Friday, 31 August 2018

The river Seine to Paris

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!

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Canal de Briare/Canal du Loing

Monday 18th June
23.8km/Briare Aqueduct/2 locks/3hrs 10 mins

Beaulieu PK184 still on the canal Lateral a Loire

We left Beaulieu at 8.40am and had a very easy trip to the Briare Aquaduct.  We decided not to stay at Briare and carry onto Ouzouer-sur-Trézée PK7.8.  We encountered our first 'up' locks this year.  Amazing to think we've been going down since Roanne.  We only have 8 up locks on the canal de Briare and then its all downhill to Paris which makes things very easy. 

Briare Aqueduct

A lovely view of Briare from the Aqueduct

Our first UP lock of the season

A very nice 'free' mooring at Ouzouer-sur-Trézée
Free electric and water and a boulangerie in the town
Tuesday 19th June
21km/18 locks/7hrs 15 mins inc 1 hour for lunch
Ouzouer-sur-Trézée PK 7.8 to Châtillon-Coligny PK29

We left at 9.00am and had a long day to arrive at Châtillon-Coligny at 4pm.  We had thought we'd moor at Danmarie-sur-Loing PK23 as we'd moored there 5 years ago and liked it but the lock keeper who took us down the chain of locks to Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses said there was a big boat moored there.  When we'd actually got there there was space for us, no sign of a large boat but the lock keepers were waiting for us with a cruiser already in the next lock so we thought we should carry on.  We were pleased as we really liked the mooring at Châtillon-Coligny, so much so we stayed 5 days.  We had ordered a new socket for our shore-power cable as it was broken and we were able to get it delivered to the port office which was handy.

There was work being done on upgrading the cycleway, it was just about finished so you will be able to cycle all the way from Briare to Montargis.  It's great for my running which I've been able to keep up due to the fantastic cycleways along the canals and rivers.

A very nice mooring at Châtillon-Coligny
Free mooring with electric and water
Chatillon-Coligny had some nice old parts of the town to wander around

Delivery of our spare plug for our shore power cable

Monday 24th June
Châtillon-Coligny PK29 to Montbouy PK35
6km/2 locks/1.5hrs

A short trip to Montbouy.  The mooring is free but you need to buy jetons for electric and water which are available to purchase from the grocers or boulangerie in the village.


Tuesday 26th June
Montbouy PK35 to Montargis PK52
17km/6 locks/3 45 mins hours

We left Montbouy at 8.55am and had a beautiful trip to Montargis arriving at 12.40pm.  We had our fingers crossed we could moor at the town moorings, but luckily there was plenty of space for us, so we were very pleased.

Montargis is a nice town to visit, and we also enjoyed walking near the river where there was a lovely park to walk around.

A beautiful canal

Montargis is called Little Venice due to the small canals that go through the town.
All very pretty with the flowers in the ornamental boats.

We moored at the port which was nice
but we had to be gone by Friday morning as a hotel boat was arriving
Lovely flowers everywhere at Montargis

Friday 29th June
Montargis PK52 to Nargis PK10
15km/9 locks/4 hours

This commercial arrived at 8.30am and he waited until 9am for the lock to open pipping us to the post
We were happy to leave Montargis as there was work going on
by the side of the canal, a generator and noisy piling all day.

We left Montargis at 9.30am.  We liked it at Montargis but there was a lot of noise from work going on to do with piling by the side of the canal and the road nearby was only a dusty track so our boat got covered in a grey dust so we were happy to leave.  We had booked the lock for 9am but a large, empty commercial barge came through at 8.30am and waited infront of the lock to open at 9am, so we had to wait until that had gone through.  Luckily he only went down 2 locks to the port du commerce so we weren't held up by him.  We are now on the Canal du Loing and we have been given a control box to use for the locks, so no need for eclusiers.  When we came this way 5 years ago (our first year in France) we were rushing through as they were closing the canal to automate the locks.  It's great having the control box as it means we can leave when we decide on the day rather than informing the lock keepers of when we are departing.

Nargis was quite a nice mooring, no facilities but quiet.  But the boulangerie in the village had closed down which was a shame.

Sunday 1st July
Nargis PK10.4 to Madeleine-sur-Loing PK21
10.5km/3 locks/2 hours

We thought we might stop at Souppes-sur-Loing, but there wasn't any space for us, but we didn't like to look of the mooring anyway, a very tatty, commercial looking mooring.  It's popular because of the free electric but not a big enough incentive for us to stop there.  We thought we'd try a mooring we've got information on in our DBA guides at PK21.  Just as we arrived at our planned mooring we encountered a large. empty commercial.  All was fine, but if we'd been 5 minutes earlier we would nave been happily moored up!

Just our luck we came across this commercial in a narrow section.
We crossed over the left of the canal to help give him space for the next corner
but his wife indicated for us to cross back to the right of the canal, so at least we knew he'd seen us!

A nice mooring in front of lock 9 at PK21

Monday 2nd July
PK21 to Nemours PK29
8km/3locks/1 hr 20mins

We moored at Nemours before the official port du plaisance PK29
no facilities but nice and quiet

A quiet mooring at Nemours

Nemours is an attractive town.  The town moorings are nice if there is space and has electric and water.

Wednesday 4th July
Nemours PK29 to Moret-sur-Loing PK48
19km/7 locks/3 hrs 50 mins

We had a great trip to Moret-sur-Loing.  We'd rung up and booked a mooring so we knew there was a space for us which makes for a relaxing cruise.  So we are at the end of the Loing Canal, next step is the Seine which will be completely different to the type of cruising we've done so far this year.

Moret-sur-Loing is a very nice town, worth staying a few days

Moret is very attractive with its bridges and weirs.
As it was hot weather, youngsters were swimming/paddling in the river.
Our mooring at Moret

A different view of our mooring, we felt very secure here.
While we were at Moret we caught a bus to Fountainbleu.  We thoroughly enjoyed looking around the beautiful chateau and the town is well worth visiting too, very vibrant and busy with lots of restaurants to choose from.

Another view of the mooring at Moret, the non floating pontoons are set at an angle, facing up-stream.
We felt secure even though half the boat was hanging off the end!