Cruising the Canal

On the Canal Du Midi – southern France.  Built in 1681 and connects the French Mediterranean to the Atlantic near Bordeaux – 155 miles in length.  The purpose was to transport goods through southern France.  Sort of like an Eric Canal in France, but earlier.  We will only be traveling 118 (~73  miles.)

On the Canal with our friends Mark and Jennifer.  We’ve been talking of doing some sort of canal cruise for years.  The timing fit.

Captain Jim, Jennifer and Mark

Day 1:  Got on the water about 2 at Negra and ended the day in Gardouch – 5 KM!.  Almost an immediate lock to get our fear factor started.  A total of 3 locks, one a double; you go into a lock, it fills and you exit into a 2nd lock.  So far all our locks have had a lock keeper that opens and closes the locks, or there are buttons you push to open or close and it does it automatic activity.

Our first lock at Laval.


A double lock. We are in the first lock, see the 2nd lock directly in front of us. We have to climb to the European Continental Divide, then down to the Med.

Day 2:  Gardouch to Le Segala  – 15KM.   5 locks , 1 double.  We are getting better at it – pretty easy.  Today we had a “lock-butddy”; if two boats want to go at the same time, they fit you all in.   Our buddy and his wife were all alone on the boat which is harder.  They were having lots of trouble with their boat in the wind.  At one point, Jim jumped across to help them.

Our “lock-buddy”. He had the boat in good shape now. The entrances are not very big.

You can tie up to the bank wherever you want.  It is Sunday and many places are closed so luckily we have food on the boat.  We did bike in the 25 MPH winds into a little tow and had a love Serrano type and butter sandwich on a very lovely baguette.

A baugette machine outside our lunch stop. They had just filled it. .90 Euros for a great baguette.

Battery running low.  No shore power until tomorrow.


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