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Kerr Barging Blogs

We have spent a fair bit of time cruising in the South Pacific aboard our 33 years young 11.1metre yacht, Pastime of Sydney. We are now cruising through the canals and rivers of France on our old barge, "Anja", which was built in the North of the Netherlands in 1903. Anja was 110 years old in May 2013 and we celebrated with good French Champagne- but the boat did not get any! In 2014, for Anja's 111th, we took her back to where she was built in the North of the Netherlands.
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Turning around

The Canal des Vosges is 121 kms long and has 93 locks. It was complete in 1882, following the route that Roman General Lucius Vetus planned around 2000 years ago.


Sadly we have now had to turn back without travelling on this canal. We had first planned to come this way last year but the canal collapsed at Charmes and we could not get through. Even before we entered the Petite Saone we knew there were some problems again this year. First we had news that a lock gate was not working properly and that stretch would be closed while it was repaired. We planned to get there quickly and through it before the closure. Then this plan was changed because, closer to us, a different section was closed urgently on June 11th because there was danger of a lock wall collapsing. Change of plans again: now we would go very slowly and fill in the time before it was due to re- open after four weeks of work. We have therefore been meandering along for a fortnight and running out of towns to visit. Even worse, we have run out of 3G internet reception. With vlllage populations mainly below 500 and the largest Port sur Saone below 3,000, this area has not yet been part of the 3G revolution.

img 1998One of the 360 varieties of rose at Joinville Chateau
This morning we had word of a third collapse, this time of a dyke, as a result of which the first 22 kilometres of the Canal starting at Corre are closed for an indefinite time while it is fixed. We decided that with three closures already, one because of a gate, one a lock wall and the third a dyke, there was no certainty of making our way along the canal uninterrupted. The chances of being trapped between futher breakdowns seems quite high, so we reluctantly decided to turn around and head back the way we have come, down the Saone and back into the Canal to Champagne. We can then turn East and still complete our circuit into Germany although it is a great deal further. Today we have travelled long and hard, covering in one day, the distance that took four (very easy) days in the other direction.

 img 2027Cute fellow made of flower pots at the canal edge

To make life "interesting", we have also been having some engine cooling problems. David bought a mail order infra red thermometer and has managed to track down and rectify a number of problems, most of which have likely been there for about five years.Fortunately, there is a good source of engine spare parts for us, here in France. On top of that, the postal service (La Poste) is really, really good.


img 2032More pleasant sculptures at the canal side (Fishing!)

Best Regards,


Penny and Dave

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Back to the start of the Canal Entre
Anja's Garden


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Wednesday, 12 June 2024

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