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

  • February 2016
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

Morey to Montchanin

Posted by contentedsouls on 05/02/2016

14 locks, 13 kms, 3 1/2 hours

This trip took us up to the summit pound and we anticipated, from previous experience, that we were going to be in for a pretty rough ride as 10 of these 14 locks were the >5 metre type with the twin rising bollards. We weren’t wrong and, despite slotting into a routine with good teamwork, had a pretty rough ride of it. Needless to say I could not take pictures but I did in the 3 metre type where we couldn’t get a rope on and just rode it out – these next photos show the lock fill from one with gate paddles and looks a bit fierce but are, actually fine


The next photo is a 3 metre lock filling via ground paddles and looks fairly innocuous. It’s deceptive and these are surprisingly fierce as they surge at various points along the chamber. In the >5 metre ones they blast up between you and the wall.


With only 2 more biggies to go and enough adrenalin flowing through our systems to run a marathon, they decided to throw another trick at us – the rising bollard at the front didn’t rise, leaving our rope attached to the bollard below water – I could neither remove it nor slacken it as it was pinned tightly between the lock chamber wall and the boat – as I reached for the knife to cut the rope, the water pressure suddenly eased and G released the rear rope and throttle and I was able to pull it clear. With nothing more that I could do about anything, I took a photo – it stayed down there as the water rose.


As we entered the last one, I pulled my big girl pants up very tight – so tight in fact that when I saw this bollard positioned mid-wall, where neither I nor the lockie could reach it with anything, the elastic snapped. You can, incidentally, see how far forward that ‘start cord’ is from the bollard in this photograph. I told the lockie that there was no bloody way we were going through that lock unless we could get a rope on it. He told me he would fill the lock very gently – he had, previously, repeatedly told me that he couldn’t stop the fast fill and that he had no control over it! We went; he filled it very, very gently. So why couldn’t he have slowed down the others?????????


We moored on the summit pound in increasing winds and heavy rain outside Montchanin and my adrenalin filled body super-charged me into town to buy much needed provisions and wine; a lot of wine.

4 Responses to “Morey to Montchanin”

  1. andywindy said

    NOW I know why your Iambic parameter recognition was dulled, after that day I think I’d go lie down in a darkened room and sulk, that or get Plastered!


  2. ianmccauley2014 said

    “to buy much needed provisions and wine;” – and new elastic?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My big girl’s pants are now re-enforced with industrial strength elastic – fortunately all has been rosy since that horrible day

    Liked by 1 person

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