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
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Choisey to Rochefort-sur-Nenon (26/10)

Posted by contentedsouls on 27/10/2015

5 locks, 11 kms

Just over 2kms to the outskirts of the fabulous Dole and the first lock onto the River; le Doubs.


The Rhone au Rhin alternates now between sections of canal and sections of river – quite stunning it is too. Although we’re missing out on all the towns and bridges being covered in flowers, as we’re doing it so late in the year, we do have the benefit of the autumn foliage and virtually no traffic – just the odd hire boat from Dole.

Having been deeply disappointed that we couldn’t moor the boat in Dole itself – due to extremely low water levels – we were provided with an unexpected mooring at our 2nd lock of the day. As we approached the lock only the right hand gate opened and although we can fit through one gate it wasn’t a lot of good to us as, unless the lock completes a full cycle, it wouldn’t operate. VNF were soon onto it and in we went. The trouble was that it wouldn’t shut behind us either, so they asked us to reverse out and moor up whilst VNF re-enforcements were called. An excellent mooring for us within strolling distance of the city and I, rather selfishly, hoped that it might take a day or two to fix.


It became apparent that there was something stopping the left gate from closing fully so I wandered off with the camera, and found a rather special canoe slalom below the historic walls. My request to G to help me get the kayak off of the roof fell on deaf ears.


I returned to the lock fully expecting to find VNF men buried in paperwork, grappling hooks and harnesses. None of that, they were happily fishing for the mysterious blockage with nary a life jacket between them! Judging by the ensuing grunts and language it was something quite heavy and, had it come away suddenly, there was only one way the men were going to go – into the water backwards! Crazy!!!!!!!

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All these heroics were to no avail, so it was decided to bring MR up and use her as a platform – somewhat to my relief as she would at least provide a safer platform. You wouldn’t think that a stone this size could stop a 4 ton gate; but it can.


Drama over and we were on our way


There will be loads of pics of Dole from our day out there, but this post is about our cruise through and we exited the city through a lock, back onto a canal section, under glorious Plane trees before following the corridor through an ‘open’ flood lock or stop gate back onto the river


our mooring for the night was just outside the village on a little ‘rise and fall’ pontoon below a cliff face that was lined by river huts with decorated gardens and artist studios


An absolutely glorious day


5 Responses to “Choisey to Rochefort-sur-Nenon (26/10)”

  1. Kate said

    I spent 2 weeks this summer doing Basancon to Dole and back with my parents on their cruiser Sumertime5. The have now left their boat in st jean de losne for the winter. I love following your journeys especially the places we have also visited with my parents. Are you going to stop somewhere for winter?


    • Hi Kate, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we are. We continue to cruise throughout the winter – something that people here find very strange; but is perfectly normal in the UK. We must be off of this canal by the 8th December though as it closes down in it’s entirety until the 22nd January.


  2. Kevin TOO said

    That slalom course looks very tame… I wonder what it’s like when the level is up and there’s a flow from those openings under the building?

    Round of applause to the VNF men, that would have been at least a one week stoppage if CRT had been in charge 😉


    • Pretty exciting I should think. This area, being very steep sided, can get very lively very quickly and we, too, have to be very careful along this stretch given the time of the year – could be why the three boats that we’ve seen are heading the other way and back on to the Soane.

      If that rock had come away when they were balanced on the gates there was only one way they could go – in backwards. Can you imagine how long we’d have been kept there then and the length of the stoppage whilst we made statements and filed accident reports? Perhaps a happy medium between the C&RT approach and the gung ho French approach might be a better option.

      Hope you’re both good xx


  3. Jaqueline Biggs said

    Magnifique! xx


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