Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise

  • Jill Budd

    After 6 years aboard our Narrowboat Matilda Rose in the UK, we took the plunge and shipped her across to Europe. After 2 years in Europe we knew we didn't want to return to the UK so took the plunge and purchased a 1902 20 mtr Dutch Tjalk called Francoise and are now continuing our travels of the waterways of Europe in a buxom wench

  • July 2014
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for July 1st, 2014

Montherme to Joigny sur Meuse

Posted by contentedsouls on 01/07/2014

Having, finally, been able to buy a data sim for our MiFi, I now have the slowest signal ever, so the photos may be very limited tonight. Most of the time we were wild moored outside Montherme it rained with heavy thunderstorms – quite dramatic amongst the steep, tree lined hills which enclose the river valley and somewhat of a relief to have MR’s searingly hot metalwork cooled down a bit. It did stop for long enough for me to get out around the old part of the village.


We awoke this morning to low cloud rolling down the valley – I managed to get possession of the lock remote control unit so that made it my helm for the day! Joking apart, the Ardennes locks are operated by an RCU that we were given when we bought our licence. The lock approaches have a radar box which you activate with the RCU as you pass. This activates the lock for you which starts to set. When you enter the lock there are two bars on the steps and you push the blue bar up which closes the gates and starts the lock fill (or empty). Now the steps are often half way along the boat and therefore the bar can’t, safely, be reached; equally of course the red emergency stop button can’t be reached either. The front of the boat needs to be held very firmly to the steps and the back held in on tiller and engine (never anywhere to put a back rope). It makes sense, therefore that I take the helm and put G off at the (usually very deep) steps; he goes up with a rope to the top bollard and I move the rest of the boat in before he activates the rod – from there he can also reach the emergency rod. It works for us as long as we’re on our own. Every lock is different really – you never quite know where the control will be. As the locks are every 2k or so it means I get the helm for 3 or 4 hours and G gets the tea making! I like France




a happy Jill on the helm in gorgeous sunshine

We were away by 9.30 this morning and the sun soon burnt off the last of the cloud. We had a glorious cruise and moored on a pretty pontoon with water and electric – not that we needed the latter as the solar panels have more sun than they know what to do with.

I’m going to have to give this up as it’s taken 3 hours just to get this far – maybe a better signal tomorrow.








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