Shakedown Cruise Complete!

After two weeks on the Saône and Seille we are back in St Jean de Losne waiting for Francis and Emilie to join us for a week. The map shows our route south from St Jean for the two weeks we were out. Total distance was about 180 km.

Map of our shakedown cruise

Down the Saône

After leaving Tournus we did an out-and-back route on a side canal to Pont-de-Vaux. Not a great canal and not much to see or do in Pont-de-Vaux so probably won’t be doing that one again.

Bert making friends in Pont-de-Vaux

We got back to Tournus after a rainy day. We really like Tournus – it has a great hardware store, a Supermaché within easy walking distance and has a great little place to moor the boat right on the Saone. Also there is a pretty good pizza place right on the river.

View from our mooring in Tournus

After re-supplying in Tournus we continued down the Saone. We decide (after talking to Alex and Deb on “Sadie”) to take a little detour up La Seille. Pretty little river that is navigable (with locks) up to Louhans. The first lock has an operator but the remaining three are all manual and boaters are responsible for operating the locks.

Eclusier on the first lock La Seille
Walking to dinner is Cuisery.

Spent a night in Cuisery before continuing on to Louhans. Louhans is supposed to have a great market on Monday so we want to be there for it. Unfortunately it rained all day so we got completely soaked operating the locks.

Raining on the way to Louhans

It was still raining when we left Louhans but the forecast is improving. We get lucky and most of the rain has stopped by the time we hit the first lock.

Our system for these locks is for me to hop off and do all the lock stuff (doors and gates) while Bert wrangles the boat. Works pretty well – I have no idea how a solo cruiser would handle this.

Someone having a very bad day

Back onto the Saône heading to Macon and we saw what can happen if you ignore the channel markers. This was a Le Boat rental and it looked like everyone had been evacuated. And there are big barges on the “Grand Saone” (the part of the Saone from St Jean-de-Losne to Lyon).

One of the bigger barges we saw.

Macon is one of the oldest cities in France, dating back at least 2,000 years but there is very little old stuff remaining because most of the city was destroyed in the religious wars. There is one strange old wooden building dating from about 1500 that still survives. It is covered in carvings of naked guys and monkeys.

The marina is very nice and there is a lovely shaded path from the marina to town but Macon itself is not particularly charming. We did a short run into town which was lovely.

Leaving Macon we headed north towards our home berth in St-Jean. We stopped for Martini Night in a an old, unused lock that somebody has converted into a mooring with services. It was nicer than it sounds.

Martini Night on the Saone.

And with only minor engine starting issues we finally reached St-Jean…


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