Monday, 20 May 2013

Summit Conquered

On the 18th May Antiope finally reached the highest navigable point in France, 378m above sea level.We passed through the last lock, Ecluse no 1. to moor in the basin at Pouilly en Auxois.
Top lock, Ecluse no 1, the summit
Since leaving Migennes we have negotiated 114 locks, much of the time in pouring rain, not much fun with the canopy down. The bridges on the Bourgogne canal have a air draft of only 3.4 m or 200mm spare for Antiope.
Antiope in low profile mode, in the rain!

Air draft limited on the Bougogne.

According to the lockeepers this May has been the wettest in memory.
Aftermath of flooding in Montbard.

 The aftermath of flooding two weeks ago is very evident, with massive trees having been swept down the rivers. Altitude plays tricks with the barometer, we could also claim the storm of the century by the weather outside right now.
Our barometer plummets as we climb the hill.

Our next hurdle is the Pouilly tunnel over 3km long and likely to be a tight fit for us. Watch this space.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Springtime 2013 France

Where do all the old lifeboats go?
Simon Evans collects retired RNLI lifeboats

We arrived in Laroche Migennes In the last days of April to find Antiope had survived the winter in good shape.Her home for the winter was at Simom Evans Boatyard on the banks of the river Yonne. Here has also become the home of a lost fleet of RNLI lifeboats!
An unlikely place to find these herioc craft, all lovingly salvaged by Simon.
Antiope is refloated, just in time, before the Yonne river flooded.
                                   The flooded river Armencon, overflowed the canal

Antiope had a lick of paint and was craned into the river, but only just in time, the rains came in buckets, followed by floods, the Yonne turned into a raging torrent, we had scuttled into the Bourgogne canal basin just in time.
The VNF closed all the waterways in our region for several days. Our choice of where to go was reduced to one option, the canal de Bourgogne.
So two weeks after launching we finally head off south towards Digon. The canal de Bourgogne was one of the the earliest canals cut linking the north to the south, and climbs to the highest navigable point in France, through 113 locks.        
Under way at last, cruising South towards Dijon, the canal de Bourgogne