Wednesday, 26 May 2010

from St Omer to Arleux via Canal du Nord

Guilotine Locks
Thursday 9th June 2005

Barge Waiting Quay
Left St Omer early to get a good run today. We went through some several deep locks (upwards) the deepest was around 13 metres, although with floating bollards you just tie up and go up with them - no problem! It is a bit earie until you get used to them, as you pass under the big guillotine doors the smelly water drips on you and when you look up the slimey walls seem to go on forever.

We have been trying to get into the locks infront of the barges rather than behind as their prop wash really throws the water around. Commercial traffic does get priority so it really is up to the lock keeper if he lets you in - luckily for us we've had no problem.

In total we did around 95km today, it was quite uneventful. At around 6pm we started to look for somewhere to moor for the night but there wasn't anywhere and with the big barges going past frequently drawing all the water away from the sides of the canal, we didn't fancy putting rhond anchors in and tying up to those. Eventually at nearly 9.00pm we found a spot on a lock waiting quay at Arleux where there was a lot of commercial traffic waiting to go through the lock the next morning.

We are using a Navicarte book, number 24 - 'Picardie' which is from a range of pilotage books for the canals. All along the banks of the canals are numbers which you can follow in the book so you know exactly where you are and also helps keep a track of when the next lock is coming up.

Something else also happened today, my sister has had her baby, a little girl named Ebony :)

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