I'm planning a roundtrip to the carribean, starting in Belgium in a few years. I was watching a documentary on the canal du midi the other night, and came up with this alternative to the classic crossings.
Technically it's perfectly possible to either follow the French coast or sail from the classic Biscay crossing ports
towards Bordeaux. There you could, once the mast
is lowered motor
up the Garonne and continue up the Canal du Midi in Toulouse. 65 locks and 150m later, you'd end up on the Med, near Narbonne.
It would be a scenic ride, that's for sure, but there's a few possible "problems" with it I wouldn't mind having some other opinion on. So... What's your take on the following?
There is a fairly slow maximumspeed on the canal, and the locks don't operate at night. Going through them also takes time obviously. That combined with the total length of the waterway and the scenic stops inbetween, would it take longer to complete than the classic crossing to Portugal
and following the coast? How much longer? How about the leg from Narbonne to Gibraltar
I assume it'll be a lot more expensive going through the canal and shopping
along the way rather then just sail down the coast, anchor
for the night and do your shopping
in the Iberian peninsula. Much more expensive though...?
Do you think this is a worthwhile alternative? Or just something cool to do if you have loads of time and are really stoked about the canal and its surrounds?
I've been in the area a bunch of times, and really like it. Wouldn't go out of my way so much as to plan the whole trip around the detour though. Just something that sounded cool and might be worthwhile considering...