A BIG BIG BIG HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY TO OUR YOUNGEST GRANDSON MAX. We love you and your mummy and daddy and brother and sister to pieces
Marquion to Moislains, (10km north of Peronne)
Wow what a ride: 6 locks in quick succession, under 21 bridges (nothing to do for them – just a statistic) and the Ruyaulcourt Tunnel, 4.354 km long with a passing space 1.25km inside it in the middle.)
We are now at the first highest point on the Canal du Nord. The next 5 locks will drop us down just over 26 metres to Peronne, where the Canal de la Somme joins (and where we would have been had we been able to go in via St Valery sur Somme.)
We had a great day; Reg and Sheila had the perfect opportunity to practice their boat-handling-in-a-lock skills and the tunnel was quite exciting but relatively easy. All the lock keepers have been very helpful as have the peniche skippers. If we turn up at a lock requesting passage through, we are put in order of who arrived first, rather than being ‘barged’ past. So far that only happened once on the entrance lock to the Canal du Nord and it seemed quite clear that the guy was in a hurry, as even the other peniches let him through without question.
We stopped overnight on a public quay with beautiful countryside on our side and on the opposite bank – a huge flour mill. We really are in the middle of nowhere but are 68 nautical miles north of Paris still. We have the official chart (fluviacarte) from Calais to Noyon, which is where we leave the Canal du Nord and join the Oise. The chart from there to where our next fluviacarte starts is not available – delivery date from publishers 7 Dec. So Barbara and Steve’s hand made fluviacarte, mentioned earlier, will come into its own soon. We would like to say a huge thank you for the various publications given to us by lovely people (thankyou Steve and Steph and Alan).
Saturday night was fun. We all ventured out to the local township and a bar/tabac that seemed to be the only thing open for miles. Filled with an eclectic mix of locals and peniche crews it was a noisy evening. As expected, Donna and Eve, Robert and Judith’s niece and friend, were gazed on longingly and admired by the local young men, one of whom insisted on taking lots of photo’s with his phone, then dropping it on the stone floor to see it disintegrate into little pieces. A fun evening and a walk back to the canal.