Day 62 –Montceau-les Mines – Canal du Centre- Thursday 16th June

Well back on our old stomping ground again where we spent the whole of last winter.  It seems a bit strange to be back here in the summer but also very useful as we were able with the help of the girls in the office, Catherine, Nathalie and Isobel to sort out our little problems.
The dentist has been booked for Terry tomorrow, we have sorted out the registration of the car, Trusty, and also booked the dry dock at St Leger for a week beginning next Friday 24 June, thank you girls for all your help.
The trip from Fragnes to Montceau was relatively uneventful except I did manage to trap the boat in the lock gates along the way, see photo below.All the locks on the Canal du Centre are automated and rely on timings for all the operations.  Basically sensors on the bank pick up your approach and prepare the lock and open the front gates. When you are inside the lock and secure you pull a cord on the side of the lock and this starts the operation.  The lock fills or empties depending if you are going uphill or down and then the gates open to release you from the jaws of the lock, unfortunately you have a minute to go out after the gates open and if you are slow as I was on this occasion the gates can start to shut before you are fully out.

It is no great drama just embarrassing to call the lockkeeper and admit you have got stuck.  He arrives with one of those French shrugs and smiles, and a look of ‘who’s a silly billy then’

Gladys being very stressed out on the back of the boat

Leaving the lovely stop at Fragnes

Whoops!!!  Thats another fine mess you got me into stanley

Well and truly stuck

A beautiful calm stop at Santenay after the lock incident

Not written about with the same reverence as the Nivanais canal but the canal du centre has a lot to offer

Met up with some old friends, Steve and Josie at Blanzy on the way into Montceau

Arrived in Montceau to a great welcome from the girls and a very busy port,  needed a bit of deft seamanship to get onto the small pontoons Posted by Picasa

This post was written by Terry Barrett

Photographs by Tes

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