After the humid 40 degree heat of the past few days a grey morning with thunder reverberating around the hills greeted us.

A quick walk of Moissac in rain freshened air and we were off.


The power of the water as it filled the locks was immense. One wouldn’t want to fall over board.

An occasional aqueduct led us across the Garonne.

An occasional barge would pass us by – not bad for $10,000AUD for a week’s cruise.

Ducks made the most of empty pontoons.

Castelsarrasin was a welcomed haven after experiencing the locks of the day.

Beware the alteration in lock logistics. On entering the 2nd lock the wash from the lock swung Gratis’ bow just as entering. The designers had altered the set up for the exiting water. Had to do several quick bursts of reverse/forward in order to bring her back round for entering. With 1.45m draft, couldn’t afford to have any more or wouldn’t be able to make it through the system.

To our dismay, the change in arrangement was found on the following locks too. Each time, Bob attempted approaching from a slightly different angle, all to no avail. She continued to swing on entering. The last saw a massive push that sent her into the outer wall – thank god for the rubbing strakes. It was now that we discovered how ready for replacement they were as a section of the one situated on the port side shattered on contact, leaving for display the hidden rot that had set in.

Nowhere in all our readings had we come across mention of the currents to be found in this section of the lock system.