Collision What Charter boat?

After a night on board at Port Cassafieres we set off for our first day on board Salsa 19 on the Canal du Midi.We were headed for our first stop at Colombiers., a journey of about 19km and just to the west of Beziers. Setting off early at 7 pm, not long after sunrise, we had a delightful meander down the canal in the early morning light.

Aft end of the Salsa 19 in dock at Port Cassafieres

Aft end of the Salsa 19 in dock at Port Cassafieres

 

Canal near Portiragnes, lined with Flame trees

Canal near Portiragnes, lined with Flame trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the course of the day we were to go through 9 locks. This included the 6 staircase lock set at Fonserannes that are encountered just as you leave Beziers. These six locks come after traversing the 198 meter long canal aqueduct over the River Orb. Looking back is a ‘postcard view’ of Beziers and the old cathedral high on the hill overlooking the river and canal.

Beziers from the Pont du Canal

Beziers from the Pont du Canal

 

The canal aqueduct over the River Orb

The canal aqueduct over the River Orb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a somewhat unexpected delay in passing through Beziers on our way to the Fonserannes locks. It seems that large steel hulled barge carrying 80 or so lunch time diners all eating and chatting on deck has a right of way over the smallish Salsa 19 carrying 4 Australians on a pleasant vacation on the Canal du Midi. Any way around a blind corner came this behemoth on the wrong side of the canal bearing down on us. Allthego was at the helm. And allthego he went in an effort to avoid any unpleasant consequences. Alas the result was a somewhat unpleasant and noisy ‘nose to nose’ engagement. There was much consternation on board the steel hulled barge. The captain of the said barge became most agitated and was using a range of french words which allthego and the crew of the Salsa 19 could not understand. All on board Salsa 19 remained calm and there were no injuries, a few disturbed looks on faces though and sucking in of breath. There was no damage to the steel hulled barge or its people. They were all still shouting at someone though, which was probably us! However, Salsa 19 incurred some damage to its fibre glass bow rails. We reported back to base and some technical people showed up after an hour or so and completed repairs so that we could continue the journey.

The Fonserannnes staircase locks built in 1681 rise 22 meters, doesn't sound a lot but takes a lot of energy!

The Fonserannnes staircase locks built in 1681 rise 22 meters, doesn’t sound a lot but takes a lot of energy!

 

In port at Colombiers

In port at Colombiers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘locking up’ through  Fonserannes was hectic work. There were three boats in each of the locks with quite a deluge of water entering at the top. No mishaps though. Crowds of people lined the staircase watching the progress.

We then proceeded to Colombiers past some great countryside to settle in for the first night and await what the new day would bring.

About allthegobro

I am a retired accountant who does a bit of consulting work from time to time. Leanne and I enjoy travelling around seeing the world and we are now going to have some fun recording our experiences in this blog

Posted on May 27, 2015, in Europe 2015. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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