Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bailly, Vermenton and On to Auxerre, August 5 to 8

We started our backtrack around 9 Monday morning, stopping in Accolay for the night, just a half hour and one lock before Vermenton. Vermenton is on a 4 k long side canal that features one of the smallest locks in France, a height of 80 cm (about 30 inches).

Going up! But not very far.

Vermenton is on the Cure River, just before it joins the Yonne. Since we were tied up before noon on Sunday, we used the afternoon to bike the 2 k to visit Vermenton’s beach. It was still very hot. Carmen cycled over from Cravant to join us for the afternoon and enjoy the cool water.

There was a big petanque tournament happening near the beach (€100 first prize!) so we stopped to watch a couple of the matches. The teams are made up of two people and we watched one team featuring a player we called “The Destroyer.” Every time an opponent would get their boule close to the “jack” (the game’s objective), he would step up and knock it out of the way. One of his victims muttered to us as he walked by after a particularly well placed shot the French equivalent of “I don’t know why I even try!” Sure enough, “The Destroyer” knocked him out of the way, winning the match.

The little small ball in the middle is the “jack.” Closest boules get the points.

Of course there was a buvette so we all enjoyed a couple of cool beverages before we headed back to the boat and Carmen returned to Cravant and Beauregard.
Monday morning we moved the boat into Vermenton, did a little bike riding in the morning’s relative coolness and then headed back to the beach for the afternoon. Tuesday was supposed to be the hottest day of this very long heat wave, close to a hundred degrees F, but then is was supposed to finally cool down.
In the morning I started on the written exam about 11, finishing up just before noon. The practical portion of the test would involve taking the instructor back down the Vermenton embranchement to his home in Cravant, navigating the three locks back out to the Canal du Nivernais.
We left just after 2 and Cathy Jo and I displayed our best lock skills (we’ve done over a couple of thousand by now!) and dropped Steve off at the Cravant bridge. We made it back to the Bailly quay just in time for a swim. Wednesday morning we made a quick dash back up the the cave to buy more cremant (it opens at 9 am). We hadn’t bought enough the first time!
After that we were off to our next stop, the largest city on the canal, Auxerre, just 11 k away and the end of the canal.

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