Our plans for 2008 more or less finalised but not set in stone. We are wintering in Briare and plan to begin cruising again in April. We aim to first head north to Moret, travel back to Briare by train to collect our car which we will use to meet Don and Maureen Laverick, old (very old!) friends from Australia, who arrive at Paris CDG on the 14th April. We then head up the Siene to its junction with the river Yonne which we will follow up to Auxerre. The headroom that is stated for the canal du Nivernais is 3 metres as far as Clamecy and 2.97 metres as far as Sardy, 2.7 metres thereafter. We have an air draft of 3 metres so on paper the Nivernais is not possible, however, we have heard of bigger barges than us who have done the whole canal so we intend to try and navigate its entire length to Decize. If we fail then we will return and try the Burgundy canal.
At Decize we join the Loire canal once more until Digoin when we traverse the canal de centre to Chalon, downstream to Lyon the back upstream with a side trip up the River Seille which we will navigate up to Louhans, retrace our steps to Chalon then back up the river Saône to St. Symphorien to navigate the canal du Rhône au Rhin as far as Besançon. We will then return to St Jean and up the Burgundy canal as far as the Pouilly tunnel. Here we may literally hit (the wheelhouse roof!) problems again as our wheelhouse is too wide, according to all the guides, to navigate this tunnel. If we make it we will eventually return to the Seine and head upstream to the limit of navigation, probably at Nogent. If we can not navigate the Pouilly tunnel we will have to return to the Saône and review our options. One further alternative under consideration is to travel upstream on the Petite Saône and the Canal des Voges (which used to be called the Canal de l’Est Branche Sud) to Nancy then back down the Canal de la Marne au Rhin and the Marne so we can stock up on Champagne! Depending on how much cruising we have left of the season by then we may just return the way we came as we have now reserved a winter mooring in Auxerre (pronounced "Oh-ssair" by the Burgundians). We have put back our plan to head for southern France until next year. This page will of course be updated as our plans are developed further.