Saturday, October 8, 2022

Going Down

White water in the lock

When we left Argens-Minervois, where we picked up the boat, we went up the Canal du Midi towards Toulouse. We also went through twenty four locks by the time we got to Carcassonne where we turned around. All of them were going up; we entered the lock empty and it fills with water to lift us up. As the water pours into the lock, you need to hold the boat in place with ropes, and at times it is hard to keep it from moving; we had Ryan and Ben well trained in this task by the second lock. I do not know exactly how much we climbed on the way, but some of the locks were pretty deep. 

At Carcassonne, we dropped Ryan & Ben off to explore on their own and we turned back to return the boat. We are now heading down the canal with just the two of us to do all the work, so we were a bit concerned about how we would do, but it actually turned out very well. 

This is much easier

When you are going down, you enter the lock with it full of water, so the “Crew” does not have to get off the boat before the lock. In fact we quickly discovered that we could just stay on the boat and throw the ropes off and around the Bollards on top of the lock walls. It is much easier to hold the boat in place when the water leaves the lock as when it rushes into the lock. Then, once the lock doors open, you just flip the ropes off the bollards, and motor out of the lock. The only reason we got off the boat was to give the lock keepers pins from back home. 

So, going down is WAY easier than going up.

Waiting for the lock

Cruising the canal

A calm early morning cruise in the rain

Piloting from the top

And from inside (out of the rain)

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