As is the case each time we reach a cross roads, or in this case a tee junction in the waterways, we informed the lock keeper where we were headed. "There is a big lock broken on the river" he informed us, and with a and we cannot tell when it will be fixed, it could be quite some time.
"Quite some time" in France is a variable measurement, and in reality could become rather a long time when measured against standards utilised in other parts of the world, so we needed to reassess our plans.
On the one hand this was was good news for us, because it meant that there would be no commercial craft on the river disturbing our tranquility. On the other, it meant that the journey to Metz may be rather more tranquil than we would prefer as we couldn't actually move either, and when we did arrive at the errant lock, there would be a rather large queue of gigantic commercial craft, each of which would have priority over us when the necessary repairs had been completed.
That wait in itself could be "quite some time" even after the repairs had been made.
Under the circumstances, we thought the only logical thing to do was to head in the other direction, so we turned left instead of right and pointed our respective craft to Toul.
Metz can wait.