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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Unfinished business on the Loing and a cruising plan for the rest of 2016

Posted by contentedsouls on 17/11/2016

Way back this last spring we were going to cruise a loop, but floods and breaches prevented that, so we never did do the top left quarter of the loop between the two pink pointers on the map. We reckon we can trundle down the Loing towards the Briare canal (which is currently closed) and do most of the bit that we missed. That should work nicely to pick up Sue and Vic, then head back North with them and up the Seine to just outside Paris, where we have now taken a 12 day mooring for Christmas and New Year, in a marina where we have friends over wintering. The marina is all country and animal friendly whilst only being 15 minutes by train into the centre of Paris.

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So we set off downstream on the Seine. Still a lot of traffic and a bit of a wait at the first lock, which seemed to have a malfunction, and hung a left upstream onto the Loing. Everywhere was looking quite desolate after the extensive flooding and none of the river moorings had been re-opened, so we weren’t able to moor until we went up through the first lock onto the canalised section.

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After we moored I wandered back down with my camera – some pretty tjalks, but also one with a problem. Not the only sad sight

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The following evening, the delightful capitainerie came round for a coffee and caught us up with the gossip. She said that the French couple were living on the red tjalk  and were advised to get off the river section and onto the canals. Despite them being offered a tow, they declined to move and they broke their bank poles and ended up on the bank. They had no insurance and the ground is too soft to get a crane in – the owners have now vanished. it also seems that, when VNF dredged after the flooding that they didn’t dredge the moorings below the lock in the right places, so there was still no access to them in their pretty park up to the town.

Loretta also came to collect a mooring fee and the town visitor tax; we were charged half of the 13.50 euro charge, as the water and electric weren’t back on and 50 cents per person per night tax. Seemed a lot for a bollard on the bank in winter on a canal that is currently a dead end. She also lamented the fact that they no longer had visitors and that many of the businesses in town had suffered/closed due to the canal being closed for much of the year and no-one visiting anymore – it’s not rocket science – get the power back on and provide free electric, like so many of the other places we have been staying.

It’s a beautiful town with lots of lovely restaurants and a good market, we would happily have spent 5 or 6 days here and spent money more in the town but, to be honest, were not prepared to pay for the privilege of doing so. It was dark, grey and wet when we went into town (so, therefore, are my photos) but it would be idyllic sitting on the veranda overlooking the river for lunch when the sun is shining. Let’s hope the weather has picked up by the time we come back through with Sue and Vic. That is both dogs with Graham; a long walk into town and back for him, but he had a power nap whilst we enjoyed a coffee and pastis

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4 Responses to “Unfinished business on the Loing and a cruising plan for the rest of 2016”

  1. andywindy said

    The French do seem to like making a big drama out of a little Engineering challenge ( The Beached Tjalk Johanna).
    Go to the local Horticultral supplies place and Hire/buy about Two or Three Dozen old railway sleepers to make a temporary roadway back to the water (Laid lengthways, wide enough to get the boat onto), Hire a couple of hand winches (Tirfor type) and a wide lifting strop , then wrap the strop round the front of the boat, a hand winch along each side fixed to each end of the strop and the Bank at the other end and using round 3 Metre long fence posts (Tree stakes) as rollers simply winch her back into the water, steering by adjusting the rate of winching on either side. 2 people, Maximum of 4 days and a couple of hundred for materials. OR hire a crane for thousands!

    Lovely pics again Jill, thank you.
    Your plans for the rest of the Year sound good, I’m not jealous at all.. not really… well they DO sound good… maybe a little wistful… OK full jealousy over here.

    Like

  2. vallypee said

    Great plans, Jill! Indeed a lovely spot, but I agree about the cost. It is a lot for not so much and no services at all.

    Like

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