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

  • September 2014
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for September 19th, 2014

Leaving Metz, heading for Nancy

Posted by contentedsouls on 19/09/2014

We set off from Metz in glorious sunshine, albeit somewhat late in the day. I actually managed to extricate MR from between the vertical mooring poles without any collisions – just as well as the TV crew were still filming me.

Big blue skies and open river with not another boat to be seen. We had to wait for the first lock to be turned and went in on our own. As we were re-tracing our steps towards Toul we were determined to moor in different places, so my first port of call was to put him off here to check out it’s mooring potential. Some of it’s benefits were very obvious but G wanted to put down some rubber matting before taking on wood. It was very over grown so I picked him up and we carried on. We scoured the banks for a suitable wild mooring but there was nowhere to be found.

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At the second lock I hovered whilst it was set and the gates opened but the lights stayed red so I started to move to the side; then the lights turned green so I started to go forward and then they went red again! Then G spotted the nose of a bloody great commercial coming round the corner behind me – why didn’t they tell me on the VHF (we’d already spoken) instead of playing the light dance. Needless to say, I was heading very rapidly to the side of the lock mouth at this stage to get out of the way.

G was at the pointy end and getting a bit excited and saying lots of things that I couldn’t hear as my revs were quite high – I was quite happy to deal with the situation but G looked a bit sad so I offered him the helm back. The commercial came by us most courteously.

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As we came out of the lock we then reversed back on ourselves, into the mooring, on this side of this concrete ‘finger’ that formed the lock mouth upstream where another commercial was waiting to go in.

This mooring provided us with hours of boat spotting entertainment from our lovely safe grassy bank – having not seen another boat all day it suddenly became very busy. The shipping was so big that you couldn’t photo them from our side hatch without putting the camera on ‘panorama’.

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One of the biggest we recorded was ‘Deo Juvante’ @ 135m x 11m. When you think that a football pitch (so I’m told) is a maximum of 100m. It puts it into perspective!

The lock and mooring are at Pagny sur Moselle

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