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

  • February 2015
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for February 7th, 2015

Beautiful Sunshine

Posted by contentedsouls on 07/02/2015

If you can get out of the wind (a tad difficult when you live on a boat) this glorious sunshine is so warm and it’s still daylight at 6pm. The wind, however, remains strong and icy – reminiscent of walking the dogs on the beach in winter when we lived on the East Coast with the North wind blowing a Hooley.

Yesterday we set off by car to replenish the boat stocks ahead of the arrival of our friends; outside of the area of water we are moored, the canals are frozen solid so our intentions of cruising to Reims by next week-end may have been over ambitious. Doesn’t matter though, we certainly won’t be bored – by the time Sue has walked my dogs, Vic has made dinner and G has cleaned the boat it will be time to go out and play.

This morning was market day and our first chance (it was too damn cold yesterday) to go and explore the centre of Vitry. Google Earth shows a big covered market area and the stalls spilling out into the side streets. The reality, however, was two greengrocers; two clothes stalls; 1 meat van and a lady selling eggs! After getting what we could, we retired to the bar of the nice man who does a lovely orangey, spicy, hot wine. Perfik for these temperatures and quite the nicest I’ve ever drunk – not too heavy with cloves.

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A pleasant enough town but it really was too cold to linger – especially as I knew I still had to get Muttley out for at least an hour.

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So I left G making Banana cakes and mulled wine whilst Muttley and I set off for the confluence of these two with the Marne au Rhin canal – it’s the width, depth and flow on this junction that are keeping this area ice free – it’s just forming on the edges and then being washed away. I walked for an hour and 20 minutes and was more than ready for that mulled wine when I returned (have I mentioned how bloody cold it is?).

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You can see how we’ve rather ‘abandoned’ MR at the slipway, but there is a boom across the tiny mooring area. We are, literally, moored under a sign that says no parking except pleasure boats – I think it refers to their little marina area – but we will plead ignorance, if necessary, and say that the sign said it was OK!

There is a Klipper across the way from us that’s had it’s bottom and superstructure sorted; other than that it’s a blank canvas and G has taken rather a shine to it. He keeps mentioning sums of money required to make it perfect – should I be worried?

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It’s huge; I don’t do huge – it would take G far too long to clean.

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