Weight(less) – Weekly Photo Challenge

This week we were invited to share photos of something that is marked by its weight, or its air of weightlessness.  No apologies then for using our waterways experiences for this particular challenge.

DSC_0639You don’t see too many commercial barges on canals in France, but the Rhone a Sete, being slightly wider and deeper, is one such canal.  You can see the wall of water this heavy vessel is pushing ahead of it – bad news for craft moored on pins on the banks.  After this one went past at speed, causing our boat to rise and rock with the turbulence, we spent a happy hour or so, dangling an industrial-strength magnet into the murky waters to retrieve our mooring pins which had been snatched out of the ground.  Only one was located.

DSCN3766This is a floating bollard, used in deeper locks on the canals and in many river locks.  The idea is that you secure your boat to this weighted structure with holding ropes, and as the water level rises or falls, you are stabilised at the side of the lock.  Never tie your boat to this – the bollard doesn’t always rise/fall at the same rate as the water level!  We’ve had to cut a rope before now, to avoid being left dangling when the water level fell but the bollard lagged behind.

DSCN2744This is our boat being craned out of the water.  And the guy on the orange contraption had been asked to move out of the way so the boat could be transported across the busy road to hard-standing by the boatyard.  The motor-cyclist took his time, pulling on his gloves, smoothing out each finger, adjusting his helmet.  Crane operators are not keen on hanging about with 26+ tons in the sling, so the mechanic started the motorised crane, bringing the boat right over the head of the cyclist… who lit out of there like a bat out of hell!

DSCN2914A river lock – deeper and wider than canal locks.  This one is holding back the weight of the mighty Rhone.

IMG_1733A routine canal lock.  There’s generally some overflow like this even as the lock continues to empty.  The cill is at the bottom of the picture – and it’s important to keep reasonably well forward of that step.  We’ve occasionally shared crowded locks with other boats who’ve been too far back in the lock, and have ended up dangling with the stern stuck on the cill (for a very brief period before gravity asserts itself!)  😦

Here endeth the lesson on weight and water!  To see other interpretations of weight(less), click on Weekly Photo Challenge.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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8 Responses to Weight(less) – Weekly Photo Challenge

  1. Never an end to the fun you can have, right, Sandra? 🙂 Enjoyed the gallery.



  2. Dale says:

    Love the name of your Boat! And a most interesting lesson.
    That dumbass would have deserved getting knocked in the noggin!


  3. Intriguing life you lead out there on the waterways, so very different to dealing with the normal rush of motorways and rush hour traffic 🙂


  4. Simon says:

    Nice pictures! Brought back memories and caused me to look forward to this year’s cruising – don’t know where I will be, but I am looking forward to meeting you both “au batteau” sometime!


  5. Pingback: WPC: Weightless (Falling Diagonally) | Chris Breebaart Photography / What's (in) the picture?

  6. Interesting pictures, Sandra. I would have loved to see the expression on the face of that guy when the boat started over him. How stupid can some people be? 😀 — Suzanne


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