Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, June 18, 2018

All Storm, No Teacup
Sunday 10 June - Nancy to Toul

With one of us grateful for feeling “better” when he woke, “better” in its literal sense rather than the colloquial “no longer ill” sense, and with the expectation of rain tomorrow, lots of it, and even more day after as well, we made a simple decision.

We would make haste while the sun shone or at least while the rain held off.  We’d scamper at the speed of sound, for all speed is sound according to Mr Perkins, in direction Toul. With luck we’d be there before a recurrence of yesterday’s storms or yesterday’s illness, in no particular order.  Such was our haste that we even managed a mind blowing eight and a half kilometres per hour occasionally when the wind was from behind and the already negligible current slackened.  At that mighty pace that we’d surely be in Toul high and dry before we knew it.

Anyone who has visited Toul by river will understand that the entry process is delightful in a scenic sense, meandering beside the towns ramparts below postcard-bridges through crystal clear water with all manner of aquatic life quite clearly on display.  From a navigation perspective however there are three reasonably challenging (read brutal if one isn’t careful), locks separated by narrow channels filled with weed ready to render a straying propeller or rudder temporarily useless in the blink of an eye.  The route between these locks is punctuated by even narrower bridge spans and a lifting bridge that appears to be programmed to respond more slowly as wind speed increases.  

Someone must have switched the difficulty switch on this game to “advanced” just for our arrival.  There it was, as the outskirts of Toule came into view from the river.; a raging thunderstorm sitting stationary over that last little bit.  Wind in nasty gusts, frigid rain in bucket-sized drops, generally the sort of experience that makes one glad one’s alive, (as if waking up this morning wasn’t good enough).   As soon as we’d battled our way into a berth and snugged ourselves against further tempest, the storm moved on without further thought as they often do, and suddenly we had arrived.

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