Living large on a living barge–18: A six month per year barge tour of Europe, in installments

order times; font-size: 16px;”>By Tom Miller

times; font-size: 16px;”>Tom and family are touring Europe by barge. This is the 18th in his series of reports on what is to be six months per year of cruising the waterways there.

Editors Note: Last week Tom visited the solemn battleground at Verdun.

The French love to fish

The French love to fish

I can’t believe it.  They did it again.  They called the cops on us.  Before you know it our pictures will be hanging in every post office in France.  We were tied upin St. Miheil, a small town of 5,000.  Wilco had driven Marscha home leaving Lisa and me to fend for ourselves.  That evening we found a restaurant that had Wifi, and also served a pretty decent meal.  When we got back there was another boat tied up behind us.

The next day Lisa had tons of laundry to do.  Our shore power connection was not strong enough to run the washing machine and dryer, so I started up the generator and she went to work.  We don’t like running the generator because it’s noisy, the exhaust fumes smell, and our neighbors don’t like it.    Typical generator etiquette around the world is on after 10:00am and off before 10:00pm.

The next morning while Lisa and I were getting ready to go out we heard a pounding on the hull.  Now you have to understand Rabelo’s hull is made of steel, and a simple knock does nothing.  It takes some serious beating to make that kind of racket.  Lisa and I looked at each other and simultaneously said, “What is that?”  I went up on deck to find out.  It was the lady from the boat behind us.  She said, in relatively clear English, there was another boat that wanted to park at the other end of the quay and that she and one other boat had to move up closer to us.  I told her if the other boat wants to tie to our side they are more than welcome.  She said no they were happy where they were, but that now her boat was right behind us we should not use the generator. I explained that was not going to work because we could not cook or do laundry without the generator, but that I would try to use it as little as possible.  About that time another lady had joined us.  She piped in saying we were not allowed to tie up at the municipal dock because it was only for private boats.  I told the second lady that we were a private boat.  She said it didn’t matter because we were the size of a commercial boat.  I then asked where does it say that?  Her response was, “Well just look at the dock, you are too big.”  With that last comment I told both ladies we were not moving, and to have a nice day.

We see lots of Great Blue Herons along the canals.

We see lots of Great Blue Herons along the canals.

About 30 minutes later as Lisa and I were getting off the boat we noticed a municipal policeman looking a bit puzzled.  We ignored him and started to leave when he called to us.  Fortunately he spoke English, and said that we were a very big boat and that other boats could not use the dock.  I said other boats were welcome to tie up next to us, so it was not a problem.  He then asked how long we were staying.  I told him we were waiting for our captain to return, but that we may leave this afternoon or tomorrow morning.  He said no problem and wished us a Bon Journey.  The French police must be the nicest cops in the world.

Wilco showed up that afternoon and we decided to leave, but not before turning on our generator one last time to bid our neighbors a fond farewell.  

 

 

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 When Stones Speak by Tom Miller

 

When Stones Speak by Tom Miller

When Stones Speak by Tom Miller

Tom Miller is an adventure writer from Thousand Oaks. His latest novel When Stones Speak Dr. Hannigan sets out to find the historical Jesus of Nazareth, but he soon discovers there are people in high places who will stop at nothing including murder to insure he fails. Mr. Miller has been a contractor and developer, prolific diver, pilot, sailor, and barge captain. When he’s not chasing adrenalin overseas, he hikes with the local “Heartbreak Hiking Fools.” LIVING BARGE is his memory of his recent six month journey through the canals of Europe with his wife Lisa.

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Previous installments:

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-17-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-16-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-15-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/ 

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-14-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-13-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-12-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-11-2/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-10/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-9/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-8/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-barge-7-2/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-6/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-5/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-4/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-3/

 https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-2/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge/

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