St Jean de Losne to Seurre and Chalon sur Saône. 35°+ Phew!

Thursday 25 August. As forecasted this week we are having a bit of a heatwave. Temperatures round 35° (inside and outside) and as usual very little breeze. Much as we love the St Jean de Losne marina it can get very hot so we headed out onto the Saône river in search of a breeze.
The Saône links to the Rhône allowing a navigable network from the Med through northern France. The good thing about the Saône is that its pretty gentle, even when it’s windy.
So out we cruised and sure enough there was a beautiful breeze.

Fields of sunflowers, gazes averted...

We passed fields of sunflowers, gazes averted…

We headed south towards Seurre. Last weekend in Seurre there was a massive Vide Grenier (literally ‘clear the attics’), an antique and/or garage or car boot sale. It sounds amazing but I’m sure the pontoons would have been full. We have been to Seurre a few times. It has a good boulangerie and whatever the equivalent of a $2 shop, filled to the rafters with all manner of useful items.

We headed down a deviation of the river, past a Roll On Roll Off port where commercial barges pick up cargo and head south to Marseille.

Roll On Roll Off commercial port

Roll On Roll Off commercial port

The wind picked up here considerably. Bliss. Then we arrived at the large river lock at Seurre. The light was red so we hung around, listening to channel 22, the channel for this lock. Eventually the lights went red and green, meaning the lock was being set and then just green so in we went, following a rental boat. It is 3.75m and very gentle.

Seurre lock, going in...

Seurre lock, going in…

Seurre lock, going in...

Seurre lock, going out.

Front and back lines on one bollard. In these locks the bollards are too far apart to use two.

Front and back lines on one bollard. In these locks the bollards are too far apart to use two.

Very pleased with our new life jackets.

Very pleased with our new life jackets.

We motored out and into Seurre. There was only one boat on the pontoons but within 20 mins another 5 boats pulled up. There will be a jet boat competition in Seurre this weekend so we want to be out of here early tomorrow.

Seurre

Seurre

Boats came and went all afternoon while we swam in the cool water. By 8.30pm there were seven boats moored on the pontoon, everyone enjoying the water and quietly watching the sunset. That is until up the river comes one of the 15m Le Boat hire boats, with seven Russians on board, all shouting instructions to each other, probably all thinking they were in charge. Amid the chaos they moored about a metre from us. They seemed quite nice although it was interesting to see the men were all well over 40 and the two bikini clad girls barely 20. Maybe they were daughters? Ah no, there was plenty of kissing going on. Anyway quite entertaining and they were surprised to be parked by New Zealanders. All was fine, it got dark, the temperatures still stiflingly hot. Then the power went off. Now this happened to us last time we were in Seurre and the problem is the large Le Boat boats have all the high tech bells and whistles including aircon and the Seurre power supply can’t handle it and blows a fufu valve (technical term), putting out everyone’s electricity. The German man two boats down obviously knew exactly what had happen and he gave the Russians the brief and then managed it reset the electricity. Yay, fans are back on. The Russians yelled to each other and us next door, “no problem, aircon no more, all finished”. Hurrah.
They then jumped back in their boat and presumably turned it back on again because we were all plunged back into darkness again.

Much waving of arms followed. But the power was off for good this time. Even the German man gave up and we all spent the night sweltering in our cabins. Sigh.

Check out the sunset though!

Check out the sunset though!

However next morning we were up early and out onto the river by 7.45am. When we paid our mooring fee yesterday (€15 for power we didn’t get. Again.) we were given a notice to say the river would be busy being set up for the boat racing so if you’re still there at 10.30 you’ll be staying. Yeah, no thanks. So we headed off before the stampede. The river is so beautiful at this time of the morning and after a month on the Canal de Bougogne where the locks are very frequent and don’t open til 9am, it’s a refreshing change. Plus the locks don’t close for lunch on the ‘big’ Saône and open from 6am to 9pm. There is commercial traffic which we must give way to but the locks are huge so it’s not usually a problem.

Sunrise on Seurre

Sunrise on Seurre

We arrived at the Escuelles lock about 75mins later but it was closed and the red light was on so we waited and soon the doors opened. We looked back and saw two boats quite a way behind but had to wait for them in the lock which absolutely fair enough. By 9.30 we were out again, only 30kms to Chalon-sur-Saône, our destination today. They have an awesome bricolage (DIY shop) and huge sports store as well as a hypermarché, all near the marina. And a market in the town on Sunday. It’s a big town, maybe it’s a city, with great architecture and bars and cafes. We spent two weeks here two years ago when Alan was laid up with a swollen foot. It’s much nicer without the need for doctors!

Passing hotel peniche

Passing hotel peniche

Wildlife on the Saône

Wildlife on the Saône

We finally arrived in Chalon sur Saône at 12.20, luckily there was room at the inn as the visitors pontoon fills up very quickly. It’s an expensive stay, €43 for two nights! It is handy though. We’ll leave Sunday and keep heading south. And hopefully staying cool!

St Jean de Losne to Seurre – 3 hrs, 15km, 1 lock

Seurre to Chalon sur Saône – 4.5 hours, 45kms, 1 lock

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About khodges2013

Alan and I divide our time between our apartment in Christchurch, New Zealand, and our 11.5m Dutch Cruiser, Silver Fern, on the canals in France. We started out hiring and eventually bought our boat in 2014. The two summers lifestyle is wonderful and we feel very lucky!
This entry was posted in Canal boat, Chalon Sur Saone, France, French Canal boating, Holiday 2016, Saone river, Seurre, Seurre lock, St Jean de Losne, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to St Jean de Losne to Seurre and Chalon sur Saône. 35°+ Phew!

  1. John Kirkman says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventures karen it’s almost like being their with you. Looking forward to the next episode. Best regards John

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  2. Allan says:

    35C is a bit hot guys however both of you look nice and relaxed. Really enjoying the trip with you and looking forward to the next posting. Take care. Cheers Polly

    Like

  3. Terry says:

    Karen, you’ve neglected to tell us about needing to tie Hodgie in the galley too keep him away from joining the Russian party goers and their lovely “daughters”

    Like

  4. Keith Farley-Pettman says:

    Hi, I think we saw your boat while you were in Chalon as we were there too on 24-26 August and then travelled north to Seurre where we had to wait for a pause between races to get onto the visitor moorings. We were on Glistening Steel, a Dutch cruiser like yours but owned by a syndicate so we will not be on the river in August for a few years. We met other antipodean boat owners and think you an excellent plan enjoying year round summer!
    Keith and Pam

    Like

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