VNF SINGLE NUMBER - a nationwide single telephone point of access for making lock arrangements, etc and notify breakdowns and other emergencies - 0800 863 000 - you will almost certainly need to understand and speak a certain amount of French.
VNF Information Online - Stoppages/Works - Maintenance Work Map PK = Kilometre distance mark, as printed in waterway guides and found as actual signposts (occasionally) on the waterways.
Commercial barges use VHF Ch.10 to listen out and communicate. So can you.
Ecluse (Sas in Normandy - 'sas' means 'chamber') = lock. Peniche = barge. TE (tirant d'eau) = Depth. Check actual depths! The 'book' canal depth is in the channel centre, edges will be less and you may have a problem coming alongside so be careful. Tuck your nose in first and if necessary keep the stern (where the vulnerable prop is) poking out. There is often a shallow bar just outside the lower gate of an ecluse. PdP = Port de Plaisance (inland pleasure port/marina/mooring). Halte = mooring place/pontoon.
The information here results from direct personal experience cruising the waterways from north to south and east to west; and/or has also been gleaned from a number of sources and accounts.
This is a guide only and is neither definitive nor to be relied on. We strongly recommend obtaining a pilot book for each river or canal you travel.
Photographs by Grehan; some other photographs by permission, or in the public domain; if we have inadvertently breached any copyrights, please contact us. Grehan's own photographs may be available for re-use, please contact us for permission.
Grehan welcomes your comments, corrections and suggestions