Digoin to Chalon Sur Saone
Wed 18 - Sat 21 July
Digoin - Chalon Sur Saone(Canal Du Centre 112 km 61 locks)
average lift 2.15 m for the 26 up locks
average fall 3.7 m for the down locks
we knew his was going to be a very busy section because the locks averaged out at one every 2 km. We planned to cover this distance over four possible five days, as it happened we did it in four.
Sections of the canal are very narrow and over grown with no room for passing, We were very pleased we were the only boat travelling at times. The first day we covered 54 km and 18 locks,
we only stopped because the lock keeper decided she wanted an early finish and switched the lock off. With no where to moor we ended up in the lock hanging on four lines to keep us off the walls. The following day we covered only 9 km and 8 locks, which got us to Montchanin, which is where the direction changes and we start the decent and the final exit from the canals. Friday we covered 18 km and 19 locks, these are very close together and no where to stay. A word of warning here, the distances between the locks here is average 0.5 km as the locks down stream fill the water level between the locks drops dramatically. In some cases more than 15 cms.
We spent the night at a lovely little town St Leger Sur Dheune, 5 euros a night showers, water, electricity all in. The last day Sat 21st was going to be long and hard, we got away at 0845 hrs picking up a pleasure peniche on the first lock.
We had to cover 34 km and 16 locks, the last a 10.63 m drop. We progressed nicely until we hit the second chain of locks, the bollards in these was different and it brought the peniche much closer to our stern than I liked, so at the next lock we backed off and let the peniche away, but as the lock refilled for us we went hard aground, lifting the bows about 15 cm out of the water. 1630 hrs we arrived at lock 34 B the 10.63 m drop. We cleared the lock and completed this section of our travels.
We had escaped into the Saone arriving at Chalon Sur Saone at 1730 hrs. We have never been so pleased to arrive anywhere before.
And now for he final part of the trip through France. The Saone and Rhone, we are planning this for the next five days and should arrive in Port Napoleon on Friday or early Saturday.