The wide, beautiful Moselle River was like a breath of fresh air having come out of the canal systems. We were having a lovely day on our way to Toul, anticipating surprises around each corner while navigating on the fly with reference to EuroCanals.Mobi which we can access on our iPad.
The locks on the Moselle River are manned by lock-keepers, though they seem to open locks via visual as we'd never contacted them via VHF. These locks are quite large, 176mx12m, and along the entire Moselle there are 16 locks (we'd only utilize four along a southern section of the river). The keepers were friendly, waving from their posts.
Entering the Moselle River locks was fabulous! No fending was necessary to protect Detour
, just a smooth drive inside and "parallel docking". We used the moorning configuration we had conjured in the Rhone River, using a breast line and stern line on stationary bollards. The rise in the locks was very slow and steady, Detour
At the clearly marked turn-off toward Toul, we encountered an automated lock. We grabbed and twisted a hanging pole, then proceeded into the lock once it had prepared and the light turned green. This was the first lock of a series, of which we had no idea, and we proceed to the next which had been prepared as we traversed the first. And then, a bridge that we certainly wouldn't make the clearance! This was automated too, and we passed a sensor that readied the bridge for our transit.
Through the ramparts of the once-walled city of Toul, we entered medevil times. We imagined this moat protecting the city from watery invaders, and kept a sharp look-out for patrolling crocodiles!
Our entrance had a few more surprise locks that magically opened. There were no more hanging poles, one lock had a keeper and the next did not. Between two locks we found the Port de France Marina, where we settled Detour
into a slip. This would become our layover for several weeks...we had alternative methods of travel up our sleeves!