Our Barge, Odysseus

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Petite Saone July 5 - 8

The Saone River, the navigable portion from Corre in the north to it's confluence with the Rhone in Lyon, is divided into two parts, the Petite, above St. Jean de Losne, and the Basse, or Lower. For this portion of the summer, we would be on the Petite. The locks are the smaller "freycinet" size, 39 meters by 5, so the huge commercial barges can't come up it, and the river itself is smaller, narrower, twistier and very calm.
The other big difference between river and canal cruising is the amount of work involved. On the Canal des Vosges, you are lucky if there are a couple of kilometers between locks. On the Petite Saone, some of the pounds (the water between locks) are 10 or 12 kilometers long and the rise/fall of the lock is only 1 1/2 to 2 meters as opposed to 3+ on the Canal.
Since we got a late start on Tuesday, we only traveled 23 k to the town of Baulay, stopping a little before 5. It was pretty hot but, since we were on the river now, swimming was in order! After cleaning the t-shirt out from around the propeller (don't know how long we'd been spinning that thing down the canal), We had a lovely dinner at the picnic table just above the pontoon with a view of the the village across the field.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday night we had wanted to moor below the town of Rupt sur Saone to visit the ruins of a chateau and tower but there was no place to tie up so we had to be satisfied with the view from the river.

Our next stop was Ray sur Saone, a stronghold since Roman times and the site of another big chateau, parts of which go back to medieval times. It was nearly destroyed during the 17th century's Ten Years War but then rebuilt and expanded in the 18th century. It's current owners began more restoration just after WW II. I took pictures as we pulled into to town moorings and a good thing, too. We no sooner got tied up than the rain began to fall. We did manage to hike up the hill to the chateau gardens in the evening during a break in the rain but by then it was too dark for pictures. Another time.

Entering Ray sur Saone.

Our next stop was Gray.

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