Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Some Excitement, June 8-18

Secure in Montauban by 1 pm on Thursday we wandered into town just for something to do. I had already been here with Tim and Christine and really the only thing I missed was the Ingres Museum featuring the works of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and his acolytes. About the museumMore on the collection.

One of the rooms was dedicated to satire and copies of the works. I got a kick out of this one, based on one of his more famous paintings, La Grande Odalisque which is displayed below the poster.

The caption of the poster reads, “Do women have to be naked to enter the metropolitan museum? 

Less than 3% of the artists exhibited are women but 83% of the nudes are female.”


On Thursday we had passed Kevin and Eleanor on Milou, a couple from Ireland that Cathy Jo and I met last year on our way down from Briare. They were moored up in Lacourt Saint Pierre, the small village right at the beginning of the Montech embranchement where I earlier stayed with Tim and Christine. They rode their bikes down and joined us for lunch at the marina and we made arrangements to stop to see them again on our way out Saturday.

I was also introduced to the wonders of rugby. Being an Aussie, Kevin is a big rugby fan and Friday night was the semi-final of the French championships featuring the team (or side, if you will) from Toulouse against a side from Paris. We went looking for a rugby bar to watch the match but were unable to find one so Kevin found a broadcast that we could watch on his laptop. Toulouse slaughtered the Parisians. I think maybe I need to find out a little more about this sport.

Saturday we headed off, arriving in Lacourt just after lunch. Kevin, Kevin, Eleanor and I all retired to the local bar for the afternoon and had a great time. 

Sunday we got a late start as I wanted to show Kevin the water slope at Montech but, being Sunday, the exhibit was closed so we just cycled around it looking at the exterior displays.

Just about 2 hours after our departure we were tied up at the halte in Escatalens where we enjoyed a great evening thunderstorm, a preview of things to come. Monday just after noon we arrived in Moissac, Tuesday about the same in Valence d’Agen and Wednesday again about 1 pm in Agen.

Thursday Kevin would be off for more adventures; up to Antwerp to look at a barge, then to Paris for the Air Show then to London to complete work toward his captains license then back to France for another boat ride. The man does get around!

I had a couple days to get the boat ready for my next crew, Carl and Janna, friends from Ventura, but before their arrival I had a little excitement. A cruiser pulled into the slip next to me and got tied up Friday afternoon. I wasn’t sure what was going on but one of the passengers came over asking for a pump. I don’t have one but he lifted up the floorboards to show me the bilges full of water; about halfway up the engine! “Call the pompiers”, was my advise and the fire brigade showed up a short time later.

They got to use all their toys; submersible pumps and hoses and the divers even got into the act to make sure there wasn’t a hole in the bottom of the boat.

I suspect the problem was water leaking in around the propeller shaft but I kept my nose out of it.

Saturday afternoon Carl and Janna arrived by train from Bordeaux. We had a very nice dinner out and Sunday morning, after a visit to Agen’s wonderful outdoor produce market, off we went to revisit the Baise River.

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