Gerardin Travels        

waiting our turn for the lift lock

After waiting 2 hours we managed to squeeze

in with 2 other commerical barges

It was windy and cold

door dropping closed

Heading down the lift (hillside)

better idea of how it works from this photo

deep locks in No. Belgium

Waits for locks were common for non-

commercial boats

Control tower for lock onto the maritime


daily morning fog

Approaching a lock in the morning fog

JoLi' at her mooring for the winter


a view from the bridge to the park

Journey to Paris from the Yard 2007

        Welcome! 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 May-July cruising to Belgium August visit to the UK Aug-Sept in the yard Part I Aug-Sept in the yard Plates Aug-Sept in the yard Bow Aug-Sept in the yard Roof Sept-Oct journey south to Paris October our new mooring in Cergy Thanksgiving in Sanger 2007 Christmas Card 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 France 2001 Net Result 1999-2000 Net Result

Before we knew it, 6 weeks

had passed and we were ready

to head south to our new

mooring for the winter outside

of Paris. The roof was to be

completed on Monday the 24th,

or Tuesday the 25th of

September and we would leave

immediately. A few days prior

to our departure, Lisa was

chatting with one of the owners

of a big commercial ship about

wintering in Paris. He casually

asked her what route we were

going to take. Of course we

were taking the most direct

and fastest route from

Charleroi (southern belgium).

He said "Oh, no you're not

unless you're waiting until the

15th of October as there's a

lock at the very beginning of

that route south that closed for

repairs!" He told us that the

only option for us to get to

Paris at this time was to travel

north (and we mean WAY

north to the border of Holland!) from Charleroi in the

south of Belgium, thru Brussels to Antwerp (on the dutch

border), hop on the Maritime waterway, paying strict

attention to the tides and travel to Gent, and from there

travel south thru Lille and Douai and finally on to the top

of the canal du Nord which was part of our original

itinerary. There were days we travelled 12-14 hours,

sometimes having up to 2 hour waits at the locks because

we were the little guys amongst these massive 85 metre

barges, navigating at night, and one time going thru a

massive lock 125mx15m in the pitch black of night.

The professional bargees couldn't have been kinder to the

people on the pretty little flowered barge. They helped us

calculate the tides and when to go through the lock that

would put us on the maritime waterway. Luck was with us

and we were able to take advantage of the tides during

the daylight hours. We saw currents of 6kms and at times

were making 12-14km. We flew and were thrilled to pass

through the Gent lock that evening just as the tide changed

and moor for the night and rest. This detour added 4 full

days journey to our route. The weather continued to be

awful. We wore our waterproof pants and jackets daily.

Once back in France, the canals were wide and fast and

we made really good time. We usually stopped at a lock to

sleep at night and continued on each morning as soon as

the fog cleared.

On the eve of the 8th day of our journey we arrived at our

pontoon which would be our home until May 1, 2008 in

Cergy near Paris! We were exhausted but we made it!


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