2015 European waterway trip – Canal de la Meuse – Last part

Verdun – Canal de la Meuse

Leaving Verdun, we continued along the Canal de la Meuse, overnighting at a tiny place called St-Mihiel, till we came to the junction with the Canal de la marne au Rhin.

First lock after Verdun

The original plan had been to go east on this canal toward the canal des Vosges, which we had just discovered was closed due to lack of water (see last post).

So we turned west instead and took the longer route.

Locking up on Canal de la Meuse

A short distance along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, after crossing an aquaduct, was a place called Void, where we stopped for the night.

Void is very aptly named as there really is nothing there!

The Belgian boat!

The previous few days might have been the most frustrating, but these couple of days were the most stressful we have ever had!

All the fault of another boat –

When we arrived at the first lock after Verdun, there was another boat waiting for the lock.

It was an ex hire boat, owned by an older Belgian couple.

Diesel on the water

We both went through this lock, all well.
At the next lock, the itinerant lock keeper was striding around the lock as we went through, peering and pointing at the water.

As we left he was shouting about ‘gazoil’.

At the third lock, once we we in and the lock had filled, there was much more gesticulating and shouting and the
lockie was in furious conversation with the Belgians but he certainly wasn’t going to open the lock gates and let us out.

St Mihiel

It seemed one of our boats was leaking diesel into the water. It appeared to be the other boat.

After more discussions, we were on our way, but at every lock there was much
scrutiny and conversations in French between the Belians and the lockies.

Last lock on the Canal de la Meuse

Once you get into a sort of convoy with another boat it is hard to get separated.

As we approached St Mihiel we saw a VNF
van on the bank watching us, and as we both tied up there for the night, another VNF person was on the quay waiting.

Again much conversation between the Belgian and the VNF official.

Crossing the aquaduct

Then the Belgian was inside his engine compartment fixing something.

I had a chat with him – it seemed he had a leaking fuel pipe which was spraying diesel into the bilge, which was then being pumped out overboard by the automatic bilge pump.

He had been warned by the VNF to fix it, and they would keep an eye on him, and if the problem continued, the y would report him to the Water Police.

The trouble was we were now irrevocably linked to this boat, and we too suffered intense scrutiny
for the next day or so by every lockie we encountered.
On leaving St Mihiel we tried to let them go ahead of us, but a faulty lock delayed them and we
caught up!

I must say, they were a lovely couple, but we just did NOT want to be near their boat.

We finally came to the end of the Canal de la Meuse, which was an anti climax. We still had the VNF
remote control and no clue as to what to do with it now.

Anyway we tied up at Void. As mentioned, there was nothing there, except a VNF office, which was
the last thing we wanted at the moment.
However we had no option as it was too late to continue.
We did take a stroll up to the next lock where we found a helpful lockie.
He would take back the remote, and told us that the next 12 locks were in a chain operated by remote sensors and the locks would be ready for us! Excellent.

Next – Canal de la Marne au Rhin.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This