The last standing part of the old bridge of Avignon

At St Jean de Losne the Burgogne Canal opens into the Saone river. We spent a day here washing and cleaning and filled with diesel fuel at the Barge just upriver of the Canal exit before setting off down the Saone.


There are many herons on the canals and rivers; but on the Saone we got the best picture yet of one patiently waiting in the lily pads for supper to swim by.


In the last lock out of the Bourgogne we met Rocinante who had trailored out to St Jean de Losne from Norfolk. We met them again going downriver; here they are in a big Rhone lock looking even more lost than us.

Out of the lock and Rocinante takes off in great style.


Rhone Cliffs - steering on Autopilot - course 165M. Notice EchoPilot has developed a nasty screen rash, making it difficult to read.


This Parglider shaped cloud was a forunner of a nasty storm.


The giant locks on the Rhone look intimidating, but are very easy to pass through due to their floating bollards - just tie up and enjoy the ride.


This “Kipper” in a Saone lock obviously found it all too much. These locks are more tricky as you have to juggle your mooring lines up or down the series of fixed bollards set into the walls. Have a sharp knife ready in case of hang ups - don’t get left like the fish.

Bollene lock - used to be the deepest in the World at 26m drop, still pretty impressive even though it has been overtaken by Yangse etc.

Here the bottom gate is open and nearly ready to leave.


This Castle marks the start of Avignon as you come down the Rhone. To get to the berths you have to go past Avignon and run back up a branch of the Rhone past the old bridge - in our case against a 4 knot stream.

When we got there we found the marina pontoons missing - washed away; but after holding off while the police put out a vandals fire on the Quay we tied up. Next morning after others left we could move down to enjoy water and electricity supplies on the quay. Our initial worries about vandalism seemed unfounded.

Popes Palace view


Sur le Pont


Our last Lock was at the end of the Rhone navigation - before it issues into the Med - turning back into Port St Luis de Rhone where we found our mast at Navy Service. We had booked a slot for re-masting 10:30 Friday morning - expecting to stop at Arles for a day - but it was FULL!!!

There was a fiesta on in St Luis which meant we could enjoy quayside music - the three days of practice were better than the final performance. But we were turfed out of St Luis on Saturday morning; for a sailing competition, before we were fully re-rigged - especially as we had a siezed gooseneck fitting which was going to need some brute force to fix or break!

We therefore moved to Port Napoleon in the Gulf du Fos unfortunately motoring on our first Sea voyage.

Port Napoleon is much better than St Luis for Boaty stuff anyway so no loss. We asked North Sea Maritime to send a new gooseneck, and it arrived next day - fantastic - and we had it fitted the same afternoon. We made a few other improvements to the rig too.

Under a large boat on the hard we found these two bikes like our collection - but a very well equipped Bickerton.

Our Route including first test sail in Gulf du Fos

[Home] [Crew] [Additions] [Guernsey Southampton] [Shamrock to Honfleur] [MicroTransat]