48° 51′ 8.3376” N 2° 22′ 4.6992” E
July 5. – 2014
We are moored in Port Arsenal. In the heart of Paris. We almost feel, that we are moored to the Place du Bastille. Additional danish flags of paper adorn Ronja. It is Per’s birthday.
Henrik and Susanne explore Paris. Kirsten and Per use the first half of the day to check the water depths in the canals further down to the Mediterranean. People keep telling us, that they do not think we can get through with a draft of 1.75 meters, so we research with the French water authorities, VNF’s website (which is pretty poor), we knock on the door of other sailboats in the port (in addition to us there are only two, the other 110 are motor boats), and we get the port captain to call the lock posts along the Briare Canal.
It turns out that there is a problem. Briare Canal cannot meet the minimum depth of 1.80 meters. There has been too little water from the Alps this year. It is missing 10 to 20 centimetres, in some places more. It is a no-go. We buy new charts at the port office and plan a new, more northerly route along the Marne River and two canals, the Canal Lateral de Marne and the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne. The very name of the latter channel makes it easier to swallow that a whole winter’s preparation for one specific route has changed totally with the snap of a finger.
Improvisation requires thorough preparation.