August is kind of an off time in Paris. The transportation system goes to summer off peak service. For example, in our
case the RER A line train that takes us in to Paris departs every 30 minutes instead of every 10. I know, I know, we're spoiled
but that means if you just miss a train you could be stuck waiting for 40-60 minutes for the next train. Lots of restaurants and
services are on "congée" (vacation). Our favorite veggie market and the village bakery closes almost the whole month, and
most important of all, there are NO Brocantes for Lisa!
We hadn't taken JoLi' out since our arrival in October 2007. It would be a good opportunity to run the barges systems,
and for us to brush up on our boating skills. At first we thought we'd cruise the Somme Canal to coast in Picardie, but as it got
closer to our departure we started hearing reports of low water on the Somme. This means that the depth of the canal is
reduced making navigating more work. And there was always a chance that we would get in but wouldn't be able to get back
home as the canal would close completely to navigation due to seriously low water.
We finally decided to do a loop following the Aisne, in Picardie. We would travel from Cergy on the Oise north to
Compiegne. From there we would travel east on the Aisne Canalisée past Soissons to Bourg-et-Comin and the junction of the
Canal de l'Oise à L'Aisne. We would pass through the Braye Tunnel and at Abbécourt we would jump on the Canal Lateral à l'Oise
for a short distance to rejoin the Oise at Compiegne. It was very relaxing and lots of fun to getting out again. The weather
continued to be glorious. We prefer to be in the quiet moorings, so we try and avoid any moorings that offer water and
electricity. We had enough water to live comfortably for 6 weeks and since we were out for only 2 weeks we could actually be
quite frivolous. It was good to run our generator for electricity and exercise all the systems on board that make us independent
in our cruising.