contentedsouls

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

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Boat swap – day out with Manuela and Alex

Posted by contentedsouls on 14/08/2014

After drinks on the German motor launch the night before it was a very early start the next morning and G drove the car to the outskirts of Verdun before cycling back to Vacherauville and then the 4 of us set off on MR. Alex quickly settled down on the helm of MR and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Just the one lock and G left me with Alex whilst he did the front rope. Alex was nicely set up for the left wall as we arrived at the lock, but a last minute request by the lockie to change to the right, understandably, threw him a bit, so we just swapped places until the lock was filled.

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Arriving at Verdun, we piled into the car and drove back to Vacherauville; climbed onto their motor launch and repeated the trip.

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Great fun and yes it was chilly but not as cold as this big coat would suggest (it was the only spare they had). Great fun, but the boat was quite a shock to the sytem – highly manoeuvrable, fast and extremely sensitive compared to MR’s solidity. The view from up there (compared to life looking at top boxes, kayaks etc) is amazing but driving from so far forward you have to be very careful not to forget about the swing of the back end behind you! Whilst I was on the helm upstairs, Alex went and ‘shook the tail feathers’ from the steering below inside nearly giving me a heart attack until he came back up laughing his socks off

The best seats in the house though were these chairs at the front where you can lay back comfortably, in virtual silence, with nothing to obscure your forward vision. Perfik.

I think I’d like one of these for summer and MR for winter please.

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And here we are being dropped off back at MR before they carried on their way having exchanged details. It was still only 12.00 but they have a lot of ground to cover now that the inclined plane has been closed – an extra 3/400 kilometers to get back to Switzerland by the end of September.

A fabulous day and an opportunity that had to be grabbed. 

Jill

 

 

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