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

  • October 2015
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

St Symphorien and boat hunting

Posted by contentedsouls on 20/10/2015

The decision to remain in Europe has been made and we are now in a position to actively look for a <20 metre long by 4.2 metre wide Dutch Barge. We have short listed 3 which we will be looking at over the next couple of weeks. Here’s the plan (yeah, I know; boating and plans) – find a Barge, continue to live on board Matilda Rose whilst we make any necessary alterations to the new boat, move our stuff across and do any sorting to MR before putting her up for sale – either in Europe or ship her back to UK. We would like to have moved across boats in time to put MR up for sale in the spring, but we are quite happy as we are so there is no rush; we’d rather take our time and find the right boat.

Meanwhile, G has been back in the UK and, as usual, returned with man flue – it remains to be seen whether or not he passes it onto me. I, in his absence, have been made very welcome by the local boating community and so have not been bored. There are 6 occupied boats here and between us we have 7 cats and 8 dogs – temporarily rising to 10 cats when three abandoned kittens were found by Karen whilst out cycling; despite Karen’s attempts for me to re-home one, I declined after discussing it with Daisy. All three are now at the local rescue centre.

I have been invited for lots of tea, wine and shopping trips so the time has passed quickly and Chris and Helen (Facebook friend) have been lovely, also driving us to recover the car before G left. None the less, it’s been nearly 2 weeks and it’s time to move on now. We have until the 8th of December to explore the Rhone au Rhin canal/River Doubes before it closes until the 22nd January – flood levels permitting of course. This is the area I have most wanted to cruise and a small taster (by car) suggests it won’t disappoint; it will be nice to do it out of season rather than in the summer ‘rush’. We then will have only 2 weeks to wait before the Canal du Centre re-opens. Let’s hope the plan comes together as it’s already been incredibly difficult to get a definitive answer on these closures and I am stoically avoiding the stories currently floating around about this winter’s weather.


Between the big River Saone and the smallish canal, the scenery whilst walking has had plenty of variety. 2 hotel boats have passed me on their way to the historic town of Dole (our destination tomorrow if G is up to it) and look as if they couldn’t possibly squeeze through the lock we’re moored below – they did fit though; just.

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That, in a nutshell, has been my last couple of weeks – onwards and upwards tomorrow, hopefully.

8 Responses to “St Symphorien and boat hunting”

  1. Adam said



  2. Kevin TOO said

    Narrow boat to Fat boat… WOW!! Good job Daisy has her tracker, or she’d get lost in all that floor space!! LOL
    Just avoid a boat with widows at water level like Jeanine, how strange that must be looking out from within 🙂

    BTW, tell Graham that next year he should go get a flu jab in Asda (other supermarkets are available)
    it would be £7 very well spent if it stops him from bringing the bugs back over the channel to infest you 😉


    • We have to go to fat boat after all the bread and wine we’ve consumed! Definitely not wanting windows at water level – especially now we’ve seen the size of the Soane – but it will be lovely to have outside dining space and a wheelhouse to protect you from the worst extremes of the elements.
      I’m not sure flu jabs cover the ‘man flu’ strain although I have threatened to quarantine him on each return – it happens every time!


      • Kevin TOO said

        Can’t wait to see the pictures and floor plans…

        BTW the jabs work for me… or are you saying I’m not a man?? LOL


  3. Not at all, but I can’t possibly comment any further!


  4. Jaqueline Biggs said

    Holy moly! Les goes to hospital, I lose track of the days, and suddenly J and G are buying a barge! this is exciting news! We wait with baited breath for blogs and pictures as it all unfolds. xxx P.S. Les is fine. Sends his love. He was chopping wood today so all is well. 🙂


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