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

  • August 2017
    M T W T F S S
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Cruising in and around Tjeukemeer

Posted by contentedsouls on 12/08/2017

Having picked Veronica and Richards’ brains for some of their favourite places, we set off into the Provence of Friesland in search of the larger waters which have moorings on little islands, encountering more acres of nature paths en route. P1230035P1230040P1230058P1230073P1230078P1230079P1230080

Everything here is to tidy and pristine. This is such a wealthy country; that’s a new complex being built below – all thatch roofed and with different roof pitches and balconies. That kind of build doesn’t come cheap.


How’s this for a free mooring; the island of Marchjepolle with our very own beach; even Baxter managed a deep paddle to lift some weight off his old bones (he’s on a lead because he’s developing a tendency to wander in the wrong direction), whilst Muttley made great friends with the cutest little Shar Pei off another boat and had a ball making holes in the beach. They are very casual with dogs here; nobody expects anyone’s dog to be aggressive so there allowed to lay outside of their respective boats on the banks. It’s quite common to walk Muttley passed a line of boats and have 2 or 3 jump off and join us for a little way.




I Also made a trip into Steenwijk on the kayak thinking I might visit the Jumbo supermarket, but it was closed. I frightened myself a bit on the way back because I wasn’t 100% sure of my route and it is ridiculously easy to get lost. A completely different perspective from down low and there are so many different waterways and junctions. In the UK and France we used to say, ‘you can run, but you can’t hide’; well you can hide here!


I love the way they duckboard all the marshy bits in the nature park so that you can walk at anytime of the year without getting muddy boots. This stork was quite unperturbed by our presence; they are huge when you get close to them.


The diversity of craft here continues to astound me – there seems to be little or no snobbery; everyone gets out on the water on anything they can. I have to admit I am growing a terrible urge for something with sails as a nice little holiday home up here for the summer. Look at this little beauty. Yeah, I know it’s too much maintenance and expense to run two boats and our joints are not up to it either; but a girl can dream.


6 Responses to “Cruising in and around Tjeukemeer”

  1. Margaret Crompton said

    I think our border terrier, Dash started that hole on the beach at Marchepole last year!!!


  2. Carol said



  3. Kevin TOO said

    Is Muttley digging you a new harbour? LOL
    BTW if you borrow Daisys ball of string you’ll find it easier to get back to Francoise 🙂


  4. andywindy said

    Wow, you really do find some photogenic places to explore, and certainly have the knack of capturing them beautifully Jill.
    Not just this posting, as I haven’t been actively commenting for a while now, but I have been reading! I’m back (Nearly) now though, I won’t know fully until I decide to update my Holiday Blog and find if I can yet!
    OK I’ll play Devil’s advocate here, IF it weren’t for the Maintenance and the £/€ exchange rate then I agree that a Holiday Boat with them big Sheets on Her would be a fantastic adventure, no need to worry about the Muscles coping, that’s what electric Sail winches were invented for! and I’ll be willing to bet that’s what the majority of them use as well.
    Bit of a design flaw on that lady’s Gig, in that She had to take off Her clogs to drive it with Her feet in the Brake Bar frame… there isn’t room to get the clogs between the rails! See? we learn something new with every picture!


  5. did you mean that it’s “so” tidy and pristine here, or “too” tidy and pristine?
    and is it safe to carry weighty ‘items’ in they Kayak (just thinking of purchases at supermarket…)?


  6. vallypee said

    You are right, Jill, it is a wealthy country, and sometimes I find it all too pristine for my personal tastes. I feel very spoilt in having the choice of both the neatness and quaint prettiness of NL’s waterside towns and the less self conscious charm of Belgium within just a few kilometres. Wonderful to be able to kayak to the shops and I’m glad you didn’t get lost!


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