Wednesday, 19 June 2013

La Bougnais Wednesday 5 June 2013s Wednesday 5 June 2013

There is a Google Map showing the location of all our stops

Today turned out to be a much longer cruise than planned, The plan was to moor just below Lock 17 at Bellion for the nigh.

We set off straight after breakfast passing the site of bankDSCF3953 La Bougnais repairs. As I said earlier the Navigation Authority work hard keeping things in good order. It was just after this that we met two boats who not only seemed set on racing us to the bridge but the second one pulling out to overtake the first.DSCF3957 Race for the bridge As we approached Redon we came by the first lot of real industry on this waterway. Notice Pippa in her favourite spot with front paws on the gunwale DSCF3959 Beaurepaire

In Redon the canal, which we are now on crosses the River Vilaine at right angles with a lock in each riverbank as can be seen on this Google Map.

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Unfortunately the first lock we come to is inoperable so we have to lock through the port basin and out onto the river that way and then carry on downstream to Bellion.

DSCF3962 Redon DSCF2227 Redon
DSCF2226 Redon DSCF2229 Redon
DSCF3981 Redon DSCF3967 Redon

We moored in the basin at Redon for lunch and went for a good look round town.

DSCF3972 Redon DSCF2241 Redon
DSCF2238 Redon DSCF3976 Redon
DSCF3979 Redon DSCF2240 Redon
DSCF3980 Redon DSCF2243 Redon
DSCF3977 Redon DSCF3978 Redon

They have a very good waterways museum which Ian took us to right beside the basin.

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There are three old working boats from the navigation still kept in Redon

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Out of the far end of the basin we join the river on a bend so just go straight ahead until we reached the lock at Bellion

DSCF2270 Bellion DSCF2275 Bellion

This lock is quite unusual in that the top gate is nothing more than a flap attached to the cill of the lock and lowered to both let the water in and also the boat out.

Bellion lock with its drop down gate

We had planned  to moor just below this lock but the lock keeper informed us that a boat the “Cap Vert” converted for the disable DSCF3984 Redonwould be  leaving the other end of the canal in the morning and we would have to wait for them to get through as the canal is too narrow for us to pass them. So our choice was to carry on or stay put until lunchtime tomorrow, so we continued on this loop of canal only restored 3 years ago to take us back to the river crossing at Redon.               

DSCF3995 Bellion to Redon canal DSCF2283 Bellion to Redon canal
DSCF3994 Bellion to Redon canal DSCF3996 Bellion to Redon canal
DSCF2281 Bellion to Redon canal DSCF3997 Bellion to Redon canal

While they were dredging the canal they found these metal boats in the mud which are believed to be left over from the war when they were part of a floating pontoon bridge. You can see them in use 5min 30 sec into this old video.    

DSCF2277 Floating Pontoon bridge boats DSCF2279 Floating Pontoon bridge boats

When we reached the end of the canal at Redon there sat Cap Vert, who on seeing us approaching started to deploy fenders, god knows what he would have done if we had met him in the narrows.DSCF4002 Redon Just past him we entered the lock to go back onto the river, unable to go straight across we had to turn down stream andDSCF2288 Redon back into the end of the basin.
I don’t know the secret of the young lock keeper but as we arrived he kissed 2 girls goodbye and before we had got half way through the lock he had 2 more helping him. The raising of the bridge, the only automated bit of the job was so slow we thought he had forgotten to press the button.

DSCF4006 Redon DSCF4008 Redon
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On the bridge by the navigation sign you will see a mooring bollard, these were used to help boats cross the river between the two parts of canal in high flows.
Back downstream and hard to starboard into the end of the basin again and through to the exit lock, once through the lock its a right angle to port and under a disused swing railway bridge.

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Over the past 5 years there has been a fortune spent on this bridge restoring it and at one time it was actually closed until it was required to open for a larger boat. today it just lays open with fencing round it.
We headed back up the canal in glorious sunshine to moor for the night at La Bougnais opposite where this digger was still usefully employed. DSCF4018 La Bougnais

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