As we watched the calm come over the port last night it was hard to believe that just hours before we had seen sixty kilometre winds below the footbridge.
The calm remained with us today as we climbed the rest of the mountain. Jean-Wolf, the owner of the barge we had been following for the past few days kindly allowed us through the Mauvages tunnel ahead of him as in theory we could travel much faster than he, and we could perhaps gain a lock or two's distance in the course of the afternoon.
With the tow barge inoperable, as the first boat through we again had the glorious experience of five kilometres of perfect tunnel reflections. For almost an hour we had our optical senses attacked as we seemed to be simply floating through space. It is hard to believe how difficult it is to maintain a straight course in the presence of such a strong illusion.
Strangely, at the other end of the tunnel, the first lock on the downhill run was unmanned, and closed with the intercom turned off for good measure. After several hours we were able to summon some assistance from a bemused executive who wasn't quite sure why anyone would want to be navigating anywhere the day before May the first, when everything would be closed anyway. After explaining that we thought a nice little village a few kilometres down the track would have been a great place to stay, we apparently mutually decided that perhaps the mooring below the lock would be better, and there was room for Jean-Wolf above it should he also very wisely decide not to continue with his journey.
So here we remain, near Demange-aux-Eaux for the next twenty four hours, a place that is so quiet it makes the harbour in Void last night look like a beach resort in high season.
Oh darn, we're stuck in the middle of nowhere, rural France.
What ever shall we do?