We have been waiting South of Paris to start our sprint up the Seine and Yonne Rivers so that we can leave the boat for winter and fly home to Australia this Friday. The Seine RIver was due to re-open tomorrow morning (30 September). We had been concerned that the Yonne River, being smaller than the Seine, would also re-open on time but always thought the Seine was secure given how large it is and how important to waterways traffic in France.
Well, the unthinkable has happened and now the Seine will not be re-opening tomnorrow (after a five week closure for important works). It is going to be closed for a further FOUR weeks. On top of that, the upper parts of the Yonne are scheduled to close for planned works on the fourth of November. So, if VNF missed the deadline on the Seine again, we would be stuck further up the Yonne River.
The VNF have been very confusing so far. They found asbestos in the lock gates of a lock where they were working, one week before the scheduled re-opening. First they said this would delay re-opening 10 days but now they have changed this to 28 days! There were no contingency plans in place. For instance, there is a second lock at the site in question and VNF told us this would be useable. Then four days after telling us this, they told us they have now discovered it has been out of order for 15 years!
There is huge disruption to commercial traffic and we are sure there are lots of angry business people around- not just us.
The VNF is trying to work out what to do and so are we.
Dave and Penny