contentedsouls

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

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Heading up the Seine

Posted by contentedsouls on 13/11/2016

Just the one lock en route to our mooring at Morolles-sur-Seine, although it was not without incident as a rather large peniche tried to reverse into us and squidge us – the subject of a separate blog here https://contentedsouls.com/2016/11/03/close-encounters-and-an-assault-on-the-head-of-the-seine-navigation/

This lock has been upgraded to the normal 180 metres by 11.4 metres wide, leaving the little lock, unused, alongside. The latter is now used as a most delightful mooring for plaisanciers with free electric – the area has wonderful dog walking, plus boulangerie, boucherie and a little shop. You just need to get your ropes sorted as there is a fair bit of water movement whilst the big ships use the lock next door – certainly more rise and fall than an Ed Balls waltz.

Having had the incident in the lock, we decided our communications in such circumstances needed to be vastly improved over, “blurbyblurbydoblurbquickQUICK” and, “whaaaaat?” The need to communicate a little more stylishly and effectively on a big river like the Seine was becoming paramount. G ordered some nifty (but not cheap) head sets and mike communications systems from Amazon to be delivered to La Poste at Bray. We have gone through two sets of intercoms since we turned to a life afloat and neither have been very good; time to bite the bullet and cough up for something hands free and reliable.

The parcel was to be dispatched from within France – despite that, they made two attempts to deliver at lunchtime when everyone knows France is shut down. Our conversations with customer services in India to sort the problem left us in despair; despite telling them we had no car and that we travelled on a boat, they still thought it would be a wonderful idea for us to travel 50 miles (inland from the river) to pick up the parcel. In the end, we lost the will to live and abandoned the purchase. In fairness, our money was quickly refunded but we would have liked the goods …. sigh. So it’s back to shouting for the time being at least.

Despite the proximity of the two locks, it’s a good ten minutes to get up to the bridge and take photos and I failed miserably at getting up onto the bridge to get a piccy of a big one coming up towards me. One was a 20 metre motor/cabin with four pushers ahead – 140 metres in total, but only showed up as the motor on our AIS! Did the best I could guys but…… The third picture is two 80 metres going away from me. So difficult to get perspective, especially in this continuous misty fog

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Those of you that know me well know that I have a secret passion for crap bread. Nothing I like more than a bit of Warburton’s toasty – in fact, I will happily exchange a free bed for the night for a loaf of Warburton’s if you happen to be passing with one about your person. Bread here is a strange thing; it’s either baked fresh twice daily or it’s a strange thing called, mostly, Harry’s American sandwich – sweet enough to be pudding and lasts for months and is totally disgusting (and this is from a crap bread lover). I have now discovered pain de maiz – soft and gorgeous and keeps for two or three days – and my French life is now a happier place on the breakfast front. I wonder if this is the same as corn bread in the deep South of the poor old USA?

So here are a few pics from around and about

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Daisy is not at all impressed with this damp and grey weather – it looks like there is a snake in my bed, she loves to burrow under the blanket I’ve thrown over.

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So it was onwards to Bray – not only had we been promised our delivery of our new communication system on Friday, but also the arrival of our Aussie friends Jo and Peter for the weekend. We hadn’t seen them since 2014 and I was sooo excited. Having guests on something more buxom is such a delight. The trip was busy, busy, with commercials but an uneventful cruise with our arrival next to a gorgeous park. Sadly the leccy was off but, hey, ho, you can’t have it all.

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What a lovely weekend before they left us on Monday morning to fly back to Australia for their summer …. lucky buggers.

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We also made fast and loose with their hire car to do beer and diesel runs. Fabulous to see you again guys.

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12 Responses to “Heading up the Seine”

  1. Lesley K said

    Crap bread and, crap sausages! The woman is a dess Arster!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jiggles348 said

    I know, but you love me really

    Like

  3. andywindy said

    Wonderful pics again Jill, apart from the atmospheric ones I like the one of the Snakesie on your bed! Also nice to see they have named a Barge after the BFG’s name for QE11, I’ve seen a lot of them Big Ones on the Rhine and the Mosel. also with the Captain’s car on the Roef and and accomanying crane to get it on and off. Makes you wonder just where they unload the car, surely not onto the nearest bridge?
    All together now, “Beh Beh Mouton Noir, avec vous la laine…..” Run out of French again, Dammit! (Well I did stop learning the Language some 47 Years ago, that’s my excuse, got kicked out of the language class for writing naughty things on my 3rd year test paper and Six across my hand!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda Lewis said

    I’m squirrelling away the information that you would exchange a free bed for a loaf of Warburtons finest…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kevin TOO said

    That’s it, you’ve finally managed to flabber my gast… I never thought that day would come…
    You prefer Mr Warburtons processed cotton wool to proper fresh french bread

    Je suis totalement dévasté, je ne le crois pas! 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bargemast said

    Hi Jill & Graham, nice to see that you seem to have a good time sharing locks with the big ones.

    In your story about Marolles lock were you wrote :”One was a 20 metre motor/cabin with four pushers ahead – 140 metres in total” you made a slight mistake, as there was only a 20m pusher that had 4 barges strapped in front, and not 4 pushers, it’s of no impotance, but I thought to let you know anyway.

    Keep enjoying yourselfs, and the blog followers with your stories.

    Cheers,

    Peter.

    Like

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