Category Archive

Pont l ‘Eveque to Creil, France Pont l ‘Eveque to Creil, France

With inclement weather upon us, a couple of days past saw Bob and I make the decision to continue onward. With that decision made, we entered the Oise river and motored to first Compiegne, then Creil. From Creil, weather permitting, it would be possible to undertake the 10km or so bike ride to Chateau Chantilly. […]

Another Day of Excitement on the Canals Another Day of Excitement on the Canals

Douai to Lock 7, kilometre 17.5, France Canal du St Quentin was next on our list, however another spanner in the works came this morning when Bob went online and discovered one of the bridges has been out of action for the last two weeks with no date provided for reopening: this really has been […]

Bouvry to Douai, France Bouvry to Douai, France

Another pleasant day’s motor in which there were few stops for the pleasure boater. That at La Bassee has been earmarked for the year that we return to visit Calais and Ypres. Exiting Canal D’Aire, Gratis turned into Canal de la Deule, a major waterway for the working barges. Our eyes boggled in amazement at […]

Maison du Marais, Saint – Omer, France Maison du Marais, Saint – Omer, France

Today was the UNESCO man and biosphere accredited 22,000+ hectare Maison du Marais experience. This region is comprises of marshes throughout which small channels run, all fed by the Aa or canal d’Aa. In operation since 13th century and the only French marsh to undergo continual cultivation, it is in this fertile landscape that generations […]

Relais Flandre – Artois to Arques Plaisance, France Relais Flandre – Artois to Arques Plaisance, France

After a quiet night’s rest it was time to go. A beautiful motor – that included a short wait – along a waterway in which a multitude of smaller channels and additional canals joined. Past that leading to Calais went Gratis – that’s for another year. Oh yes!! The Frenchmen love their fishing. The history of […]

Dunkirk to Relais Flandre – Artois, France Dunkirk to Relais Flandre – Artois, France

The climb commencing at the first of the locks, we soon left Dunkirk behind and entered the rural countryside. Farmers going to and fro, carting their harvests in the trays, walkers and riders were all to be seen. Unlike the western most canal we had recently finished, this was a major channel and the […]

Nancy to Pont a Mousson Nancy to Pont a Mousson

A late 11:30am start and an easy run: except for the water hose of the engine popping off a few times. The third saw black smoke steaming from you know whose ears. It turned out to be the result of shards from the old impeller blocking the exit, which in turn created pressure build up that […]

Through Germany We Go Through Germany We Go

To continue reading about our 2016 journey, click the link to our German page.

Richardmenil to Nancy Richardmenil to Nancy

Chill, chill, bone – aching, numbing ice biting chill. White upon the breath, chill deep into the lungs, nowhere warmth! Where had the summer heat gone this year? Add to the mix, rain, rain and more rain! Wet to the bone, we at last arrived at the junction where we would enter Embranchment du Nancy. […]

Epinal to Charmes Epinal to Charmes

Entering the locks continually caused issues as the fenders rose upon connecting with, then proceeding to run along the walls. This in turn meant the hull was no longer protected and Gratis new paintwork was damaged. Today we experimented with the fenders by lowering them until they sat horizontally upon the water rather than vertically […]

La Colosse to Pont des Forges La Colosse to Pont des Forges

Waiting for the lock keepers to arrive at work, I had time for a play with my macro lens in this idyllic setting.   So spectacularly different to the so popular Midi which is known for its towns, castles and Cassoulet. This trip through the Vosges Mountains was truly one for the nature lover: the […]

Corre to La Colosse (Lock 25) Corre to La Colosse (Lock 25)

Welcome to Canal des Vosges!! At pk 147.4, Gratis entered the first of 93 narrow locks, less three because Gratis would be entering L’embranchement de Nancy prior to the canal’s conclusion. Operated by lock keeper, here we were handed the automatic wireless device that would open the gate of most locks along the canal and […]

Port Napoleon, Port St Louis du Rhone

With no desire to deal with the possibility of damaging furlers, as happened last year, and to provide greater ease of outdoor helming, we made the decision to remove and store the mast, furlers, sails etc. This morning saw us motoring around to Port Napoleon where the mast and so forth were removed and placed in […]