Category Archive

The Week That Was 8 The Week That Was 8

Packing Up and Finishing off for the 2020 Season   Outings No outings this week, since pack up is well underway and Bob is madly working on completing numerous small jobs he wants done.   Work It’s incredible how often the weather bypasses the Newcastle area. First off was a new door handle to our […]

The Week That Was 7 The Week That Was 7

Boat Work Coming to an End for 2020 Our time on Australis 1 in 202o is rapidly coming to an end. Bob and I are working at pace to complete the jobs on the list for this season.   Boat Work The new main sheet was installed. With the rope on a large drum, it […]

Leers – Nord to Perwelz, Belgium Leers – Nord to Perwelz, Belgium

A midmorning start, this was our last day on the Roubaix – L’Espierres – Spierekanaal. It almost defied belief, but the landscape became increasingly more beautiful: strongly reminiscent of the Midi with its towering avenues of trees that lined the canal sides. Two more sets of moorings at kilometres five and eight were right in […]

Roubaix, France to Leers Nord, Belgium Roubaix, France to Leers Nord, Belgium

Our days in the Roubaix area at an end, nine o’clock found the boys ready and waiting at the lock and Gratis was raring to go. Lines off, down she motored and straight as an arrow in went Big G. What a beautiful old bridge was this! On exiting Lock 11, we were greeted with […]

Parc du Heron, France Parc du Heron, France

Ten kilometres from Roubaix is Parc du Heron. This park forms a small section of what is entitled ‘The Eurometroplis Blue Park’. Crossing the French, Wallonian and Flemish borders, this initiative encompasses more than 150 metropolises. Covering in excess of five thousand kilometres of waterways and green landscapes, the ‘blue park is the result of […]

Tourcoing, Roubaix, Museum La Manufacture, France Tourcoing, Roubaix, Museum La Manufacture, France

Having spent the most peaceful of nights in this new location, Bob and I awoke to find all was well and nothing amiss. People passing responded positively to our friendly hellos, answering cheerfully back and some even stopped for a chat. One little ‘un appeared intrigued with the boat and Bob even popped him on […]

Wambrechies to Roubaix, France Wambrechies to Roubaix, France

The Roubaix/L’Espierres/Spiere Canal Two kilometres south of Wambrechies is the Canal de Roubaix, a connector between the French Deule and Belgian Haute – Escaut.  It’s an interesting set up in this instance, for although a short run of 28.80km in total, the system runs through France (the Roubaix – 20km), Wallonia (the L’Espierres – 7km) […]

Lille, France Lille, France

La Bassee to Wambrechies Yesterday, a pleasant motor saw us retrace more of our steps from last year as Gratis motored from the Canal D’Aire into La Deule on her way to Lille. At kilometre 16.5 was what appeared to be a marina with liveaboard barges and a couple of pleasure boats. On arrival, a […]

Arques to La Bassee, France Arques to La Bassee, France

A sleep in and casting off at what was a more reasonable hour this morning, with its rising bollards, the almost 14m deep Les Fontinettes lock was an absolute breeze. This day that saw us cover some 50km was a pleasant relaxing motor in a day of chill and scattered showers.   Not too far […]

Calais to Arques, France Calais to Arques, France

What a day!!!! Being a sea port with tides of up to seven metres, one always has to work in with nature: the tides wait for no – one! The Calais marina only opens to allow boats in at high tide which takes place twice in 24 hours and because of where we were in […]

Boulogne – Sur – Mer, France Boulogne – Sur – Mer, France

Walled City Upon a Hillside Peak A fifty – minute rail trip took Bob and I south through hilly farming country to the township of Boulogne – Sur – Mer. On alighting from the train, we discovered a short hill – in the scheme of things, that was. The slope leading practically straight up was […]

Gravelines, France Gravelines, France

A Fortified Township Some twenty or so kilometres north of Calais is the hidden secret of France: a town that goes by the name of Gravelines. Bob and I would have delighted in taking Gratis upon the canal leading into the township, but sadly, the depth had become too shallow. Set amongst sand dunes situated […]

Calais, France Calais, France

Calais: An Ancient History To ride around Calais is to view the remnants of a once great town that was annihilated during WWII. Bob and I discovered it was an ancient city that like the Phoenix has risen from the ashes…..   About Calais When modern humans first arrived at the site of which would […]

Watten to Calais, France Watten to Calais, France

Canal de Calais: Waterway to an Ancient City This morning on exiting Relais – Flandre – Artois, Gratis undertook a left turn onto the Canal de la Colme. A short motor that retraced our steps of yesterday, and soon she undertook a second left took us on a 4.5km journey upon the beautiful River L […]

Dunkerque to Watten, France Dunkerque to Watten, France

The French Adventure Continues…… After two days of rain, the skies cleared and at the first opening of the bridge for the morn, Gratis was up and ready. This was another of those trips repeated from last year, but it was a pleasant six hour motor that saw us deal with three slow locks in […]

Veurne, Belgium to Dunkerque, France Veurne, Belgium to Dunkerque, France

Travel the Nieuwpoort – Dunkerque and Furnes Canals Summer had at last arrived and with it, the duckweed!!!! With clear blue skies and a heat that rivals that found in Adelaide on a normal summer’s day, Gratis was on the move once more. What a difference to last year’s cold and rain! In order to […]

2018 2018

2018 Journey on Maps Vlissingen, Netherlands to Paris, France Return to Vlissingen, Netherlands   Maps used come from Tom Sommers books on France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Peronnes, France to Vlissingen, Netherlands Peronnes, France to Vlissingen, Netherlands

The first of October brought the first of the chilling wind and rain that foretold the coming of Winter: ‘bone numbing’ were the words to describe it. Winter woollens and rain jackets came out, but for those out on the helm, there was nothing to stop that aching chill. Passing through the final tunnel of […]

Cergy to Peronnes, France Cergy to Peronnes, France

The 26th saw us departing Cergy and commencing our return journey up the Oise. Colours were slowly turning, but as with all years, our October departure meant we would miss their full glory. A lone pilot drew our attention at one stage. For me, it was a time where successfully helming into the locks came with greater ease […]

Bougival to Cergy: Paris, France Bougival to Cergy: Paris, France

The highlight of the day was visiting the remains of Machine de Marly, another link to Chateau Versailles. Along the way were information boards containing images from well known Impressionists and details about the history of the machine.   Situated just down from the lock, approximately 12km from Paris by road, in its day, this […]