to go through the tunnel

An easy tunnel but long!

The mooring at Villegusien wasn't that pretty but was ok, and we had a nice walk to and around some of the nearby lake and we had lunch at the campsite cafe on the Saturday.
The pompieres arrived to do a training session in the derelict buildings

We had a lovely walk around the lake

Sunday 3rd September
Villiguien PK167 to PK186
19km 16 locks 3 hours
As nice rural mooring just downstream of Lock 24, we liked it here as it so rural so we stayed here two nights.

Will it fit intothe lock!!

Such a great place to moor

Tuesday 5th September
PK 186 to St Seine PK196
10km 4 locks 2 hours

We heard and then saw a woodpecker

This was another nice quiet mooring just enough space for us.  We cycled into town to the supermarket and boulangerie, a pretty town so worth the effort.

Thursday 7th September
PK196 to PK212
 16 km 9locks 2.8 hours

A other quiet mooring
A keen fisherman turned up and stayed the night!

The bollard was a bit wonky at this mooring but was solid enough.

Friday 8th September
PK212 to Maxilly PK222
10km, 3 locks 1.6hrs
Maxilly is the last mooring before leaving the canal.  It's a nice mooring, jetons bought at boulangerie for electric.  It was quite busy with commercials turning up late after the lock had closed for the evening.

This kingfisher kept flying in front of us 

A busy place with three commercials turning up after the lock had closed

We had to post our controller of the locks.....

...into this contraption

great to be back on the river


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