The 4 canals that make up this route from the Rhone to the Seine (Canal du Centre, Canal Lateral de la Loire, Briare Canal, and Canal du Loing), have the much shorter sections of the Briare and Loing at the northern end. Each about 55km in length, the Briare is a summit canal, connecting the watersheds of the Loire and the Seine.
The Loing is a lateral canal, following the valley of the Loing, until it joins the Seine. This year, this canal route is the only one remaining open because of the worst drought for France in a long time. Fortunately for me, they are pumping water from the Loire river upwards to the summit of the Briare canal, and keeping it open. The water levels have been reduced, which makes for some uncomfortable noises as the keel of my boat drags along the gravel in places. It is also incredibly hot: more than a week of temperatures above 35C. There was a thundershower last night which certainly helped cool things down, but today is again hot, and very humid!