Our cruising for 2013 was delayed until the start of June due to the silting up of our home river,the Sambre. In places, close to the locks, there was only 0.8m water depth and we draw 1.3m so we were waiting for the planned dredging that got delayed and delayed. Eventually we decided to attempt to go despite the shallows, after the local lock keeper said he would raise the water level by 0.3m by closing the sluices. Below is our loose plan of heading toward the canal des Ardennes in France. This is not a great distance but we like to take our time and stop in nice places for several days.
The consolation for the late start for our cruising was the cold and wet spring that lasted up until the first week of June. The River Meuse was reported to have been running fast with some stoppages, but as we plan to set off the dry weather is starting to bring the speed of the current down. By time we reach the River Meuse we should be able to stem the flow and make our way upstream (south).
STOP PRESS ..... Hooray, 5th June we left Erquelinnes with almost empty stern water tanks and slightly raised water levels and managed to slide over the mud banks at 4 different locks. We think we pushed through a small amount of mud but managed to keep going! It is great to be underway again and also to know that they should have dredged by time we come back in September. Anyway, we are off to Namur to meet my cousin and his wife so we can take them on a mini cruise on the Meuse. Roll on summer!
Cruise pages to follow:-