The Meuse canal in France stretches from Givet close to the border with Belgium to Troussey where it joins with the Marne-Rhine canal. The locks on this canal are mostly automatic but operate between 9 am and 6 pm only, so we have to plan our daily route accordingly. We spent the first night in France in Givet, the mooring spot offered a nice view on the city. There we met another sailing yacht on its way to the Mediterranean owned by Insa and Gerd, a German couple who kindly offered us a few beers in their spacious cockpit. The next day we covered about 50 km and stopped in Laifour, a tiny village that has a train station and that’s about it (we did manage to get a baguette). We then stopped in Charleville-Mézières, there we met Insa and Gerd again and started the River Sailing Club (which turned out to be more about drinking than sailing). The city was our last stop before parting with them and leaving the French Ardennes. We hope to meet Insa and Gerd again in the Mediterranean. Further stop-overs were Mouzon (after passing Sedan), Dun-sur-Meuse, Verdun and Sampigny. In this part of the trip we had to clean our weed strainer daily: water stopped flowing to the engine at the most inconvenient times such as when entering a lock. We became quite good at removing and cleaning the strainer in just a couple of minutes.
- Distance covered: 272 km
- Number of locks: 59
- Number of drawbridges: 2 (luckily they were open)
- Number of tunnels: 2