Aqueduct Crossing - Briare France | Distant Shores Sailing Newsletters

Aqueduct Crossing - Briare France

Today we crossed the aqueduct across the Loire River. Amazing construction over 100 years old takes the boat right across the wide Loire River valley. Designed by Eiffel (of the tower fame) it eliminated the need to unload barges to cross the Loire river and joined the two canals on either side.

It is very strange to be so far up in the air in your boat!

Not much clearance - the aqueduct is 6.2 meters wide. I was worried it might be hard to keep the boat centred but it wasn't difficult. Crosswinds are a concern and we wouldn’t go if winds were high. We have been getting better at close quarters handling. The wind makes it more difficult but you do need to have the boat well protected by fenders anyway. I did a blog on our fendering system and so far that has been good. We spent about another $200 on extra fenders plus the boards as "insurance".

You look down the canal to see if anyone has started in from the other end then you head out. Obviously there is no room to pass on the bridge.

Sheryl took the tripod and HD Video camera down to get shots from the river bank.

Its was the longest aqueduct in the world for over 100 years - over 600 meters long. In 2003 it was eclipsed by the Magdeburg water bridge in Germany at over 900 meters long.

Why would Eiffel make the entry point so narrow. It it just 5.2 meters but the aqueduct is 6.2. It makes it difficult to get started. But once underway it was quite simple - and a big thrill!!

Th nearby town of Briare is very nice as well!

Best regards

Paul & Sheryl
SV Distant Shores II
Briare France

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