The Moselle to Toul

  Thursday, July 9, 2015 / Stephanie / Sailing  

The wide, beautiful Moselle River was like a breath of fresh air having come out of the canal systems.  We were having a lovely day on our way to Toul, anticipating surprises around each corner while navigating on the fly with reference to EuroCanals.Mobi which we can access on our iPad.  The locks on the Moselle River are manned by lock-keepers, though they seem to open locks via visual as we'd never contacted them via VHF.  These locks are quite large, 176mx12m, and along the entire Moselle there are 16 locks (we'd only utilize four along a southern section of the river).  The keepers were friendly, waving from their posts. Entering the Moselle River locks was fabulous!  No fending was necessary to protect Detour, just a smooth drive inside and "parallel docking".  We used the moorning configuration we had conjured in the Rhone River, using a breast line and stern line on stationary bollards.  The rise in the locks was very slow and steady, Detour hardly swung.  At the clearly marked turn-off toward Toul, we encountered an automated lock.  We grabbed and twisted a hanging pole, then proceeded into the lock once it had prepared and the light turned green.  This was the first lock of a series, of which we had no idea, and we proceed to the next which had been prepared as we traversed the first.  And then, a bridge that we certainly wouldn't make the clearance!  This was automated too, and we passed a sensor that readied the bridge for our transit. Through the ramparts of the once-walled city of Toul, we entered medevil times.  We imagined this moat protecting the city from watery invaders, and kept a sharp look-out for patrolling crocodiles!   Our entrance had a few more surprise locks that magically opened.  There were no more hanging poles, one lock had a keeper and the next did not.  Between two locks we found the Port de France Marina, where we settled Detour into a slip.  This would become our layover for several weeks...we had alternative methods of travel up our sleeves!


  1. From Ric on Jul 12, 2015
    Nikki, your reaction is exactly why I stated that I did not want my comment to be taken in the wrong way. Let me state it again, "Don't get me wrong when I say this". I'm sorry if you did not understand what I was saying when I typed that. I was trying to make it obvious that I did not want to pass judgment on any actions X was taking that may offend my sensibilities, I guess I was not clear enough. I don't want to judge anyone on the actions they take in their life, ever, for any reason. I will point out, when the opportunity presents its self, that I would take a different direction. My opinion means nothing, and I know it. It is only my opinion. I never objected to what they are doing with Detour, I only stated that it brought tears to my eyes - my opinion. As for "affording", I was thinking about the opportunity to open a service for people who may like to see these "on shore" places, in a vessel which is designed for these passages, while having their home delivered to them at the other end. Oh, and after reading completely through this site, Detour was far from derelict, as Karl was here I'm sorry Stephanie, I tried to avoid this. I didn't mean to imply that I have a problem with what you are doing, I was just struck with conflict with an open ocean boat so far from the sea.

  2. From Nikki on Jul 10, 2015
    Ric, you could not be more mistaken. These people are using this boat in the only way they can afford to make the trip. The boat will be ready to carry them home across the Atlantic when the time comes, but only because they have done the hard labor to turn a derelict into a trustworthy vessel. Perhaps you should read the rest of their story, before you make judgment on how they are using their boat!

  3. From Ric on Jul 10, 2015
    Don't get me wrong when I say this because I think your travelling up and down the canals of France is a wonderful thing that I would love to experience myself; But, I got tears in my eyes when I saw that picture of the mainsail wench at the base of the mast laying strapped down on the aft bridge support. It makes me want to buy a river boat to swap sailors with when they want to make such a passage as you are making, and sail their boat up to where they come away from the land. Maybe I shouldn't care so much about what boats are designed to do, and realize any redneck with enough money can buy a Ferrari to show off on the dirt roads of their hometown.