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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Demange-aux-Eaux to Treveray

Posted by contentedsouls on 18/12/2014

9 locks, 9 kilometres and 5 communications with eclusier control requesting help!

Yesterday we stayed in Demange-aux-Eaux and made water, then we both donned wet weather gear and Graham drove the car on to Treveray and cycled back whilst I explored the village (took all of 15 minutes) and the countryside with Muttley

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We’d booked passage for 10 am this morning and I walked the dogs down to the first lock at 9 am and the lock was set and on green. I told G we were good to go after I’d taken the rubbish up; then look what happened! Out of the lock behind us came this big boy – he nicked ‘our’ lock (note G anxiously peering down the side to see if he pulled our pins – he didn’t) A queue for the locks..outrageous. We’d not seen ‘Manna’ before and, in fairness it was only 9.30 so we assumed they’d re-set for us at 10.

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Once you start a flight of locks, you’re exit from one sets the next. As we were starting from lock 2 (L2) we needed manual intevention from Bar le duc VNF. On arrival at L2 it was against us with a red light. Hovered for awhile and then rang, only to get an answering machine, so G had to put me off (he, understandably, bagsied the helm today) to use the lock intercom. That’s not easy as there are no lock landings and the canal is ‘V’ shaped so you have to get as close as possible and then make a leap of faith (I don’t like doing it). I rehearsed my speech and the lights went to red and green (setting) and started to fill. Despite the rain (some of which hit the camera lens) we made good progress through L3 and L4 but L5 had double reds (out of order) and the bottom gates were still open – they should have shut automatically behind the peniche. Once again I made the leap to use the intercom and they said they would send someone (I think). They did, and he sorted it out for us. I then walked Muttley through L5 and L6, operating the activator bar once G was in the lock. L7 was set but the gate wasn’t open and the light red, ditto L8 and L9. By now I was learning fast. Instead of saying what the problem was, which meant I had to understand the reply, I started asking if he’d mind opening the gates – all he could say was yes or no and my French runs to that! By now the dog was long since back on the boat (they don’t like the rain) so I walked the lot by myself in the rain, rather than have to keep making that leap. L10 worked but had the peniche in it – we’d caught it up, despite all the delays.

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I’m not sure who was most relieved that we stopped after L10 – us or Bar le duc control. I can imagine what he said to his colleagues every time the intercom buzzer went; I became more apologetic every time I called. We noticed that the radar thingy boxes at the bottom gates which set the next lock had recently been replaced and set higher up so, we suspect, we weren’t tall enough to activate them and that only one lock was, actually, faulty. 4 hours it took – an hour too long in this weather. Now moored at Treveray on a sloping gang plank but we think there might be a restaurant here.

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2 Responses to “Demange-aux-Eaux to Treveray”

  1. suenp said

    FFS!

    Like

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