Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Canal du Loing, May 5-10

As forecast, the weather Saturday was frightful. As our Aussie friends would say, it was “blowing a hoolie”, pouring rain and cold; the high temperature never got out of the 50’s. The wood stove was going pretty much all day. 
We did bundle up and head over to the market for some vegetables, dodging downpours. Even in that weather there were plenty of merchants under their tents. We got a good deal on some delicious French artichokes (which we love!) and various other delicacies.
Moored behind us was a hireboat and we struck up a conversation with Tony and Kris who just happened to be from Hollywood, California. (Tony is a native Hollywoodian, no less.) The had rented the boat for about a month and were due to turn it in in about a week in Migennes, where we were headed for the boatyard.
In the afternoon between showers we paid a visit to the Musée Girodet. Featuring the works of native son Anne Louis Girodet, a neoclassical painter from the early 1800’s, it was not yet open when we visited Montargis last year and it’s really kind of a tragic story. They were weeks away from reopening after major renovations when the River Loing overwhelmed the town during the flood of 2016. Much of the artwork and sculpture was damaged and the building suffered greatly. The facility finally opened again last December and it’s a beautiful small museum, easily covered in just a couple of hours.

The three exhibit rooms on the second floor feature beautiful ceilings.

Some of the masters works.

The Man himself.

Sunday morning the weather was some better, although still very cold. We made the 18 kilometers and 8 automated locks to the Neronville mooring about 2 pm. We had used it as a base for our bike ride to Chateau Landon last year. We were going to go for a walk to the ruins of the Abbey de Cercanceaux on the other side of the canal but first we were waylaid by a local asking about our boat. It turned out Alain lived most of the time in Paris, had spent quite a bit of time in California, and had converted a nearby old mill into a gite with 10 bedrooms and a small apartment for himself. We gave us a tour of the grounds and building. It was very impressive.

The gite’s garden and the old mill building behind the trees.

Mssr. Alain and some woman.

Shortly after our tour of the mill it started to rain again so we beat a hasty retreat to the boat, missing the Abbey. Maybe next time…

Monday morning when I got up to make the morning coffee I glanced at the gauge showing the outside temperature to see how cold it was. Cold!

That’s freezing in centigrade!

We fired up the radiators and managed to thaw out enough to get underway for our next stop, the small village of Épisy. Again, just some bank moorings with no services but we wanted to get close enough to our next stop, Moret sur Loing, so we could arrive there early the next day and hopefully snag a spot. Luckily the sun was out so it warmed up a little. We arrived early enough that we could take a walk over to the Marais de Épisy, a restored marsh and nature preserve. It had a nice walking trail.

Our plans for an early arrival in Moret were foiled when two loaded peniches trundled past just before our 9 am departure. They each take up the whole lock and go very slow. We delayed leaving for about 45 minutes to try to let them get far enough ahead but we still ended up having to wait for each of the 4 locks. The lock into Moret took almost an hour as they used the last one out onto the river and to the Seine to lash the two barges together into a double.
It turned out not to matter, though, as the moorings in Moret were full and some boats were going to have to leave that afternoon as a large barge had reserved some of the space. Shaun and Lynn on Elle, now joined by Lynn’s brother and his wife on Nord had managed to grab a mooring as they had arrived the day before. We would see them again later. 
We traveled the 1.5 k down the Loing to it’s junction with the Seine where we tied up in the moorings in St. Mammès. Even though it was right on the river and there was some wash from the passing commercial traffic, we liked the view and the activity. 

We were on the outside of the long finger where the two small boats are.
That’s a fuel dock across the Seine and the Loing enters
the Seine at the left.

We did manage to get in a few walks around town, visiting the tourist office in Moret and the laundromat in St. Mammès to dry our laundry. We also got a look at the old last lock on the Loing with it’s marker showing just how high the flood waters got in 2016.

That little round marker shows the water 
got up to the bottom of the window of the old lock house.

We had intended to use this as a base for a cycle trip to Fontainebleau but the weather would not cooperate. More rain! We left on Friday for the 13 kilometers of the Seine and then up the Yonne River to our next stop, Pont sur Yonne.


  1. Oh dear! What a difference from last year. You're right, it has been very cold. We've been lucky here as we haven't had much rain, but it's only been warming up in the last week. A very late spring indeed!

  2. There's still a bit of rain around but we shouldn't complain about that. They had a very dry winter here and the reservoirs that supply some of the canals are very low. At least it's warmed up.
    We saw that Hennie H is getting a heart transplant. Let us know how that goes. (Mammoet must be very jealous!)


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