October 2009 Cruising to Moissac and River Tarn

Cruising Canal de Garonne

red boat

We enjoy cruising the Canal de Garonne, a much quieter canal than the Canal du Midi, boats of all shapes sizes and colour. I think this was the only boat to pass us during our last few days cruise, the colours and reflections on the canal this year is superb, which I enjoyed capturing.

Unfortunately, Buzet port on the Canal de Garonne was as far as we cruised, having cut our cruising season short, due to my worn out knee! Never the less we thoroughly enjoyed this years cruising, a little sad our cruising season ended earlier than planned. But this gave us many other opportunities, we would not have had, if we had had been cruising.

David and Rosey enjoyed cycling and crewing for us, I had my orders, 'Irene stay put on board'.

canal de garonne towpath


Our last day of cruising the canal Garonne with Rosey and David crewing for us, we had four days of fun, good weather nice too travel with good friends, I was ordered rest that knee. We met up again during the month in Moissac, when they visited us, giving lots of support during my knee treatment over last 6 weeks.

John and Cheryl from Vancouver, B.C. coast

john and cheryl on moet-chandon in moissac port

A fascinating couple we had the pleasure to meet are Cheryl and John, they came across our web site, when researching this area. They got in touch with us, via e-mail, we arranged to met up in Moissac for drinks aboard Moet, we had a lovely afternoon together. They are living in Auvillar, Tarn et Garonne enjoying this area very much indeed.

John & artist wife Cheryl roamed the British Columbia Coast in their 1949 52' Chris-Craft Sovereign. It was a delightful read, such wonderful photographs to enjoy. John an avid photographer, using his photographs to illustrate occasional articles for magazines. I came across his flickr site through another friend, it's a small world.

Canal de Garonne, Josh and Sarah jumping.



John and Cheryl's photographs above, provide raw material for her paintings. Cheryl is acting as Directrice of the VCCA-France Artist's Residency in Auvillar. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Auvillar, enjoying a wonderful evening with them, they have done much work in the community and have settled.

John enjoyed collecting in the grapes this season, one of the best known growing years for grapes, some wonderful wine will follow this years bumper yield. Moissac is most famous for the chasselas grapes.

St-Jacques swing bridge opening up for us our reserved mooring awaited us

Down stream : waiting for Moissac bridgeDown stream : waiting for Moissac bridge

Up stream into the portUp stream into the port

You sound your horn to catch the bridge keeper attention if he/she has not seen you, this road bridge closes for lunch 12.30 to 1.30

Sunday market is special, as is sitting enjoying a coffee outside the Abbey.

Sunday market in MoissacSunday market

Coffee outside the AbbeyCoffee outside the Abbey

Saturday and Sunday is market day, we noticed a big difference to the summer markets, gosh winter is on it's way. Sunday being the best market day, John and I enjoyed a coffee often after my hospital visits each Saturday. I am pleased to say my knee treatment is going well, and I am very pleased with the treatment I have received at Moissac hospital.

Kaz and Iain's surprise birthday BBQ party for Iain's dad in Moissac.

Iain's dad was very moved to find a surprise BBQ party had been arranged in the port, everyone cooked a dish to help with the table and Iain worked hard on the BBQ. Kaz made a super birthday cake, also a very special video of the evening, we were blessed with good weather for the party.

Many of the winter boats have arrived in the port, it's been nice to meet so many new people, and see so many wonderful boats filling up the port

Castelsarrasin, Jane's 60th Birthday celebrations for Beate birthday in Toulouse.

Jane's 60th Birthday

Chinese restaurant in Toulouse

We enjoyed many a good birthday party, time with friends + early Christmas dinners. We had very few free hours in our days, unfortunately my waist is growing, day by day. John is lucky and climb's on his bike, he works off the excess calories this month. Catching up with friends from past moorings in Carcassonne, meeting up in Toulouse for Beate's birthday. We are all in different ports now.

Chocolate festival in Moissac was a great success - free tasting of the home made cakes also.

Chocolate sculpturesChocolate sculptures

Curry spicesCurry spices

We enjoyed visiting the chocolate festival in Moissac. I enjoyed seeing the art created from the chocolate, tasting from the huge chocolate fountain, especially the dipped grapes they tasted so good. Cooking and sharing curries was bliss, we had some good one's this month.

Trip on the River Tarn

Canal de Garonne Aqueduct across the River Tarn in MoissacCanal de Garonne Aqueduct across the River Tarn in Moissac

It's always nice walking along this river or the canal above, especially when boats are crossing this aqueduct, it will be nice when this river and the locks are all open for further cruising to Montauban, some time in the distant future I would think.

Moet Chandon coming out of the double lock onto the river Tarn in MoissacMoet Chandon coming out of the double lock onto the wonderful calm river Tarn in Moissac

We enjoyed a wonderful cruise on the Tarn with friends Glyn, Angie and Eve. We booked the lock keeper for 10am and 5pm for our return journey into the port of Moissac. The weather this month has been the best October we have known. I was able to video our trip, hoping to have a video clip to show you soon.

The camera's were out in full force today, a wonderful cruise with friends to end our season

Angie on ropesAngie on ropes

Eve on cameraEve on camera

Glyn looking out for captain EveGlyn looking out for captain Eve

Wild life on the river Tarn, birds don't seem to mind us passing by.

Wild life on the river Tarn

New captain aboard the Moet, Eve and Glyn enjoyed taking the tiller when we were out on the Lake. Mike and Jane were on hand (on land) to take great photographs of our trip, we had such a good day, a little chilly towards end of our day's cruising, our body warmers came out. We finished the day with Sunday lunch, on board Moet in Moissac Port.

We talked about our friend Steven who suddenly died of a heart attack, thankfully at home with Tina earlier this month. RIP Steve, we all miss you very much. You enjoyed cruising this river on Tara, friends in the port miss you.

Steve and Tina's boat 'Tara' is now up for sale


Thank you for the friendship that Tina and Steven gave to us, Steve was happy and brave and everyone's best friend, we knew him as a good friend, always sharing, always the helping hand. Lord especially help Tina, both their families and his friends, give them the strength and courage to over come Steven's sad loss. There was not enough time for them to enjoy their new life and retirement here in France. It was not my time Tina said to us. Life for us goes on, Tina's life has stood still in time, her days long without Steve.

Sadly their boat 'Tara' is now up for sale.

Sainte-Thècle (Montesquieu)

Sainte-Thècle church

View of Sainte-Thècle church were Steven is buried, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments and people that take our breath way"

Kaz and Iain letting everyone know about the ports Christmas plan's.

Port de PlaisancePort de Plaisance

Moissac PortMoissac Port

On the 18th of December at 18.30 there is a Christmas lights competition for the best dressed boat and it will be judged by the mayor of Moissac.

All the boats are now safely in their winter moorings space, Kaz and Iain are working really hard settling everyone in. Everyone enjoyed a bring a plate (full of food) party organised by Iain and Kaz to meet all our neighbours. We enjoyed delightful sunsets and really good weather this month. (Just a few days rain).

All our Best Wishes, we will join you again in Spring with more adventures and travel on Moet.