With the rains continuing to swell the River Loing we had a choice. We could hunker down on the river in Moret-sur-Loing and wait out the flood. Or we could continue onto the protected waters of the Canal du Loing nearby. If stayed moored in Moret we might be pinned down for some time. Being stuck in Moret is hardly a hardship but it seemed best to move on while we still could.
Our goal for the first day was Nemours. Cruising the canal we figured to be protected from the fast-flowing high waters of the Loing River. Though this was mostly true if we had checked our maps carefully we would have noticed that for a brief stretch near Nemours the canal uses a stretch of the river’s channel. Geography had forced the canal’s builders to cross the river near the town. Thus boats traveling the Canal du Loing to the north of Nemours use the river for a kilometer or so to link two segments of the canal. It is not unusual for lateral canals to include some river portions. Normally we’d hardly notice that we’d gone from canal to river. But with an approaching flood, the fast flow of the water could not be missed.
Reaching Nemours from Moret the canal splits off into a lock to the right and the river, still navigable for a short distance, continues under the Pont de Nemours to the left. At the end of the day we needed a mooring place for the night. Our guides told us that there are canal-side moorings just past the lock. The guides also showed that it is possible to moor on a pontoon closer to the center of town on the river itself. From the map, the river pontoon seemed like a better location and a nicer place to overnight.
After a moment of decision, we turned Wanderlust into the current and headed through the arched bridge to the pontoon. Ferrying Wanderlust over to the bank in the strong current we reached the pontoon with a minor thud. We kept the propeller engaged against the current as we secured Wanderlust to the pontoon. Soon we were off the boat and exploring historic Nemours.
Nemour’s town center pontoon is indeed located in a very convenient location; it is close to the main sights, the castle and the church. But there was one problem. We had ended the day as we had begun, on a fast-flowing flooding river. And as we spent the night, water from the recent rains continued to push the river higher. To continue on the next day we’d again have the challenge of navigating downstream on a fast river.
(In case you were wondering, there is a connection between the company Dupont de Nemours and Nemours France. The roots of the founder of the chemical giant Dupont, Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, are from the Nemours area.)
(Wanderlust arrived in Nemours on the May 5, 2015.)