17 locks, 1 tunnel, 14 miles, 6¼ hours
We got away quite early this morning again. The first lock had been set for us by the VNF. It seems we are the only boat on the move again today. The first part was to get to the summit level where we would encounter the Mauvages. All the locks are triggered by sensors somewhere in the banks, and apart from one they all worked perfectly. On the locks are a box with a phone operated by 1 button. This connects you to the local VNF person that turns up in random times from 2 minutes to 45 minutes. You just never know. Yesterday it was 2 minutes, today it was 45.
After the last upward lock we were then on the approach to the 4,877 m long Mauvages tunnel.
We were greeted by a VNF man on an electric bike that took our details and waved us on. No tug? Seemed not, we were permitted to go through under our own power even waved on through a red light. The tunnel was mostly dry and well lit. It took 50 minutes to get through at 1000 rpm (5km/p/h)
If you have ever wondered what Avalon sounds like, wonder no more.
The tunnel made a good sound chamber so I had to make use of it didn’t I?
While in the tunnel Deb went downstairs to make a pizza. It was very strange being at the helm with it dark outside and the lights on inside. So far we haven’t night cruised and because the locks close at 6pm.
As we exited the tunnel the pizza was ready. Bloody nice it was too.
Directions here are simple. This is the junction of the short arm to Houdelaincourt shortly followed by the long decent to the Marne which is 52miles,180m down and 70 locks away.
The day ended at the charming Treveray village mooring. This was as far as the VNF “would let us go”. I think because we are the only boat moving and it was 5pm stopping us meant they could go home early. He actually turned to lock off and said he would be back at 9am to turn it back on. We didn’t mind as it had been a long day and it was a good mooring.