Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Epinal/Bouzey/Girancourt/PK103/Thunimont/Pont du Coney/Fontenoy/Selles/Corre

We had a very relaxing, recuperating week at Epinal.  We had mixed weather, which was fine with us as we need the rain.  There are concerns with low water levels all over the French canal system.  We had some huge thunderstorms, with big downpours and we noticed the water level rise a little in the port, which is all good news.  Also the inclement weather discouraged the youths of Epinal to hang out late at night in the park so we enjoyed a nice peaceful time there.  It was also very quiet boat wise, due to the low water levels and this short canal section had been temporarily closed up until very recently.

Lots of space at Epinal port

Storm clouds gathering

There was an American themed weekends at Epinal, good fun but very noisy 
The trucks loved blowing their horns

As we are now returning back along the canal des Vosges I’ll summarize our trip back to Corre.

Monday 3rd July

Epinal to Bouzey PK 92.8
13.5 km/14 locks/2 hours 55 mins

Luckily we only met one boat as we went up the flight of locks at Golbey
The flight of locks all work well except one but a VNF engineer was nearby so helped get the lock back into action

Nice pontoon mooring at Bouzey

A gentleman came and gave us a lettuce from his garden which was very kind

It was a bit hot to walk all the way around this reservoir, maybe next time!  Its just by the Bouzey mooring

Tuesday 4th July
Bouzey PK 92.8 to Giranacourt PK 97.5
5 km/1 lock/55mins

Pete our UK heating engineer came to service our boiler at Girancourt. He does a trip to France every year to service his clients who have come over to France with their barges.  We heard on the canal jungle drums he was near Auxerre servicing a Piper barge boiler, we managed to get him to fit us in at very short notice.

Wednesday 5th July
Girancourt PL 97.5 to PK 103
6.5km/7 locks/ 1 hour 50 mins

This mooring was a lovely peaceful mooring, but no TV, mobile or internet signal.  First time we’ve been totally off grid!  Weather is back to being very hot again.

A very peaceful mooring, very hot though!

Thursday 6th July

PK 103 to Thunimont PK 111.2
10km/16 locks/5 hours 45 mins

We left second after a cruiser that was also moored at PK103, which meant all the locks were against us and one lock didn’t want to open its gates to let us in and we had to wait almost an hour for the VNF to come and fix it. I had got off the boat when we first had the problem, as it so often happens there was no mooring to tie up to before the lock and it was a little shallow, so Kev brought the bow in so I could jump off the boat.  I tried to rattle the lock gates to get them to open to no avail so I then called the VNF via the intercom at the lock, and I was told someone would come tout de suite.  But we were still waiting 45 mins later with Kev floating around.  So Kev got off the boat while I held it with a rope and he went and gave the sensor on the lock gate a little nudge with his foot and suddenly the gates went into action and opened for us.  We wish he’d done it sooner!!  He obviously knew where to kick it, rather than me randomly trying to make it work!  We scraped the bottom a little as we moved away from the side of the canal, to go into the lock.  Not a nice sound hearing the propeller ping on the bottom of the canal.
Kev hovered around for over 40 mins waiting for the VNF to arrive to fix the lock

Our mooring we had wanted to stop at was taken up by the cruiser that left before us this morning so we carried on to PK 111.2 a not very pretty mooring but adequate.   We were shattered as it was another very hot day and we’d not stopped for lunch, so we were very tired and hungry.   A sailboat moored alongside us for the night as they were struggling with depth with their 1.6m draft, (we are 0.9m).  They had sailed their boat across from USA so made our trip across the channel seem rather lame!!
We helped out a sailboat as the draught for them was too shallow to moor by the quay
so they moored alongside us

A sad derelict industrial building

Friday 7th July
PK11.2 Thunimont to PK Pont du Coney PK 119
6km/1 drawbridge/5 locks/1 hour 15 mins

We had a simple trip to Pont du Coney (Bains les Bains) and we were in time to have lunch back at the italian restaurant at the mooring.
A lovely mooring Port du Coney (Bain les Bains)
Saturday 8th July
Pont du Coney PK 119 to Fontenoy le Chateau PK 125.4
5.5km/6 locks/2 hours

We enjoyed out trip to Fontenoy and there was plenty of space for us at the large port.  We stayed 2 nights at Fontenoy as the forecast wasn’t good for the Sunday.  We enjoyed a big thunderstorm Saturday night.  Well I did, Kev slept all the way through it!

Lots of space here at Fontenoy

Monday 10th July
Fontenoy le Chateau PK 125.4 to Selles PK 137.5
12km/7 locks/3 hours 15 mins

Another easy trip, it really is a beautiful canal. 

An example of some the lovely views on this canal, a straight bit!

Lots of trees and most of the the time a very smart cycle way which is extremely well used.  We met one lady who had cycled all the way from Spain!

A lock wall, looks like green velvet!

So many gorgeous views I just keep clicking the camera

Tuesday 11th July
Selles PK 137.5 to Corre PK 147
10.5 km/ 4 locks/ 2 hours

We decided to moor back at the town mooring even though its not that pretty.  The canal sides are bulging out and the grass (stinging nettles) are overgrown with large piles of dog poo, and we are charged 15 euros for the pleasure!!  We decided to only stay one night.  We walked to the supermarket to top up supplies and we take a look at the Marina visitor mooring below lock 46 and decide we will move there on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday 12th July
Corre to Corre marina visitor pontoon
0.5 km/1 lock/ 30 mins

This is a much nicer spot to moor on a very smart pontoon, 18 euros a night and no dog poo!!   We have lunch at the marina restaurant and very tasty it was too.  We decided to stay at Corre today mainly because it was forecast to rain a lot today and it has, so good decision!
A great visitor pontoon at the marina, all brand new

Very nice marina at Corre

Notice the lake to to left of the canal, full of water this was when we went past beginning of June

The same view as we came back beginning of July now empty of water,
I hope we do get a good lot of rain to help the water shortage here in France