Edit Blog Post
Published: August 20th 2010
We set out from Vernon on a bright sunny Sunday morning, Peter, Vincent, Thomas and crew merrily waving us off. Our plan was to get through the next lock or two and head to Port van Gogh at Clichy/Asnieres, just outside of Paris. In the glorious heat we set off, passing old ruined bridges and castles, luxurious chateaux and luscious green scenery with all manner of waterfowl and birds clustered around. Big fish leapt high from the glistening water - paradise. After a few hours soaking up the sights, sounds and sun we came close to the lock at Mericourt.
After our previous experience I suddenly felt a bit sick - would the new cleats hold? I donned my lifejacket and climbed up to the roof, arming myself with a boathook. We got the green light and headed into the mouth of the big slimy giant. My pulse quickened - there weren’t many antlers (I refer to the metal things in the wall that you put your rope around - Rudolph and his buddies haven’t relocated to the French canals) at our level. I grabbed the closest one I could then held on as Mike switched off the engine and
came to join me. He secured one of the two ropes amidships then lassooed another antler higher up with the other rope. I have to admit I was pretty impressed. The water came in in a bit of a torrent, bobbing us about and we noticed it was forcing the back end of the boat in and pushing our dinghy into the wall. I handed Mike my rope and went to the back end with my trusty boathook to fend off. We wobbled jerked and rose to the top of the lock then got out safely. Much more successful than the last time, despite the slightly gung ho lock keeper flooding the water in.
It was by now getting a bit late as we hadn’t left until almost midday so we decided to moor up at some municipal moorings our pilot guide had told us about 15k away in Limay. We drifted on past more greenery and the odd factory and came to the outskirts of a little town with a gorgeous park on an island. Just off to the side of the island was a pretty little bridge and under it a boatyard with mooring. We berthed up
on a pontoon and went off for a row to take pics of a huge heron I'd seen nearby. I managed a couple before it flew away.
Just after dinner our boat was thrown about by a couple of clowns in a rib zooming around the harbour in circles. we shook our heads disapprovingly and tried to steady the baot as best we could. I'm glad we didn't abuse the goons though as we've since discovered they are police... and they always drive their boats at breakneck speed sending wakes which slam us about. Justice was served as we camer across one on the river the day after which had blownm his engine in his urgency to get around - steam was billowing out but we didn't stop to help as we were pushing to get to a lock before it closed for the evening.
Anyway, Limay was stunning and inspired me to write another little poem as we relaxed in the sunshine and listened to the water and the birds....
Warm sun shines down from a dreamy bright blue sky,
The water sloshes, swirls and ripples as we drift on by,
great grey heron leaves his perch and spreads huge wings to fly,
Bullfrogs croak, swallows sing, moorhens utter their strange cry,
Among the weeping willows weaves a vivid dragonfly,
Flocks of geese, ducks and swans lazily float by,
We sink in to our cosy nook and exhale a happy sigh.
Tot: 0.267s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 7; qc: 72; dbt: 0.0232s; 1; m:saturn w:www (10.17.0.9); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb