|. We made it to France! Here's the view from the helm of Amarok/Accord cruising on the Canal de Garonne.
Canal Barging in France
Canal Barging in France
Click on photos to view larger...
À BORD d'ACCORD
1 July 2011 - After a long trip,
with missed connections and lost
luggage, we made it to Moissac and
found the Amarok/Accord waiting
for us at the Port de Plaisance on
the Canal de Garonne. (see map)
She was hard to miss in the harbor
with her bright yellow trim!
For a practice run, and "sea trial", we
took the boat down a couple locks into
the River Tarn. We spent a lovely day
cruising on the river and learning what
the boat could do. We found she can
make surprisingly sharp turns (for a
55-ft barge) and we recorded a top
speed of 13.5 km/hr or about 7.4 knots
- not too shabby!
|Below and at right: Amarok/Accord docked
at the Port de Plaisance in Moissac.
Negotiating our first lock. Nancy handling the line, me taking pictures!
On the Tarn, windshield down. Henry at the helm.
On the Tarn. Nancy in typical cruising position.
Here we are at the Moissac river dock waiting to go back up to
the Canal de Garrone. This boat certainly attracts attention
wherever she goes; we've already gotten four "thumbs-up"-
and it's only our first day on the water!
07 July 2011 - Finally departed Moissac,
headed west along the Canal de Garonne.
After a very pretty 4-hr trip and 5 locks, we
arrived in Valence-d'Agen where we tied up at
the town docks.
The locks in this section of the canal are automated. To activate the
lock, you grab a hanging stick and twist it. Here, Nancy has just
done that, and as you can see in the distance, the lock has responded
by showing us red & green lights - meaning that it is preparing for
The GPS on the boat lacks the appropriate C-map
cartridge, so it it's pretty useless. But, what does
work very well, is our little Garmin Nuvi. It shows
us headed down the canal (right next to the
Garonne River), and it shows our speed of 5 mph -
the maximum speed allowed in the canal. It will
also show how far we've gone. Today, we went a
grand total of 10.3 miles!
The Amarok docked in Valence-d'Agen. We had no trouble docking our out-sized boat here although notes
in the logbook from the previous owner suggested it was "unsuitable for boats of our size". We brought
out our little step to make it easier to get down onto the low floating finger pier. Very civilized.
08 July - Travelled 3 hrs to Boé. Docked at
PdP free, walked to Leclerc Supermarché.
09 July - One hour West on the Canal de
Garonne brought us to Agen, the prune
capital of France! Docked at the Locaboat
base. Easy walk into pretty town. Exc.
French dinner at La Part des Anges rest.
10 July - After I got us the usual (une
baguette et deux croisantes) at the
boulangerie for breakfast, Nancy went to
the Sunday market - which was huge! She
came home with a large basket full of
stuff. At 1:15 PM we departed and headed
15 km (2.4 hrs) down the Canal to
Nancy writing e-mail between locks. (They are quite far apart here.)
Tons of sunflowers along the Canal. They're called
tournesols here because they turn to face the sun.
Looking back along the Canal. A Penichette is following us.
Nancy at the helm, a rare sight!
Going through a lock. Nancy's at the bow (click on photo for
larger view) doing all the work! I'm taking photos. By
leaving the boat in gear with rudder hard over, we need only
one line. At least for descending, this method works great!
11 July - 10:45 AM - Dep Serignac - fair, 78° F
1:30 PM - Arr: Buzet-sur-Baïse
Moored to bank opp. charter boat dock,
nice shady spot - 34° C and sunny today.
Continued on Page 3...
|. To see a MAP of the
. Navigable Waterways of FRANCE
. and a Map of Our Route, Click Here.