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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Archive for April 20th, 2015

A visit to a peniche

Posted by contentedsouls on 20/04/2015

Whilst G was preparing lunch yesterday, I cleared everything off the floor and chucked the dogs and their beds out onto the bank ready to vacuum through the boat. I started at the back doing the shed, bedroom, bathroom and galley; as soon as I started on the saloon it swapped from suck to blow and deposited it’s ‘bag free’ contents all over the carpet before the engine burnt out!! First the washing machine, now the Dyson.

Early evening I was outside talking with Mike and June when, yet another, peniche went passed. Mike and June started jumping up and down and looking for their radio. The couple on the peniche were George and Ellen; English friends of theirs that they hadn’t seen in 2 years. Having secured a mooring they invited us round for drinks in the evening. Once we’d found them, they were breasted up outside an empty peniche which meant climbing up one side of it and then down the other side to reach their loaded boat which was carrying 320 tonnes of coiled steel. The engine room was huge and contained a 350 Cummins engine plus a 5,000 litre fuel tank. Fully laden from Ghent to Paris uses 1,000 litres of fuel. Their peniche is up for sale if you fancy a lifestyle change.


This morning G & Mike left at 8.00 to position a car at Cappy. 5 minutes later a commercial came roaring passed; snapping the bracket off our buoy and slamming us into the concrete so hard that the dogs were thrown off their chairs and I had to hastily pull clothes on and fish my buoy out of the water.

As soon as we left we were straight into the big stuff again but were able to get through the lock (our last on the Canal du Nord) without being held for commercial traffic – we’ve been very lucky in that respect.


So that was the end of the Canal du Nord and we were delighted to hang a left onto the Canal du Somme. Mind you, it was a bit of a shock having to move the tiller to go round bends!


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