Friday 19 August 2011 Arleux to Marquion The Entry to the Canal du Nord

Got away quite early and the played hurry up and wait at the first lock (Palluel 1). Talk about traffic! It took 2 hours to lock us through on our own and another half an hour for the other 2 boats. We locked through in front of an ENORMOUS peniche that literally had space for a fag paper either side of the lock.

Now THIS is what you call boat handling!

Husband and wife team on this thing the size of a frigate. Great fun. The echo sounder tells us there is plenty of water but in places the weed is very long, making you feel like you are aground when you aren’t. Stopped at Marquion, the second lock. Covered about 10 km of the Canal du Nord and are now alongside a public quay with 2 big-ish (but not enormous) peniches rafted up in front of us. Pulling stumps for the day, we will probably start a little later tomorrow, depending on the traffic.

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