A sleep in and casting off at what was a more reasonable hour this morning, with its rising bollards, the almost 14m deep Les Fontinettes lock was an absolute breeze.

This day that saw us cover some 50km was a pleasant relaxing motor in a day of chill and scattered showers.


Not too far from Cuinchy Lock – on the starboard side for those heading east is a pleasant mooring area.

As stated last year, Cuinchy Lock has an interesting wall set up.

A further five kilometres down the canal the traveller comes across an entrance that leads into a secluded backwater upon where fishermen love dangling their lines. From the Calais end, there is no thoroughfare, but continue on a couple more kilometres and you will come across the navigable entrance that leads to the township of La Bassee, which has quite an interesting history.

Not knowing the depth of this loop, Bob initially edged our girl forward quite gingerly – it would have been no fun had she run aground. Finding depths no lower than 1.7m, Bob soon felt confident enough to increase revs and continued on down the channel. Two kilometres in, and there on the right was a mooring long enough to take two boats the length of Gratis. With a bit of current and shallow on the edges, it took a bit of work on Bob’s behalf to turn her, but soon the lines were set and there was peace as Big Bertha shut down.

Time for a stretch, into town ambled Bob and I, and what a surprise it was to discover a good sized township that boasted a super Intermarche where gas bottles could be changed right outside our doorstep, more banks than one could count. Basically, it had everything!

Oh! We found my rice cooker and yoghurt maker.