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

From the river Marne to the Canal Lateral a la Marne

Posted by contentedsouls on 11/04/2017

Up at 7.30 (please note 6.30 am UK time), I was greeted by the most perfect weather; wisps of mist and a ball of sun reflected in the water. The light was fabulous as I whisked Muttley around the woodland and I was highly amused by the taped up, clearly dangerous, litter bin.


It was a little bit of a performance to leave and turn onto the canal. We had to turn the boat, go passed the canal back down river, then turn the boat to come back upstream to catch and twist the dangly pole. We were trying to work out how long we have been on the rivers for and recalled that we left the Canal de Nivernais for the river Yonne back in September. Other than a few little short cutty canal bits on the Marne, we’ve been on the rivers ever since and I love the wide views from our big windows; virtually no danger of getting iced in either.

Photos are horribly grainy taken into the early morning sun; sorry.


There are some definite advantages though, like when Mr Baxter was suddenly caught short; we were able to pull into the side to let him off. It also means that Daisy can be let out of the bedroom and be allowed to roam and sun herself on the top of the boat between locks; should she go in, she swims perfectly well enough for us to be able to fish her out or for her to just swim to the bank in still waters. It also means I can walk the towpaths again so I don’t have to do all the Muttley walking after we’ve moored up.



We actually saw two pleasure boats today (only three in total that we’ve seen on the move since we first met Voirrey and Andy at the beginning of last winter. The second boat really peed G off as it pulled out in front of us (close enough to make him have to throttle back) before going into ‘our’ lock. Adding insult to injury, we had to wait whilst it turned around and came back down again when it could easily have turned before the lock; it must be summer!!!!


Approaching our last lock of the day at Tours-sur-Marne we had plenty of time to admire the view as it let us in and then broke down. Called on the radio; no answer. Telephoned the number provided; no answer. Yep; we’re back on the canals.


The lift bridge came as a bit of a surprise – it’s been a very long time since we’ve activated one of those – as neither of us had noticed it in the Fluviacarte; I suspect we’ll be getting a fair bit of practice with lift bridges later this year though. A pleasant enough spot, but onwards and upwards tomorrow.


3 Responses to “From the river Marne to the Canal Lateral a la Marne”

  1. andywindy said

    Clearly an extremely hazardous waste receptacle, the french do like to keep you safe, don’t they?

    Don’t those pleasure boats realise that your vessel has probably got a relatively large amount of inertial mass compared to them? I’m pretty sure I know who’d be sinking and who watching if you couldn’t take avoiding action!

    And that lift bridge, Yes the first of many, many more !

    Nowt wrong with a bit of atmosphere in the odd photo either! I shall enjoy tracking you on your voyage, Has francoise got an AIS transmitter and number? if so, it would be easier to place you!


    • Nothing worse than hazardous waste receptacles; unless of course it’s boaters who want to moor up in towns and subject themselves to vandalism!

      Belgium alone is bridge after bridge, goodness knows what the NL will be like!

      We receive AIS data, but don’t transmit I’m afraid, although G says he may be able to download something for you; don’t let him forget


  2. ianmccauley2014 said

    One of my revelations last season was cruising on rivers. Yes, much preferred to canals – although canals are often very enjoyable. We had hardly any bridges in Belgium – a few in the Flanders region. Heaps in the Netherlands of course, but we never got to open one ourselves!


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