Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Monday, June 18, 2018

Saturday, May 26

Since we got a late start Saturday, we weren’t going to go very far. On our way to Strasbourg we had made note of a new and very attractive mooring out in the countryside. Along this stretch of canal the old towpath has been converted to a very nice paved cycle path and stops with picnic table and bike racks have been installed, several with mooring spaces. This particular spot had a bunch of newly planted apple trees, the several varieties carefully labeled, unfortunately too young and to early in the season for fruit. We had it all to ourselves and it was a very quiet, restful night.

Boat bow thrusters, a kind of sideways propellor to push the bow around and aid in maneuvering, make a very distinct sound when activated; kind of a metallic whooshing. A little after 6 am, we were woken by the sound of a bow thruster some distance away, not likely since the canal doesn’t open until 9 am and there were no other moorings close by. A few minutes later we heard the same sound again, this time a little closer. The third time we heard it it was even closer and I got up to see what was going on. Throwing on my bathrobe I went up to the wheelhouse and looked out the windows. No boats around. Then I heard the sound again. Opening the door and looking around, I realized the sound came from the propane burner on a hot air balloon that was hovering overhead. It was so close that when I stuck my head out the door, the passengers gave me a hearty “Bonjour!”

 The gentle morning breeze sent them off to the west.

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