Friday 26th May
Auxonne PK233.5 to Pontaller-sur-Soane PK251.5
18km/1 lock/2 hours
We went to the market first thing to buy ourselves a cooked chicken and our obligatory baguette. We left Port Royal. Auxonne around 10am and we had a wonderful trip to Pontailler and there was plenty of space on the steps. We’ve moored here twice before travelling in both directions and have been lucky enough to find a mooring. The restaurant near the mooring has always been shut before, but when we went for a stroll we were pleased to find the restaurant open, busy and full of life. It’s a beautiful, hot sunny day so we were able to sit outside under the canopy.
In the evening we had early evening drinks with Peter and Caroline off Lumicona another dutch barge. We’ve seen them on and off over the past few weeks, so it was lovely to finally get to know them. They are off up the Canal de Bourgougne et Champagne so we wont see them again for a while.
Saturday 27th May
Pontailler-sur-Soane PK251.5 to Mantoche PK 276
20km/2 locks/3 hrs 30 mins
We left a little too early this morning as we got to the first lock at 8.45am and they don’t open until 9am, even though they are automatic. But we were able to tie up to a dolphin mooring near to the pulley we have to turn to activate the lock. While we were waiting for the lock lights to come on at 9am we were informed by a jogger who shouted over to us that there was a problem with the lock and the VNF were on their way out to fix it. They arrived at 9.15 and we were through by 9.35am so we weren’t delayed too much. We were moored up at Mantoche by 12 noon. It’s a lovely mooring, a favourite of ours, very pretty and we were lucky that it was pretty quiet, most boats that moored up tended to just stop for lunch and move on.
In the afternoon a friend of mine stopped by for a couple of hours on their long journey home from Barcelona. They driven from Avignon and were going to stop at Troyes, but it was still a bit of a detour to come and see us.
|A couple of sunny days spent at Mantoche|
|BBQ on the go!|
Monday 29th May
Mantoche PK 276 to Gray 283
7km/0 locks/35 mins
There was lots of space on the quay when we arrived at Gray. It’s a very convenient place to stop as there is a good supermarket nearby and we were able to stock up on heavy items. Also there is free electric and water. We didn’t need the water but we made advantage of the electric.
We enjoyed a couple of days at Gray. We wanted to go to a pottery shop up in the old part of town to replace a bowl we had bought from them when we were here last and they were closed on Monday, but open Tuesday. The town looked a little more alive this time around, some of the businesses looked a bit more healthy which was good to see.
|Lots of choice of moorings at Grey|
Wednesday 31st May
Gray PK283 to Savoyeux PK 309 (ish)
26km/4 locks/1 tunnel/4 hours
We have only been as far as Gray so now the river is all new territory for us. The locks are working really well for us, and we’ve enjoyed the fact that they are automated, so we activate it ourselves and we don’t have to inform the VNF when we are moving on as we don’t always know. It’s also been great not to have too many locks and a river that’s wide and easy to navigate.
We moored up at Savoyeux marina on a very short pontoon. We had rung up and informed the captianaire that we were 18m long, he seemed happy enough for us to perch on the end of a pontoon with most of our boat sticking out. We had aimed to go for a walk in the afternoon but we didn’t feel happy leaving the boat so precariously moored as there was strong gusts forecast. We had also planned to stay 2 nights but we decided to move on after 1 night.
|Savoyeux Tunnel entrance|
|A big easy tunnel to navigate|
|Stuck on the end of a pontoon, not ideal!|
Thursday 1st June
Savoyeux PK309 to Soing PK333
18km/2 locks/2 hrs 15 mins
We had another super mornings cruise and we were pleased to find our intended mooring was vacant. The wooden pontoon looked a bit rickety but it was fine and it was a beautiful place to moor. We walked into the nearby town called Soing, mainly to see what the town moorings were like, they are a 3km detour on the river which we’d decided not to take as we’d heard the town moorings were too good. But the moorings looked fine, but it was busy with cruisers, so I’m sure they were pleased we weren’t there taking up all the space! There was a small supermarket in the town and a restaurant (closed when we got there), plus a miniature Eiffel Tower!
|A quiet mooring at Soing PK 333|
|Soing village, with mini Eiffel Tower|
Friday 2nd June
Soing PK333 to Port sur Soane PK365
21 km/ 5 locks/1 tunnel/3 hours
Another great trip to Port sur Soane. We had plenty of space on the quay. We were going to stay two nights but in the evening there were some youths who were threw a stone at a house just by we were moored and it ricochet off the house against our boat. The youths ran off but it made us feel uneasy so we decided to move on after just one night.
It was amusing to us as we've been hearing cuckoos all the way along the River Soane, and the nearby house must have had a cuckoo clock cuckooing every 30 mins! Small things.......
|Lots of space at Port sur Soane|
Saturday 3rd June 4
Port sur Soane PK 366 to Fouchécourt PK 381
16km 1 lock/1 hour 10 mins
We had a short trip to Fouchécourt and we were happy to be moored up in a small marina on a floating pontoon, but there is also a large wooden quay we could have moored up on if the marina was full. The captainaire, Roger, is also the chef at the port restaurant. He was fully booked for dinner but had space for us for lunch, and very nice it was too, so much so that we decided to book lunch for the Sunday and we stayed two nights. Late afternoon the thunderstorm that was forecast arrived, not much thunder and lightening but such a viscous wind and heavy rain, it felt like we were in a car wash; our boat looked so clean the next morning! We were glad that we weren’t underway in the storm; it was so violent. It then rained steadily nearly all night but we woke up to another sunny day on the Sunday.
|Luckily we were moored up as we had a tremendous storm|
|The sun did come back out again|
We were introduced to a new aperitif, Lillet, and very nice too!
We even bought a bottle from Roger to make our own cocktails
|A lovely mooring, we will be definitely stopping hear again, possibly this year!|