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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Onto the Canal de l’Aisne a la Marne–moored near Wez

Posted by contentedsouls on 12/04/2017

Whilst we over-nighted at Tours, Daisy had to defend her borders to prevent a further incursion of Francoise by the local ginger tom – he was extremely handsome (I thought) and young enough to be her toy boy; but she wasn’t impressed. Let’s face it, it takes a lot to impress Daisy.

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Baxter went through the entire night without needing a pee! As a result we overslept and didn’t wake until 8.30 so we were later leaving than we had intended. We still managed 22 kms, 8 locks and a 2.5 km tunnel though so that wasn’t bad going on the canals (by our standards). As soon as we turned left onto the l’Aisne, we had 8 up hill locks to do over the first 8 kms. You twist a pole for the first one and then each lock is linked to set ready for you automatically; 3 commercials came down but even they have to wait for us once the ‘chain’ has started. Last time we came through this flight we were on Matilda Rose with Mike and June on NB Temujin – taking both boats in side by side; looking at the lock entrance from the perspective of Francoise, it doesn’t seem possible that the locks are wide enough. They don’t look wide enough for Francoise either after all this time on the rivers and big locks – they certainly don’t look wide enough to accommodate these peniches; but they do, of course. There are some nasty sidestreams on the lock approaches too.

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It was immediately obvious that we were not going to get a rope up and over the bollards lockside, so G just held her on the engine and Muttley and I got off to walk. As Francoise came up in the lock a peniche was waiting to come down – on ‘our’ side of the river (not that I would have disputed it with him!) but, needless to say, he sorted himself out before G reached him although he kicked up a fair bit of mud and water in the process.

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We met 3 oncoming peniches and 1 barge today, but none of them held us up and we had an immediate green light for the ‘one way’ tunnel too.

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We moored up in the middle of nowhere which did please Daisy.

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We now have confirmation of our dry dock, blacking and insurance survey up in Friesland later this year. We have also found a surveyor which our insurance company has approved. When we worked out the journey accurately on 1st April we had 969 kms to cover by the end of August. So far we have covered 164 kms.

Only 805 kms left to go

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2 Responses to “Onto the Canal de l’Aisne a la Marne–moored near Wez”

  1. andywindy said

    Wow I see what you mean about those Peniche being a tight fit in the Locks, I wonder how often the canals have to dredged if they stir up to that extent on a regular basis!
    According to my meagre maths skills, you’re going too fast! you’ve averaged twice the distance per day so far. Now, I know all about Sod’s Law so you better keep going until you’ve reached all them lift bridges, I bet they’ll slow you down a heck of a lot.

    Like

  2. ianmccauley2014 said

    No, bridges in the Netherlands are far, far faster than locks.

    Only a couple of minutes to raise; almost always two-way traffic; no lunch breaks; long hours; rarely broken; run by the very professional Dutch. You are moving far too fast! But that will give you time to make some detours along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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