River Seine to Rouen 2

Tom Price

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Part 1 was posted on Scuttlebutt to encourage yotties to make this trip, for there are no bridges, no locks nor Cevni regs.
But the journey home involved a canal detour it seems more appropriate here.

Sad to be leaving, we slipped as the sun rose behind the new bridge. When large ships need to pass underneath, the whole roadway lifts to the top, an amazing sight

Rouenliftbridge.jpg


The trip back downriver was uneventful except that we had no need to stop: the advancing flood tide only took a few knots off the SOG, but slower vessels would have to anchor or moor for a few hours. An up-to-date pilot book or other source of information e.g. Grahan’s website, is essential before considering waiting at Caudebec or Duclair.

Our next destination was Honfleur and we crabbed across the tide to wait for the lock to open. This is an unfriendly area with no obvious holding berths– has it been improved?

Honfleurlock.jpg


Decided against going into the Inner Harbour which involved another wait for the bridge so we berthed against the quay wall – 24 hours free stay was also influential!

HonfleurQuay.jpg


This is a chocolate box of a tourist attraction with quayside cafes crowded around an attractive basin filled with boats, while seafood menus and discotheques abound

Honfleur1.jpg


But it can get crowded . . .

HonfleurRally.jpg


The opportunity to visit a local canal could not be ignored by this waterway enthusiast, so after topping up at a garage on the outskirts of town, a laborious operation involving 20-litre cans and a friendly van-driver, a short trip upriver took us back under the Tancerville Bridge and ready to lock in

Tancarvillelock.jpg


The entente cordiale took a battering as we waited outside the Old lock while the Controller shouted across the New lock, but eventually we sussed our mistake and were through, steaming along 12 miles of .tranquillity. So if you must have a wake shot . . .

PontduHode2.jpg


So what is it about this canal?? Think Henry V, think Lawrence Olivier besieging the walls of Harfleur - Harfleur, once the largest seaport in Northern France, deserted when the River Lezarde became a shallow backwater accessible only via a canal cut in 1887 to avoid the dangerous waters of the estuary. And here we were!

Lezardebarges.jpg


We didn’t manage to get past the liveaboards but found an empty berth between piles.
The little town of Harfleur is pretty enough but dead as a dodo on Saturday night and only a small corner shop was open for provisions. Definitely a night to eat on board!

Harfleurriver.jpg


HarfleurRiver2.jpg


Next morning we started to backtrack along the canal . . .

Canalmorning.jpg


only to meet fog. Unable to see both banks and not liking what could be seen, que faire?

Foggycanal.jpg


A call to Port Control for permission, then about-turn to face the daunting prospect of bridges, sluices and locks that lead through the heart of Le Havre’s dockland And it worked!

Canalpont7bis.jpg


Canalpont6.jpg


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Canalpont4.jpg


Canalpont3.jpg


SasVetillartopen.jpg


With no other traffic on Sunday morning, bridges lifted or turned, sluice gates rolled aside and in just over an hour I was in the vast Bassin Bellot waiting for the evening lock opening to the open sea.

BasinBellot.jpg


Emerging in brilliant moonlight a problem emerged: a tired domestic battery had not survived the trip and gps and chartplotter gave up the ghost. Out came rulers, pencil, and tidal atlas – just like evening class! But before dawn St Caths and the Nab flashed in the right places and we eventually crossed the Bar, weary but safely home.

Berthed2.jpg



7 days, 370 miles, crossings 11 hours @ 8 knots
upriver 6 hours, downriver 9 hours

I do hope you feel encouraged to make this trip – you can miss out the canal!
 
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benjenbav

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TP, I'm shocked by your calculated insult to our French amis. :D Is it called a discourtesy flag when the French one is flown on the port spreader and the club burgee on the starboard?

Super pics and write up tho'
 

Firefly625

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TP

another superb report, great pictures, I still have not found the first leg on SB.... on a Sunday morning all the bridge operators must have loved you! :D

thanks for posting, am I tempted, well yes, just need to get SWMBO & Daughter to accept not all trips can be around 1hr long! :confused:

found the first leg, again a great report!
 
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Tom Price

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benjenbav: "I'm shocked by your calculated insult to our French amis. Is it called a dis-courtesy flag when the French one is flown on the port spreader and the club burgee on the starboard? [/QUOTE said:
WhenI graduated to a yacht with so many gizmos at the masthead that there wasn't room for a burgee ,I hoisted it in the next superior position = the starb'd yardarm. That conforms with protocol, (see RYA C4 Flag Etiquette) tho' I sometimes deploy a staff at the bow. With a choice of several privileged ensigns (have you read the dire threats on an Admiralty Warrant?) I was keen not to get it wrong!

That leaves the port yardarm for signal flags, of which a courtesy flag takes precedence. Sadly my little coracle doesn't have sufficient room to fly Quebec Papa so you'd better have the gin open - permanently!

This could be a suitable debate for pedants. Fancy a new thread?
 
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Tom Price

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[QUOTE=Firefly:

"am I tempted, well yes, just need to get SWMBO & Daughter to accept not all trips can be around 1hr long! "

Remember, my suggestion started with a FERRY timetable!

I took SMBO up the Arun - that's 4 hours - but within 45 minutes off Pompey in wind-against-tide she was looking for the nearest bus stop.

Softly softly catchee monkey . . .
 

benjenbav

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WhenI graduated to a yacht with so many gizmos at the masthead that there wasn't room for a burgee ,I hoisted it in the next superior position = the starb'd yardarm. That conforms with protocol, (see RYA C4 Flag Etiquette) tho' I sometimes deploy a staff at the bow. With a choice of several privileged ensigns (have you read the dire threats on an Admiralty Warrant?) I was keen not to get it wrong!

That leaves the port yardarm for signal flags, of which a courtesy flag takes precedence. Sadly my little coracle doesn't have sufficient room to fly Quebec Papa so you'd better have the gin open - permanently!

This could be a suitable debate for pedants. Fancy a new thread?

Not sure I have much in the way of gin but the kettle is usually on.
 

benjenbav

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From the RYA:

"The starboard spreaders are used for signalling. This is where both a national courtesy flag and the Q flag should be flown.

It is now common practice to fly the burgee at the starboard spreaders... If you fly your burgee at the starboard spreaders and are sailing in the territorial waters of another country you have a dilemma, however you choose to solve this, unless you fly your burgee at the top of the mast you will be contravening one or another element of flag etiquette."

I stand corrected. I must say I preferred to think that Ebb Tide was cocking a snook at the French. But alas...
 

Tom Price

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benjenbav: "I stand corrected. I must say I preferred to think that Ebb Tide was cocking a snook at the French. But alas...[/QUOTE said:
Years ago I thought to ingratiate myself with the locals by flying the Malouine flag in St Malo, the Normandy flag in Cherbourg, the Brittany flag in l'Aberwrach.

Have you ever been stopped and boarded by the Gendarmerie Nationale determined to prove a point?

You do NOT cock a snook at French officialdom!
 

jfm

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I stand corrected.

Hmmm. I looked at that bit on RYA's website BJB. I struggle to attach full authority to the paragraph from which you quote because it is so clumsy (comma trying to do the job of a full stop, etc). I think if you search the authorities on this you wil find on balance that most senior yachting institutions advise that the courtesy flag ranks (just) higher than the burgee and so the burgee should be demoted to a (just) inferior position, in this case the port spreader (edit: that presupposes of course that the club in question doesn't prohibit flying its burgee from the spreaders, which some do)

In any case all this could be fixed by putting the burgee on a bow staff, as OP suggests, and afaik no club prohibits this on a mobo

Anyway, the existence of what RYA call a "dilemma" seems a bit questionable to me, though I'm happy to be corrected. I do think the Fr c'flag on a port spreader is an insult to them and generally they will take it that way. (Whether or not you want that outcome is of course a matter of personal choice, but that's a different debate!)
 
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MapisM

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I do think the Fr c'flag on a port spreader is an insult to them and generally they will take it that way.
Really? Blimey, they must be a touchy lot, our neighbours.
I don't think in IT anyone would bother about the c'flag placement, maybe because we're so used to non-IT boat flying a totally wrong IT courtesy flag, to start with... :(
Something which can't happen with France, of course.

PS: great trip and excellent report anyway, many thanks for taking the time for posting!
 

benjenbav

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What an amazing variety of designs of lift bridges. French civil engineering always amazes me.

I was curious about your domestic battery failure. I would have thought it would be driven off an alternator and would have been pretty sparky with 350 miles under its belts, so to speak.

When you hit the fog was there much commercial traffic around? Deeply scary on a waterway where you couldn't see the banks and a consignment of aggregates coming the other way.
 

Tom Price

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benjenbav: "I was curious about your domestic battery failure. I would have thought it would be driven off an alternator and would have been pretty sparky with 350 miles under its belts said:
It was Sunday, so no traffic from the Renault factory, or might have met this

Tancarvillelock2.jpg


Oops!

Thinks: Was it clever to sell the radar after that first Arun trip just to reduce air draft??
 
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