Second day : from l'Isle-sur-le-Doubs to Baumes-les-Dames
I get some bread in the morning and Marga is doing some shopping in a supermarket in l'Isle-sur-le-Doubs. Then we leave.
We are locking down two locks. There aren't any lockkeepers now. The locks are automatized. We have got a kind of remote control to get the locks ready for us at about two hundred meters distance. We all regret the absence of lockkeepers. We use remote control during the whole years and now we are zapping through the lock on our holiday!
As we are in the locks we can start the locking by pulling a bar up.
We are navigating now for the first time on the river Doubs. Just opposite tot the lock I can see the remnant of a construction which is made in the past to ferry the horses used to tow the barges. I am happy that I went to that spot by bike yesterday to make a picture because the construction is hidden behind the trees. It looks like an upside-down Y of rusty iron on which a cable to the opposite site of the river was tightened.
As we are on the river, we navigate through a broad landscape. I guess the river is about eighty meters wide. On both sides I see meadows full of dandelions with wooded hills on the background. We have to keep a distance of fifteen meters to the shore. The navigation channel is marked with large sign on the shore. We always heard birds while we were on the canal, on the river it's silent, except for the noise of the motor. After a while navigating on the river, we enter an intimate canal section again. We hear the birds whistling immediately. Also a see a musk deer swimming with a bunch of grass in its mouth. Close to the shore he takes a dive to his den. Herons are standing near old wooden timbering of the shore looking for fish. They fly up as we get to close. I also see an cormorant.
We try to get to the village Clerval just before the lunch interval. We arrive at the last lock just after half past twelve but the lock still reacts on the remote control. So we enter the lock. We are locking down but halfway a red light is illuminated. We get down but the gates aren't opening. It's our own fault! Now we have to spend our lunch interval in the lock.
We eat on board and after lunch the children's are laying on deck in the sun. They each have a walkman on their head. There isn't any wind in the lock so the temperature is very agreeable.
At half past one I read on the display of the remote control the VNF is already warned. So I wait patient. Nothing happens. Eventually I call the VNF with the intercom of the lock. They will send someone to help us. Five minutes later a little van of the VNF arrives and we can go on soon.
We are navigating along the beautiful village Clerval. It looks wonderfully from the river. Some minutes later we enter an intimate canal section again.
I see an jay taking a bath at the side of the canal. I also see a kingfisher and a lot of wagtails. I hear cuckoo at some distance. We are in the middle of nature now. A railway is joining the canal but there aren't any trains.
Then we navigate a large section on the river. We are passing three locks directly situated besides long weirs. Pepijn and Margo are cycling along the canal now. Along the river and the canal sections a tow pad is situated. The path is fine to cycle on.
We spend the night in Baumes-les-Dames at a unsightly mooring place. We are moored along a (not very busy) road behind the safety fence. The side of the shore is made of rough rocks held together by prickly netting. Some other boats are moored there also. On a parking place are standing nine camping cars for the night. We tank some water. Because our tube is too short, we moor to another boat first. A Frenchman is helping us. After the water tanking we moor directly along the side of the canal again.
It's raining in the evening. Asthe sun is setting it stops raining and the sun is shining. It lightens the rocky hills in a beautiful red light. I even see a rainbow. I make a picture and walk to the village. In the village is a monument to honnor Jouffroy d’Abbans. He invented the steamboat. It navigated for the first time in 1776, here on the Doubs in Baumes-les-Dames .