Canal du Midi – Holiday Report – Saturday

Holiday report Canal du Midi, from Carnon Plage (Montpellier) to Homps (single voyage): 140 km, 17 locks, 25 operational engine hours, 4 persons on board + mascot dog Ella (team Holidayboat.net-Vakantieboot.nl)

midi-1Saturday we embarked at 16 hours in Carnon Plage (Montpellier), after quite some preparation.
We had not been able to leave from the Netherlands before Thursday night. With two cars we covered the 1350 kms distance and our Fiat Ducato is not that fast that you can drive this distance in one day.
The final 200 kms we sometimes had to climb and to descent like a chamois…
The route went by Maastricht, Liège, Luxemburg, Nancy, Dijon, Châlon sur Saône, with a connection to the A75 direction Clermont-Ferrand and Millau
over the highest bridge in the world , due to our visit to our French headquarters in Digoin (Southern Burgundy). Not very much sleep for the Fiat delivery van driver. This car had to be parked into a covered garage in Homps by Saturday early afternoon.

With the luxury car we drive from Homps to Carnon.
First we did some shopping in an expensive small local Casino supermarket and regretted that we had not done a complete start-up shopping in one of the massive supermarkets like Leader Price, Internarché, Carrefour or Géant Casino…
However, the car we came with from Homps appeared to be too small to load all this because of the LPG-tank in the back and 4 persons seated.

Our boat, a Nicols 900 was patiently waiting for us at the quay of the Canal du Rhône à Sète.
At front there was one cabin with a large double bed with shower, wash-basin and toilet and in the back there was a similar cabin with one extra children’s bed.
We were expected to check the inventory and the equipments. We did not… –read here how we should have prepared our trip…

Later it appeared that the busy base staff had not noticed that the window washer was not functioning. (it had not rained for 5 months…)
Better attention next time…were people work mistakes lurk…
After our trip and our remarks the rental company improved the inspection procedures and excused itself for the inconvenience.
The passing of a water scooter resulted into an untransparent windscreen and then we discovered the breakdown.
A repairman passed by and the problem was quickly fixed.
We now kindly ask all our clients to write down any remarks on incorrect items on board on a little note for the serviceman.

midi-2

After embarkation procedures and warming of the engine we pushed off.
The quite new crew was at ease on deck (especially Ryanne d’Arc…see photograph) and we enjoyed the splendid view over the étangs around the calm and straight canal that in fact consisted of two narrow parallel dikes lying in these shallow coastal lakes.
I studied the Vagnon navigation guide for planning, something I should have done earlier….

The Carnon base manager had dissuaded us from staying overnight near the noisy Frontignan railway bridge.