We came up with a plan overnight. Due to an overwhelming number of plans failing to come to fruition, we haven't done that in a while, but despite the little warning buzzer in the back of my head we did it anyway.
The plan was simple. We'd put the "pedal to the metal" and spend the next four days travelling from nine in the morning to six at night, the business hours of the locks on this stretch of canal, and by Tuesday we'd be in Toul, where we'd meet Dave and Ria. We wouldn't linger anywhere on the way, we'd simply make notes to follow on our return next year.
We were in the first lock at six minutes past nine, a disappointing effort in light of the fact that we had actually moored at it's very gate, and for the first hour or two our plan went swimmingly. Then we arrived at Fontenoy-le-Château at about coffee o'clock, which turned into coffee and I wonder if the Baker has any eclaires today, which turned into an admittedly swift reconnaissance of the town "for next year", a chat with a passing barge or two, and a promise to stay for a month on our return.
Not withstanding our short diversion, twenty-three locks and twenty-six kilometres up the hill since breakfast, we found ourselves facing a lock that refused to open, and discovered that perhaps this was a very fine piece of forest to spend the night after all.
We had averaged an impressive two point eight kilometres per hour for nine hours. We were humming!