Crossing the Summit of the Canal du Centre

Wanderlust gains some bovine attention as she navigates the Canal du Centre.

Wanderlust gains some bovine attention as she navigates the Canal du Centre.

At the end of May, for the second time of the season, Wanderlust crossed the summit pound of a canal. This time the high point was on the Canal du Centre. At the top of the Centre the water drains to either the Loire or the Saône river basins. The waters of the Loire eventually reach the Atlantic Ocean; the waters of the Saône drain into the Rhone and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France.

The Canal du Centre was the last of four canal segments of the Bourbonnais Route that Wanderlust traveled in 2015. Each waterway in the route, Canal du Loing, Canal de Briare, Canal latéral à la Loire, and Canal du Centre, has a different character. On the Centre, in the climbing direction, the in rush of water in the automated locks was more violent than usual. It was a struggle to keep Wanderlust from banging off the walls as the locks filled. Indeed, most of Wanderlust’s lock rash for the season came from ascending locks to the summit of the Centre.

Inside a deep lock on the Canal du Centre

Inside a deep lock on the Canal du Centre

Fortunately things change, as it always does, at the top. Descending in locks is smoother as water leaving a lock creates little turbulence. Once Wanderlust was past the summit, the locking down was gentle on the way down to the Saône.

(Wanderlust arrived in Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune on the 1st of June 2015 after overnight stops in Montchanin and St. Julien-sur-Dhuene. Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune is 31 kilometers with 27 locks from Montceau-les-Mines.)

Wanderlust at Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune

Wanderlust at Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune

Lock number 6 on the Mediterranean side of the summit

Lock number 6 on the Mediterranean side of the summit

Lock 8 on the Atlantic Ocean side of the summit of the Canal du Centre

Lock 8 on the Atlantic Ocean side of the summit of the Canal du Centre

Deep locks and short pounds are characteristic of the Canal du Centre on the Mediterranean side of its summit.

Deep locks and short pounds are characteristic of the Canal du Centre on the Mediterranean side of its summit.

The deep locks near the summit of the Canal du Centre have floating bollards.

The deep locks near the summit of the Canal du Centre have floating bollards.

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