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
  • Meta

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.

12 Responses to “Briennon to Melay sur Loire”

  1. Jaq said

    Sounds like Cieux to me! Les and are both pleased as punch that you, G and Le Menagerie are happily cruising along in the big boat now! xxx


    • Thanks Jaq. Is your op still on – Kevin should be having his done today?


      • Kevin TOO said

        Oh dear, sorry, now shall I shut up or open my mouth & swap feet??

        I was referring to photo (p1130348.jpg) and the ‘rain splattered’ look of the window… 😦
        If I’ve put my foot in it again then Graham will be offering me the ‘nettoyeur de fenêtres’ job? LOL

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Enjoyed reading about your adventures as I sit by the fire at home in Ireland. But it also has me looking forward to getting back boating again when ‘things’ warm up.
    Marion Hayden

    A fellow WOB.


  3. Kevin TOO said

    Well I hope that photo #1 is a before and not after example of Graham’s’ handy work?! 😉
    Nice picture of the boys ‘taking the air’ on the patio 🙂
    But what are all those canopies about on ‘of clay & of water’ ?


    • Not with you on photo #1?????
      They love sitting out there – especially Baxter; he likes the sun on his old bones.
      The first canopy is acting as an umbrella to provide shelter between the wheelhouse and the main accommodation. The second one, presumably, shaded the guest on the patio in the summer but is, currently, providing shelter for their log piles (and Daisy who is paying them regular visits). I’ll try and get a better photo today.


  4. Hi Jill, how about a short safety/rope ladder attached to the inside of the bow that you can flip over the side to assist getting on and off?


    • Good idea but I don’t think it will work – I can get on and off but can’t get up off of the deck floor when the boat is high up and I get on by sitting on the side. I will still have to get up off of the deck with a ladder, unless we attached it to the cabin roof – i’d probably fall over it then!!!


      • andywindy said

        How about a Rope Ladder Jill? It could roll up onto the Roof when not in use? It’s nice to see you are taking care of the more cuddly members of the crew by providing them with seatbelts (or should that be Cushion belts? (Photo 6)).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Either I’m missing something or I’m not explaining myself very well with this getting on business. A ladder would stop at the deck which would still mean crawling off the ladder onto the deck and I struggle to stand up from floor level. Slightly easier from hands and knees than the turtle on it’s back position – the latter being impossible!


      • Kevin TOO said

        Obviously this is getting ‘lost in the translation’ d’accord?
        Looks like we need Graham to do a photo gallery of you showing us the problem yourself…. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Now I’m with you and no, Kevin Too, you haven’t put your foot in it – we thought (by G’s handiwork) that you were referring to bashing the boat about; we were scouring the photos for dents/missing paintwork!!!!
    We have yet to moor with the starboard side against the bank so no chance to clean that window yet; mind you, we’ve only moored up three times and one of those was in port


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