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 28th, 2015

Conde-sur-Marne to Wez

Posted by contentedsouls on 28/02/2015

8 locks, 1 tunnel, 17 kilometres

We postponed our departure on Thursday for two reasons. Firstly it was nasty and drizzly and secondly we decided to address the washing machine issue. Sometime around Christmas the washing machine outer door and door catch broke off. The machine still worked with the the aid of glasses, head torch, screwdriver and a shed load of patience but it couldn’t go on. New machine (larger load) purchased and Mike, bless him, helped G get the old one off and the new one on. I don’t know what we’d have done without Mike these last two weeks – I know he said he needed a project but……

Off we set on Friday in intermittent sunshine and freezing winds, Mike and June decided to come with us for the jolly. I gladly relinquished the helm as the wind was outside my operating envelope and Mike and G operated the boats as one. The 8 locks were automatic so if you take both boats in side by side they register as one boat; you then have to come out as ‘one’ boat or it completely screws up the system. Unbelievably they all worked without me having to contact ‘mission control’. Mike and June had planned to turn round and go back to Conde but we managed to persuade them to stay for dinner and they stayed over and left this morning. We’re in a lovely spot with open views just 3 locks short of Sillery and, due to the Rugby, won’t be moving until Monday.

Quite a lot of movement on this canal. The ‘made to measure’ aspects of the peniches are quite amazing. Very little space to spare as the lock gates close. A single handed Dutch lad on a peniche got caught out by the 6 o’clock lock closures and had to pull in for the night in front of us. We invited him to share our meal but he couldn’t get close enough to the side to use a gang plank, so couldn’t get off of his peniche.

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