Monday 11th June
Roanne to Briennon
Our departure day. Raining. Karen returned the ablution keys to the Capitainerie while I disconnected the shore power. Lowered our awning and radar arch in preparation for the low bridges. We left at about 10.45 and did a short circle through the harbour waving good bye to the various friends we had made – and they all blew their boat horns. Quite touching.
This canal is very quiet and makes for easy pleasant cruising.
Fortunately the rain was very light and let up for most of the time. No problem locking down the 3 locks to Briennon. We arrived at No 2 in the middle of lunchtime, but the lock was set for us and we tied up in the lock and waited for the eclusier.
Briennon was rather full and we opted to tie up at a wild stop about 200 metres past the marina.
The only disappointing thing is the new tappit cover gasket is still not sealing properly. Much better than before, but still not perfect.
We had met Wyn and Donna from Liberte in Roanne. They had also stopped in here and came across for a cuppa (too early for wine). We planned to meet later up at the pub. Well, turned out the pub closed at 17.00. There was one restaurant with a bar that was open so we had a pleasant chat over a couple of beers/glasses of wine. Also turned out the local shop had closed for good. Seems to be rather common around here. So sad these little villages are just dying!
Anyway, back to the boat and we slept well.
Tuesday 12th June.
Briennon to Artaix
Thing about these smaller French canals – you can’t always just pitch up at a lock and expect there to be a lockie in attendance. When you go through a lock the lockie usually asks your plan and where you will stop. We had indicated we would stop at Artaix, which meant no locks at all.
Thus a latish start – about 11.00 and a pleasant 2 -ish hour cruise to a wild stop near Artaix. One of the sort that is shared with camper vans. And the rain held off. We took a walk into Artaix where there was supposed to be a shop/boulangerie. Surprise! Long ago closed. What a shame.
The canals in this region have lots of low bridges. We always need to have the radar arch and aft awning down. The forward one needs to be dropped occasionally. If we leave it down all the time we are at the mercy of the sun or rain. We finally found a way – By leaving the side windows off, and rolling up the forward ones, we can easily drop it as necessary.
Back to the boat and an afternoon nap.
The ongoing oil leak saga – mmm – Another clean up and I redid the tappit cover gasket job. Lets see what happens tomorrow, but I fear there is a deeper problem somewhere. The age-old definition of a boat is starting to spring to mind: “A boat is a hole in the water into which you throw money!”
But we cooked on board and had a pleasant evening, accompanied by a couple of glasses of red wine.