The preparation pace accelerated at the beginning of May. There is at least one holiday a week in the month of May. This meant that the French “pont” (bridge) the holiday by taking whatever day might happen to fall between the actual holiday and the weekend. Many businesses have severely reduced opening hours and so purchasing supplies and part can be tricky during the month of May.

Since we were unsure what the sale of JoLi’ and our being onboard in September for their annual visit from Julie & Guy, they reserved flights to visit us in May instead. Now, this pleased Lisa & Guy immensely as with the many French holidays in May comes more frequent Brocantes! Oh Yeah!
You can view our blow-by-blow brocante adventures at Lisa’s BLOG (May 2013).
They arrived on the 8th of May and the next day Lisa & her Sherpa were off and running!
Before we knew it they were back on a flight home and we put our heads down for the final departure preparation push.

Here was our route plan:

Route Cergy-Mortagne du Nord

This shows the hours of navigation, kilometers and total number of locks on the various rivers and canals that we would need to travel. Bear in mind that we travel at 5-12 kms/hour and there are waiting times to enter and go through each of the 32 locks (écluses) on the journey.

This was an unwelcoming sight on our first day of navigation!

Sunken disco

We pushed each day to the maximum so we arrived at our mooring spots quite tired each night. Only to start again the next day.

Lone coquelicot at our warehouse mooring on the Canal du Nord


After 6 long, exhausting days of navigation we transited the Fresnes Lock to Montagne-Du-Nord.
This would be our mooring for the next week-10 days while waiting for the yard to take us over the border in Belgium.

The view at the commercial dock at Montagne-Du-Nord