As we arrived in Chalons-en-Champagne we passed by the commercial barge Anti-Lope for the second time in 2015. Two months earlier had met Anti-Lope near the Mauvages Tunnel. Heavy with a load, she was moving very slowly. Anti-Lope’s crew stopped for the night at a quiet wooded spot just before the tunnel entrance. We chose to moor at a pontoon further back down the canal closer to town. When we rode our bikes up to check out the tunnel we met the crew. Continue reading


Wanderlust’s 1000th Lock

On the 29th of September 2015 Wanderlust passed through her 1000th lock. The milestone occurred on the eastern segment of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin near Vitry-le-François. Wanderlust’s crew took a brief break to celebrate the moment and then quickly headed into her 1001st, 1002nd, 1003rd… locks. There are many, many more locks in Wanderlust’s future. Continue reading


Moored for the night in Bignicourt-sur-Saulx.

Moored for the night in Bignicourt-sur-Saulx.

After our next guest Ross arrived in Châlons-en-Champagne we headed east. Initially Wanderlust retraced her route on the Canal latéral à la Marne. Once we reached Vitry-le-François we moved onto the Canal de la Marne au Rhin for the first time. Continue reading


Moored near us when we stopped in Orconte was an adventurer Bruno.  Bruno Sananès was in the midst of a long journey across France from Dunkirk to Bordeaux in a four-meter long boat. Bruno successfully completed his voyage across France … Continue reading


A curious thing happens near Joinville. The waters of the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne turn crystal clear. You can literally see every rock and pebble on the bottom. After years of floating over the typically murky canal water never … Continue reading

Leaving the River Saône

On the 17th of June 2015, Wanderlust moved off of the River Saône and onto the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne. Once sensibly known as the Canal de la Marne à la Saône, the entre Champagne et Bourgogne neither starts … Continue reading


Becky climbs to Sancerre.

Becky climbs to Sancerre.

The famous wine town of Sancerre is roughly 2 miles from a canal-side mooring in Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre. With several wine-drinking friends due to come on board soon, we needed to stock the bilge. The best option seemed to visit the town by bike and bring back a couple of cases of wine. But there was a challenge. Sancerre is about 700 feet above Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre. Getting the bike-trailer combination up the hill was a challenge. It didn’t help when Becky, who wasn’t pulling the trailer, chose the steepest possible route. Continue reading

Houards Lock

Fenik's deck signals the skipper.

Feniks’ deckhand signals the skipper.

Buying wine at a lock is an odd concept.  It is a little like being offered a selection of premium microbrews by the toll taker as you pass through a tollbooth on a motorway. Nevertheless you can do just that at the Houards Lock on the Canal Latéral à la Loire. The éclusiers at the Houards run a side business selling wine from the famous nearby appellations Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire. Continue reading


Châtillon-sur-Loire's bridge crosses the Loire River.

Châtillon-sur-Loire’s bridge crosses the Loire River.

The Briare Aqueduct carries the Canal lateral à la Loire over the Loire River. On the southwestern side of the river, the canal turns to the southeast and about five kilometers later arrives in Châtillon-sur-Loire. We paused for lunch at Châtillon-sur-Loire’s halte nautique on our way past. Continue reading