Canal du Rhone au Rijn – St Jean-de-Losne to Dole – Friday 12th August
Finally, we left St. Jean-de-Losne and on our way. After a leisurely start to the day, we left the H2O marina around 10.00 am.
Compared to when I was here a couple of months ago, during the rains, the Saone was flowing very gently, and we made a leisurley 8 kms/hr upstream for about half an hour till we came to the entrance to the Canal du Rhone au Rijn. At this lock, No 75, the first on this canal, we were given our remote control unit for all the locks.
Not having done much boating since last year, we were a bit apprehensive about the day’s plan for 9 locks up to Dole.
But the weather was perfect, Shangri La behaved well, and for the most part the locks and remote control functioned correctly. There were a couple of minor delays – at the very first lock we had to wait about 20 mins as 2 boats went in just ahead of us. The locks can only accommodate 2 boats at a time.
The second occasion, although the correct signal lights were showing the lock sequence took ages to start. Karen was about to leap ashore and go to the lock when it operated. The third occasion we had locked up and were waiting for the gates to open, and nothing happened for ages. I decided to go forward to the lock gate, and all of a sudden they opened. I think the boat was a bit too far back in the lock and was activating a sensor.
One of the rules on these French canals is that when going through locks, you’re supposed to wear life-jackets. As Karen is wearing in the picture above. We now do this, though I don’t see many other people complying with this rule.
Anyway, after a pleasant trip (except for passing a monstrous chemical factory) we arrived at Dole just after 16.00 pm.
Bit disappointing to find that most of the marina was taken over by the Nicol’s Hire Boat outfit.
Probably a bit mean of me but I think these ghastly plastic bubble boats are an abomination!
They look more like dodgem cars than boats. For the first night we tied up on the opposite bank, which was free, but with no services.
We popped into the Capitainerie office and chatted to the lady port captain. We arranged to move across the next day when there was some space, so we could get shore power and fresh water. She very kindly let us have the keys anyway to the ablution block.
We planned to stay 2 full days in Dole.
I am a bit of an over-planner, which I suppose is better than not planning at all! The passage planning in the guide uses 13 mins per lock whereas I use 30 mins.
It actually works out somewhere in the middle (16 to 20 mins), as there are usually a few delays along the way.
Next – Time out in Dole.
Read Karen’s blog http://www.greenpointgreenie.co.za to get her perspective on our travels.