Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Friday, July 19, 2019

Vandenesse-en-Auxois, June 20-23

We’ve stayed in the Vandenesse moorings under Chateauneuf twice; with Odysseus in 2009 here and our first year with Oldtimer here. It is still one of the most beautiful, picturesque moorings in northern France.
When we were here in 2015 we had stayed a couple of locks below the Vandenesse basin, in between locks 11 and 12. It’s a shorter hike to the chateau and a better view up the hill. We wanted to go there again but were afraid that the low water levels might make the mooring too shallow. There are a couple of mooring stakes right below the lock into the Vandenesse basin so we tied up the boat and cycled the one kilometer down the canal to check the depth. Sure enough, not enough water.
We didn’t really want to stay on those stakes as they are right below the lock, getting turbulence from the emptying lock and taking up critical maneuvering room, so we moved down the bank. The bollards are a little too far apart for us so we had just finished pounding a stake into the very hard ground when the captain of one of the hotel barges moored in the basin approached and said we were in the way when they needed to turn around and we’d have to move anytime they needed to maneuver. Back to the stakes we went. A couple hours later, one of the locks operated and we began tilting; aground! We pushed off and moved to the other side, using a bollard and a lamp post to moor.

The couple of days in Vandenesse we did the usual things; walk up to the chateau on Friday for lunch at the Hostellerie du Chateau and on Saturday after a rain shower, we cycled up to the Panthier reservoir, the one that’s giving everyone headaches because it’s so low.

The water is quite a way down on the dam. This time of year it should be almost full.

Enough water for recreation on the lake, though. That grass should be under water.

The lack of water is making things very difficult on several of the canals in the Burgundy region so several hotel barges have made the move to the Bourgogne. There are 12 currently making regular trips from the Dijon region up to Vandenesse and several that are making short trips up from the Saone. The Vandenesse basin becomes quite a parking lot on the weekends when it’s turn-around day.

Oh, maybe just one shot of the chateau…..

Sunday morning we were off. A big heat wave was on it’s way and we knew just the place to hunker down and ride it out.

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