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Unscheduled stoppages, hazards and exceptional waterway levels, anywhere. (Public)
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TOPIC: Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit

Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 25 Jul 2022 11:27 #130814

  • Peter Canney
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Just done the staircase from Attigny to La Chesne, we got through to lock 17 when an eclusier told us that the gate at lock 19 had half fallen in. All traffic stopped, except for us and we continued onwards and upwards, arrived in La Chesne OK.
Now a tree has fallen in the river in the last 6 km to Pont au Bar.
VNF report both works should be finished by 1800 today (25th/July)

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 20 Jul 2022 12:54 #130737

  • Martin Nunan
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Hi Stuart

we are now almost through the Ardennes heading west. There is plenty of water after Le Chesne but we pull 1.1 and got there with very little problems. Other than that its grand, yes you may have an issue when you head towards Reims but we are not heading in that direction. There is a little weed at the very end of the canal and Ecluse 6 seems to be permanently broken and you have to ask for an Eclusier to open the lock for you the day before. But they come round and ask what your plans are at Atigny

hope this helps
cheers
mpn

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 19 Jul 2022 17:04 #130719

  • Stuart Rahman-Greasley
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Hello this is Stuart who was hoping to get to Tou en route to Nancy. We were given a telephone number by VNFwhere I spoke to a very helpful person who was able to check his computer screens and confirm that there is closure between Commercy and Troussey due to lack of water. the number 0033329876168 I hope this helps.
We are now hoping th change route and take the Canal des Ardennes and then the Canal de la Marne to Reims. We have a draft of 1.1 metres and air draft of 3.3 metres with canopy down. Any further updates greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Stuart

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 18 Jul 2022 19:03 #130705

  • Martin Nunan
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Can report that the way down the hill was just wonderful with plenty of water and no broken locks. Perhaps we are blessed but the whole Ardennes experience so far has been grand. I cannot praise the folks at the VNF highly enough for their service

cheers
mpn
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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 17 Jul 2022 14:48 #130681

  • Martin Nunan
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Hi All

can confirm that the Ardennes is still open and down hill from le Chesne full of water. We enterd the Canal just before Tim, but had some boat problems (now fixed by the grand people at Pont a bar) and were moored up in La Chesnil for five days, which is probably one of the finest places to stop in hot weather that we have come across. The stretch around Le Chesne was a bit challenging, we stopped there for one night and found ourselves listing in the morning but got moving without any difficulty. We have been passed but 3 River Cruisers each day since Friday and one of those pulled 1.2 draft through the channel at the top.
We have a 1.1 draft and since our steering issues have been solved all good with the PAVOT. So far the Ardennes is well and truly open with the help of the good people of the VNF
Will update this thread with progress once we have reached the next stretch

cheers
mpn
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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 16 Jul 2022 14:25 #130674

  • Tim Cahill-O'Brien
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Just a quick update. We are currently in Charleville-Metziers on the northern section of the Meuse.

The Meuse is emptying out of cruising boats. A week ago here there were about 6 boats in the inner marina and about a dozen outside on the river. Today there are just 3.

To the south the Burgundy, Vosges, Meuse and the Marne au Rhin are all closed. The Canal des Ardennes is still open with a depth restriction of 1.4m from the St Aignan tunnel to Semuy, a distance of 32km. We were stuck aground at the start of this section with water levels of 1 meter in the middle of the canal. The VNF said if we waited they would raise the level of the canal by draining the water from the next segment of the canal upstream. Of course once we reached the next section we would have to wait again while they pumped the water back up again. This seemed to be a fairly risky strategy but the VNF were happy to do it to keep to their 1.4 meter promise. The pumps are the small ones at each lock and do not pump a lot of water quickly. With no rain in the weather and as we are heading into a hot spell and given the fact that we still had the option of turning around and going back to Belgium, we decided to turn down their offer. The VNF were willing to try but with less and less water it might be a promise they cant keep. You have to make your own judgement call really.

Back on the Meuse you can still travel farther south towards Toul. The problem is no longer weed, it is not enough water in the river. We only got as far as Sedan. There is still 2 or 3 meters in the river but the cuts to the locks have silted up especially at the upstream ends and we had only about a meter of water total there. Each time you get through a lock there is a little less water at next the upstream section. The river is draining slowly. The other issue is there is not enough water at the quay walls to moor. We grounded about 1 meter from the wall in Sedan but at 12 meters long are small enough to tie to the plastic lego pontoons farther out from the side. The risk is that the river could fall a few more inches overnight leaving you hard aground if you were moored close to the bottom. Most boats have now left the river so there is loads of mooring space everywhere. The lack of cruising boats is in itself a risk as if the canal suddenly closed you might be one of only a couple of boats stranded and so ok to leave stuck.

On the positive side there are lots of campervans and France is open for business. The Ardennes remain as stunning as ever. There is really no weed problems as far as Sedan anyway. Its hard to complain about not enough water for your boat when others are worried about having enough water to drink and the Rhine is expected to start curtailing shipping in the next couple of days. For boats in the Netherlands, the Ardennes is still a great destination and we are very glad we came this far south from our homeport in Friesland.
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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 14 Jul 2022 00:19 #130647

  • Peter Cawson
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I heard today from the new owner. He reached Nancy before the real troubles started and is now doing the Moselle / Sarre loop with Toul as his end stop. Peter

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 13 Jul 2022 23:44 #130644

  • Tim Cahill-O'Brien
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Our draft is also 1.1.

We made it as far as sedan. But there is so little water in the meuse that we touched bottom of few times in the cuts to the locks. I dont think we can get any further. Bastille day tomorrow and Friday we turn back down the meuse.

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 13 Jul 2022 16:08 #130641

  • Peter Cawson
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> The only possibility is to turn around and go back to Belgium on the Meuse.

What a bugger! On the bright side, I hear Liege is nice - described as Paris of the North!

The new owner of my boat must be in the same mess as he has Toul booked for his winter berth, with SJDL as a long stop. His draft is only 1.1 m though.

Peter

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 13 Jul 2022 13:32 #130640

  • Tim Cahill-O'Brien
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Hi Peter,

My joke on the Paris in the north as any town with a canal always seems to call itself the venice of the North.

We are heading south on the Meuse again and will go as far as Verdun if we can. But the Meuse is closed at the bottom before Toul to all traffic - see the Avis I posted below. And the Canal de la Meuse is also closed. So there is no way out to reach the moselle. The Canal des Ardennes is open but just doesnt have any water so who knows how long that will last. The only possibility is to turn around and go back to Belgium on the Meuse.

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 13 Jul 2022 13:08 #130638

  • Peter Cawson
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Tim - I wonder who said that Liege is Paris of the North! Not quite how I'd describe the place, though it does boast the most spectacular railway station that every visitor should check out!

Sorry to hear your plan for the Ardennes has been thwarted. What's your Plan B? If you have time and weed / water levels on the Meuse and Marne au Rhin permitting, you could continue eastwards to Nancy and perhaps look at the Moselle / Sarre loop, or continue on to Saverne or maybe Strasbourg. The Marne au Rhin beyond Nancy is particularly rewarding.

Peter

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 13 Jul 2022 11:51 #130637

  • Tim Cahill-O'Brien
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So we started out on the Canal des Ardennes today from Pont a Bar. The water depth is supposed to be 1.8 on the canal but it is reduced to 1.4 now. We draw 1.1. There was 1.4 and 1.5 on the first section of the canal, but as soon as we exited the lock no 4 at St Aignan just below the tunnel we were faced with an obviously lower water level and promptly ran aground outside the lock.

The VNF came in force with 4 vehicles and offered to raise the level if we waited, but of course the water would have to come from the next upstream section of the canal where we were planning on going next. They are trying but there clearly isn't enough water available.

We were able to turn around and get back into the lock and are now headed back to the Meuse. No routes further into France are available.

We bought an annual VNF pass this year in the January sale hoping to be able to spend most of the year in France but we will end up spending less than 3 weeks. But I can hardly fault the VNF. They tried hard but there just wasn't enough rain this year. The part of France that we did see was spectacular so its not really an misfortune to be headed back into the beautiful Ardennes. You take your chances ...

They say Liege is the Paris of the north....
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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 12 Jul 2022 21:35 #130632

  • Tim Cahill-O'Brien
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Fr/2022/04093 a large section of the Marne au Rhin is also closed from tomorrow.

Looks like we are going to Paris.

Tim

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Canal de la Meuse closing at Commercy, Canal des Ardennes 1.4m limit 12 Jul 2022 16:30 #130630

  • Tim Cahill-O'Brien
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We are on the Meuse heading south and stopped at Pont a Bar for fuelM (thanks all for the advice). They informed us that from tomorrow The Canal de la Meuse is closed from Ecluse no 1 through no 6. due to lack of water. The AVIS number is FR/2022/04072

The Canal des Ardennes is open but restricted to 1.4 meters.

We are heading west on the Canal des Ardennes.

Tim

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