Agde (Canal Lock): 43°18’54.1″N 3°29’57.1″E
Frontignan Canalside: 43°26’40.3″N 3°45’35.0″E
First of all, let me apologize for being so slow to post each day’s activities. There is so much going on & so many things to see & do that it’s the equivalent of trying to get a drink from a fire hose! By the time we are done with dinner each evening we are happily exhausted & are ready to collapse into bed. I usually start to write my blog when I go to bed but only last about 10 minutes before I start to drift off to sleep!
Today was a big day because we crossed the Etang du Thau! This body of water is at the end – or the beginning of the Canal du Midi – depending upon which way you are going. It was the end of the canal for us!
The Etang du Thau is a large open, but relatively shallow body of water that is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a narrow strip of land – essentially making the Etang a lake or pond. There are navigation markers showing the route that boaters must follow to be certain that they will not run aground.
SCREENSHOT ABOVE TAKEN FROM GOOGLE MAPS TO SHOW RELATIVE LOCATION
It only took us about 30 minutes to travel to the entrance to the Etang from the place where we were moored the night before but unfortunately we did not have any idea of where we might moor for the night as we got closer to it. Oh well, maybe next time? (wink, wink).
PHOTO ABOVE – CITY OF MARCEILLAN
The weather was perfect for the crossing which took us about 3 hours. There was a gentle breeze to keep us cool & blue skies overhead.
We had an excellent view of the Etang’s “coastline” off our port side. Lots of well established communities along the water that I would have loved to explore but sadly we did not have enough time to stop. Maybe next time (wink, wink).
PHOTO ABOVE – THE ETANG COASTLINE WITH THE CITY OF MEZE IN THE DISTANCE
About half way through our crossing we noticed a helicopter circling over the water & then a French Coast Guard boat came from shore at high speed. At first we thought that there might be a search & rescue effort going on but it turned out to be a training exercise between the helicopter & the boat. Very entertaining watching the rescue team being lowered from the helicopter to the boat below. It’s reassuring to know that there are skilled professionals ready to help when needed.
PHOTO ABOVE – HELICOPTER & COAST GUARD BOAT TRAINING EXERCISE
At the far end of the Etang we entered another short canal system that took us to the city of Frontignan. We had to wait until 4:00pm for the lift bridge to operate & let boats on both sides pass through. After passing under the bridge we found a good spot on the canal wall to tie up for the night. Barb had done some research online & found a nice restaurant close by that was on the Mediterranean Sea shoreline so we made reservations for dinner to celebrate our safe passage.
PHOTO ABOVE – VIEW FROM LE POISSON ROUGE RESTAURANT TIKI BAR PATIO OVERLOOKING THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA
We had a wonderful meal but by the time we were finished we were unable to find a taxi to take us back to the boat. The restaurant manager felt bad for us so he arranged for the restaurant bartender to drive us “home” in his car. French hospitality at its best!