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2012-May-18 - France Trip 2012 - Fonfile to Homps (Friday)
Overcast and windy all day.

Next morning, the lock keeper was only twenty minutes late turning up to work.

Even though the water levels should have given us preference to descend he still decided to let the boats from the other direction go up first.

Eventually by 10.00 pm we were able to go through the lock.

By now there were three boats moving in convey down the canal.

We got chatting with a boat of 7 men from Belgian. They belonged to some scout movement and deliberately never took their wives with them on canal trips.

The convey worked out very well as for the entire morning, whenever we went through a lock, we always had helping hands on shore to hold our ropes.

This was a lot less wear and tear on me.

At one point there was a medieval town, Puicheric, I very much wanted to see.

There is almost no signage at all on the canal and the only way that I knew that we had just missed it was when I looked at google maps on my phone.

Linda was driving by now. She was very reluctant to stop but I talked her in to it and I jumped ashore with two pickets and the hammer.

While attempting to straighten the boat up against the bank I managed to pull out the front picket and lost it in to the canal.

The boat was starting to float away and the only way I managed to get back on was to pull really hard on the stern line and scramble on from the back.

We gave up on stopping (Linda's words :"I never wanted to stop there any way - I had a bad feeling about it") and I phoned Nicols to ask for advice on how we could obtain another picket.

They suggested I try Le Boat at Homps.

We rounded the next corner and the other two boats in our convey were patiently waiting for us.

This was very kind of them.

Around 2.00 pm we stopped in La Redorte for lunch

By 5.00 pm that evening we reached Homps.

We were unsure where we could moor so we went in to one of the harbours.

After a whole lot of shouting and screaming we managed to reverse in and tie the boat off at right angles to the harbour.

At this point I noticed a lot of signage say "For Use of Le Boat only".

I found the office of Le Boat in the harbour and went to buy the missing picket and ask for advice on where we could moor.

A very pleasant gentleman at first did not want to charge me for the picket and I had to insist on paying.

He also said that because they were fairly quiet that day it was ok if we moored at their facilities and we could even use the shower block if we wanted to.

I was a bit uneasy about this and asked Linda to go and ask as well but it turned out it was officially ok.

We remoored the boat slightly so that we were up against a water / power service post and turned in for the night.

Moored in the Homps harbour for the night