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

  • April 2017
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

More incursions onto Francoise and confirmed plans for the Netherlands

Posted by contentedsouls on 03/04/2017

After being treated to the most gorgeous meal out avec Champagne on Friday, we had a long (by my standards) cruise on Saturday before further car shuffling, eating in and all having an early night – we were all pretty bushed. Not before Muttley and I took ourselves off to meet the locals though. After the rainbow (previous blog) the sky was amazing.



Despite the short pontoon (which is a bit awkward with a wobbly Baxter and one arm), I liked this mooring even though I didn’t get time to explore the village. I guess one person’s ‘good mooring’ is very different from another’s – the actual mooring platform on this one was falling to bits; we had to put mats down to get the dogs safely on and off and the steps were all overgrown, but just 10 metres away was a beautifully manicured park and motor home aire. It suggested that the village had stopped maintaining the mooring because nobody stopped there.

G cycled up the hill to the boulangerie to fetch breakfast in the morning, which was eaten in teenager style!!!! Shocking, the grand children would not be allowed to do this.


Just a short cruise on the Sunday morning to Dormants so that we could enjoy G’s Sunday lunch before Sarah and Andy left us late afternoon. Mooring here was a tad tricky as we had to shift forward an ‘abandoned’ boat to make room – even then there wasn’t a lot to spare at either end.


Behind us, on a separate quay, was the most beautiful tjalk; still with full rigging, leeboards and tiller – sadly there was no one about so I couldn’t bluster my way on board for a looksee and G and Andy wouldn’t let me knick the leeboards overnight.


We are right in the middle of Champagne country now and the hilly fields abound with vines and the villages with Champagne houses


Even though we were moored alongside a big park and had nice views all around, neither G nor I liked it very much – no idea why.


Despite my natural instincts to explore the town, neither of us wanted to stay, so we moved on again on Monday morning; we seem to have caught the ‘hire boats in a hurry’ disease. Only 1 lock and 10 kms to Port a Binson where the mooring is delightful but the village has died and the dog walking is bad, so it looks like we shall be moving again tomorrow! It may have only been one lock, but it was very exciting as we were boarded – the eagle peacock has landed!!!!


One of them just took himself up and flew onto the boat, sitting on our roof quite happily as the lock filled


Only as we moved out of the lock did he decide to leave us (just as I was thinking of a nice roast dinner), not before he left a big black poo on our roof though.


Funny old lock this one; steeply sloping sides with a rising platform and an angled walkway


Tonight’s mooring and sunset


We have had confirmation today that we are coming out for blacking and an insurance survey at the end of August beginning of September in Friesland that’s right up in the North of the Netherlands – it’s further North than Great Yarmouth; in fact it’s so far bloody North we’ll nearly be at the North pole!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t even say hello in Dutch, let alone Friesland speak ( a completely separate language evidently); what have we done??????  Hey ho; it’s only around 1,000 kms away……..hmm

15 Responses to “More incursions onto Francoise and confirmed plans for the Netherlands”

  1. bum! you’ll be up at the north pole the very month we’ll be in Spain!


  2. andywindy said

    Naughty guests, fancy following Graham’s bad habits and reading whilst eating, I suppose at least they were all Three sat at the table to eat though!
    Eagle or Peacock? Try Peahen! the one on the Port of the first picture was the Peacock, your visitor was the Hen.

    200kM a month? Thats moving a quite a rate for the silly season!

    (p.s. I think Andy and Graham are quite boring)


    • stevethewargamer said

      Most impressed that the whole table was quaffing ale for breakfast though… must move to France…. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • … and I thought the Peahens were just speckly brown without colour – I did say to G that I can’t believe there are 2 Peacocks in the same territory at this time of the year! All is now clear.

      It’s only 50 kms plus whatever locks a week; 2 or 3 days on rivers……plus floods, droughts and plagues of course. Watch this space!

      Liked by 1 person

      • andywindy said

        With pea Fowl it’s all about the Tail feathers, the Boys like to show off and the Girls just shake their heads slowly and Tut Tut (a bit like Humans then?). Mind you, my seemingly extensive knowledge of Pea Fowl is half remembered from there being a large house and garden complete with peacocks and Peahens near our School and what our teachers told us about them. (It was only some 48 Years ago, so I can remember a little bit.)
        Doesn’t Everybody have a Pint with their breakfast then?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dreadful behaviour at the breakfast table – don’t show my mother, she’ll have a fit! Epic weekend though. See you in NL in a few months!


  4. Brenda said

    Looking forward to all this scenery not long till we join you in June x


  5. PaulB said

    Yes .. and we always used to discourage our children from sinking a pint with their breakfast. Of course that’s all changed now 🙂


  6. Carol said

    George has just looked up your journey for blacking and asks me to tell you that English is Freidland second language and that they all speak it – English that is. Good luck. xx


    • I know Carol, but it’s rude not to try so we have to learn some basics; just as I’m ‘getting by’ a lot better in French – now I have to cater for Belgium, Holland and Friesland; I’m too old for all this and rapidly losing the ability to speak any language; including English.
      Call these guys on the radio in English and you will be ignored – second language or not!


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