Wednesday 9 October 2019

Damery (a sunless day)

Our plan for Monday was to cruise to Épernay to top up with fuel, do a supermarket shop then moor up at Cumières, one of our favourite moorings on the River Marne.

Leaving on Monday morning cruise
Épernay is at the extreme eastern end of the navigable River Marne and about five kilometres before the town, the main navigation continues eastwards along the Canal latéral à la Marne.  This means the leg down to Épernay is a cul-de-sac as far as boats are concerned, so most boats go straight onto the canal ignoring the dead-end leg. 

The dead-end in the middle.  The green areas are vineyards
15 kilometres or so along the Canal latéral à la Marne, the Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne heads north to join routes to Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.  This route is open all year around but is currently closed for three weeks for some maintenance on a lock flight.  It was reopening today but has been delayed until Wednesday.  This has caused a bit of a blockage as boats, including us and the girls on Puddle Duck who are waiting for the reopening are hogging the mooring spots at this end of the river.

After ascending one lock, we passed the moorings at Cumières.  The moorings were full and occupied with a couple of boats we recognised and knew were waiting for the canal to open so they could head north.  We carried on to Épernay thinking that maybe one of the boats may have moved on a bit by the time we came back.

Over the top champagne house (Champagne de Castellane) in the middle of Épernay
After lunch we headed back to Cumières only to find yet another boat had breasted up against one of the two already there, so Karen rang Nikki to check our spot in Damery was still free.  It was so we carried on back down the lock to where we started, six hours, two locks and 21 kilometres earlier!

The trip boat at Cumières
You can see from our pictures that we had had a very grey day, but we were lucky in that we had no rain and we had a pleasant evening of sunshine back at Damery.  Saying that we did get rain during Monday night and it felt like it rained off and on all day on Tuesday.

We spent a lot of Tuesday morning planning where we’re going to go in the UK when we go back for December.  We’ve got free electricity at this morning and with no chance of the solar panels helping out much, Karen also prepared a meal for the slow cooker to take advantage of the free power.

After lunch we put on our wet weather gear and went for a walk.  Gorete joined us with their dog Bailey and we managed to harvest more walnuts.

It must have been the first day we haven’t seen any sun at all; on other grey days, at least the clouds have cleared in the evening and the sun has come out to make the last hour or so of daylight a bit more pleasant.

The weather was like this all day

We'll leave it until Wednesday morning to see if we'll stay another day at Damery or have a cruise.

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