With only one lock, the process of which went smoothly, the day passed most pleasurably.

As a result of all available moorings being used at Grisolles and the canal bank far too shallow for Big G, our expected anchorage for the night didn’t eventuate. Through the next lock and we found a pleasant mooring spot for lunch under the shade: 10ft away from the bank and 1.6m depth……… This region hasn’t been dredged in a while!

On we motored, enjoying the scenery as Gratis edged ever closer to the township of St Jory and passed through a further three locks. Unlike the previous, the lock mechanisms we used for initiating the opening of the locks on these were covered in cobwebs: euuuuuch!!!!!! It had been a while since boats had been through this section of canal, but maybe not so surprising as a large number of people had warned us of shallow depths and more….

As always, the scenery delighted.

Lush banks,

and low bridges

under which Gratis safely passed as always,

as Bob kept a careful look out.

Canal barges dressed with greenery,

old castles,

aged barns,

farming land

fishing poles and water pipes,

art work,

decaying water mills,

and people enjoying a stroll.

On the chart, a large bollard promised a great mooring for the night. Not so….

A long platform that would have been brilliant held no cleats or bollards: so much for the mooring sign on the chart. At the end of this was the next lock. To starboard, was the now familiar outflow streaming out at a rate of 4 to 5 knots – or more – to the opposite bank, whereupon the water was deflected; and two boat lengths further on was the lock, slightly of centre – which explained the larger partially circular pond.

As has become the norm, Gratis’ bow hit the current first and the effect wasn’t too bad. As the stern came into contact, that was another matter!! At this instant, the wind made its decision to assist the current, causing the back end of Big G to rapidly swivel to port. A burst of engine, a harried turning of the helm, back she returned, only to be pushed in the opposite direction by the swirling eddies. Meanwhile, out on deck ready with poles to use for deflection if required, we crew were calling out instructions to assist in making an accident free approach. Another moment of bated breath ensued as Bob countered the current met upon exiting, before mooring to the pontoon provided only metres downstream for the night.