We spent a wet morning in Cappy looking at a uniformly grey sky and wondering if it would ever brighten up. By coffee time we had already exhausted the limited attractions of the boulangerie, and the epicerie (closed) and decided that the vente de jus de pomme direct de la ferme was out of season. Only the proprietor of the Locaboat hire base brought a ray of sunshine to proceedings, with his undiminishable enthusiasm and can-do attitude.

After several showery days we had developed a better wet weather cruising canopy that could be used with the mast down, but the transitional faffing that was required meant that a spell of fine weather was still essential to move to a state of readiness. This came eventually after lunch so we made the necessary call to Point Control, and gave them the 40 minute warning they needed to attend the opening bridge immediately downstream of our mooring. This gave us ample time to fix the cover, and by the time we were ready the bridge keeper had arrived, as had the rain.

The rest of the cruise passed in a dismal drizzle with each lock-keeper asking hopefully if we would be stopping before the next lock. At Sailly the lock is still operated manually, and the student attendant had a couple of even younger assistants to help him, all standing patiently in the steady rain. This was a great relief to the crew who had feared being pressed into manual labour for some rain-soaked winding. The young lock keeper assured us that the best moorings for Corbie were before the next lock and persuaded us that we wouldn't need it that evening - given that we wouldn't arrive until close to their 6pm closing time it was probably good, if slightly biased, advice.

He was proved right and we found good moorings next to a large campsite upstream of the Corbie lock, although the coin/token operated electricity remained a mystery. None of the offerings we tried made any impression, and by the time we found the campsite reception they were already closed for the night.

There is not too much to see in Corbie - the Navicarte could only think to mention the 7th century abbey, of which 'little trace remains'. We did find the remaining third of the abbey church, the greater part having been deemed surplus to requirements some two centuries ago. Sadly 'ascension' of its 55m towers is allowed only occasionally, and although the next opportunity was to be the coming Friday, we did not envisage being in town that long.

Cruise Data

Distance: 13 nm

Total to date: 764 nm

Avg Speed: 3 kn

Duration: 4:30 hrs

Diesel: 23 ltrs

Mooring: Free

Electricity: Token/coin

Water: Free


Navicarte 24


6 fixed (min 3.8m)

1 opening


Cappy 10

Froissy 11

Mericourt 12

Sailly 13

Dutch Waterways

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Journals of David A Broad

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