Seurre to Auxonne

We travelled with Mel and Ian on ‘Jigsaw’ on Sunday to St Jean de Losne and after an overnight stop on precarious moorings on the Bourgogne canal adjacent to the port at St Jean de Losne. we left Mel and Ian on Monday morning and moved on to Auxonne to await some post.

When we left Seurre on Sunday with ‘Jigsaw’ we entered the large lock at Seurre and then travelled for 18 kilometers to St Jean de Losne without another lock and some fairly boring straight cuts bypassing non-navigable stretches of the Soane river.  We arrived at St Jean de Losne in the pouring rain and no obvious mooring slots.  Jigsaw had gone ahead and then called us on the radio to say that the port was full and so was the quay on the river.  St Jean de Losne sits at the juction of the Soanne and the Bourgogne canal so it was a no brainer to go through the first lock on the Bourgognne and look for the first available mooring point.  This is where we got a bit inventive as just beyond the first lock was an old disused metal pontoon which I backed onto and managed to get several ropes from the boat to various points on the shore and the pontoon, in a monsoon the Fench call rain.  Once secured ‘Jigsaw’ came alongside and moored against us, again Ian secures a number of extra lines to his boat from us and from the shore, at the time we both looked like overkill on our moorings but maybe something in the psyche told us both to be very secure.  We all sat under cover on the back of our boat drinking tea and eating cake when an almighty squall hit the area, thunder, lightening and very strong winds, the boats were bounced about but held firm unlike a nearby ‘bumper’ (hire) boat which had only been poorly secured fore and aft with flimsy nylon cord.  We watched as the front of the hire boat broke free from the front rope and swung 180o to smash into the boat behind.  Ian and I lept up and run around to help the poor inexperienced chap secure his boat, Ian giving him a quick lesson in securing ropes, the pulpit at the front of the damaged boat was badly bent but there was no one around to report to,  so we left it to the hire boater to report it to the boatyard .

The rain lashed down all night and it was still pouring when we awoke the following morning.  The plan was to come back out of the first lock and back onto the Soane to moor on the town quay at St Jean de Losne with ‘Jigsaw’.  Jigsaw left first and found a place on the quay but there was not one big enough for us so we said our farewells as we majestically cruised by and continued up to Auxonne.  We arrived yesterday, Monday 2/8, and will reamain until tomorrow when hopefully the post arrives.

Auxonne is a very historic town, and Napolean did some of his military service here when he was a young officer.  There is of course a statue to him and a Napoleon museum, but there is plenty more of note in the town and pictures can be viewed on the web album site.

This post was written by Terry Barrett

Photographs by Tes

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