Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Demon Weed.
Wednesday 4th June - Peronne to Cappy

Barely three kilometres into the Canal du Somme we were in the thick of it.   We’d heard about it from various folk we’d met who’d heard about it too and decided to go somewhere else, some had started out and turned around defeated, but we are made of sterner stuff.  Besides, others who had told us of the delights of the Somme and had only casually mentioned the problem in passing.

So we ploughed on.   Here and in many other French waterways the water is now too clean for its own good, and for ours too.  The absence of commercial ships stirring up the silt has resulted in crystal clear water which in turn allows enormous amounts of light below the surface which encourages escaped exotic aquarium plants to thrive.   The local authority is doing its best, working to clear the channels, and one can but hope that it wins the battle before the pest infests the vast areas of lake and bog beside the river.   

As we battled through it at crawling pace with our tiny propellor almost completely clogged, there were still some very bright spots in our day.  Thanks to the modifications we made over winter, we can now clear the propellor a little without having to stop the motor, at least sufficiently well to resume some forward progress.  Even better,  the water is so clear that it’s like travelling over a enormous aquarium filled with huge lumbering fish and tiny flitting ones as well as all manner of other aquatic life.  Our lack of speed helps us enjoy the show all the more and we are assured it's just for a few more kilometres.


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