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

  • January 2016
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for January 13th, 2016

Briennon to Melay sur Loire

Posted by contentedsouls on 13/01/2016

0 Locks, 12 kms (and one winding hole; twice)

After 2 nights off of shore power it has quickly become apparent that we need more power if we are going to avoid living of of the genny in the winter! Many boats are advertised as ‘liveaboards’ but if nobody has actually lived on them throughout the winter it is unlikely that the power will be sufficient – we are already missing Matilda Rose’s big battery bank and solar panels. It’s not an urgent problem but it is something that will need to be addressed before next winter. I wonder if we will need Grade II listed planning permission to put solar panels on a 114 year old tjalk (is that screams of horror I hear from the hystericals)? 

We spent yesterday just outside Briennon and it was a lovely spot but very muddy – too muddy to get the bikes out. It is amazing how quickly we have become used to totally mud-free towpaths. Muttley and I slithered through the mud to the little village which, although not particularly pretty, had everything you could need. It was also nice to be able to draw up the blinds and enjoy the benefits of our beautiful big windows – I don’t envy Graham having to clean them though; it’ll take him ages to make sure that I can’t see any smears.


In view of the somewhat bumpy ride on Monday, I made sure that the crew were safely strapped in before we left this morning.


Beautiful sunshine this morning and a pleasantly uneventful trip with no locks – we found a winding hole and tried turns to the left and right; she definitely dresses to the left. Now moored up with a few big boats who are wintering here and occupied by friendly French people; so much better for us! We can get free electric here if we had a 60 metre lead (only 50 metres of cable on board) – everyone is tapped into the nearest telegraph pole!!!!!


We need to pop into the village now and offer to pay our visitor taxes at the Marie’s Office.

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