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

  • April 2015
    M T W T F S S
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Change of plans

Posted by contentedsouls on 16/04/2015

P1070677P1070684P1070686P1070688We had been slowly making our way North, just across the border into Belgium, for blacking at the end of this month. However, we’ve now learnt that the trolley to pull us out won’t be available until the end of May. There are quite a few stoppages and closures behind and around us so we have decided to pay a trip to the seaside and visit the Somme.

Left Abbeycourt in glorious weather and Muttley and I set off on foot 20 minutes ahead to walk the 6.5 kms to the first lock where they picked me up and we continued onto Pont L’Eveque. A pretty little spot and used as a workshop for peniches so with that, and the moorings being next to the little road, it wasn’t the quietest of moorings. Also meant a night in for Daisy cat which never goes down well; especially when the weather is glorious.

We left the next morning at 9.30, hanging a right onto the very busy Canal du Nord with deep locks (up to 5.8 metres) that are twice as long; although they are all manned. It also means that a lot of the commercial boats are twice as long and some have unarticulated ‘push pans’ on the front that are the same length again. At the 4th lock we waited for a ‘normal’ length peniche to come passed us and go in so that we could go in behind it, but they dropped the guillotine on us and put the light to red. They did turn it round for us afterwards though – I thought they might make us wait for oncoming traffic. We had another small wait for a peniche and a cruiser to clear the short tunnel before we could enter – as is normal here, the tunnel was dry, well lit and well maintained.


We moored through the tunnel on the top pound for the night before dropping down 2 more of the big locks today without any hold ups and are moored on a wide stretch of water tonight where we shouldn’t get washed about by the big stuff.


Being a grand prix weekend we’ll be staying until Monday. Both cars have been recovered so we’ll need to get fuel and food tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Change of plans”

  1. Kevin TOO said

    Is it my thought processes or is it your subliminal suggestions… but
    all I can hear ATM is the lyrics to “Lili Marlene” after seeing photo #4 😉

    Indeed they are big locks and big boats… makes the Trent look like a brook… LOL
    Hope you’ve got the factor 60 slapped on, don’t want you burning up !!

    If you get the chance to take some photos of the cars being loaded/unloaded
    from the big boats (I can’t spell peniche) I would be interested to see them, ta 🙂



    • Your thought processes I think, although I might just have been sublime! Pictures of the bigger boats on the next blog.
      I have been trying to get pictures of the cars being loaded/unloaded and never seen it happen. Thought I’d got lucky a few weeks back but then they used ramps, not cranes. Dinner cooking was critical so I left G on the bank to take pictures and he thought it was going to fall off of the ramps and was so stressed he forgot to take any pics!


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