Living large on a living barge–28: A six month per year barge tour of Europe, in installments

By Tom Miller

Tom and family are touring Europe by barge. This is the 28th 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 town of Le Commerce

sildenafil times; font-size: 16px;”>After Toul our next big town would be Bar-Le-Du, sildenafil but first we had to pass through the 5-kilometer tunnel Souterrain de Mauvages.  A VNF employee warned us that there was a problem, and that the water level in the tunnel was very low.  He didn’t know what the problem was, and he wasn’t sure it was deep enough for us.  When we told him we only draw 80 centimeters (31 inches) he thought we would be okay.

Low water in the summit pond.”)

Low water in the summit pond.”)

After 12 locks and 12 kilometers of canal we made it to the summit pond where the tunnel was.  The canal water was amazingly clear as we watched schools of fish dart out of our way.  Wilco and I could not believe how low the water level was.  You could see every stone and beer bottle on the bottom.  The canal was down at least 4 feet.  The French tunnels are typically very narrow, just a few inches wider than Rabelo.  They place wooden rub-rails along the sides, but they are not much better than the rough stonework they are designed to protect us from.  Normally barges are towed through these long tunnels with an electric tug, but the water was so low the tug was sitting on the bottom, so they told us to go it alone.  The wooden rub-rails really took a toll on our topsides.  Wilco had plenty of painting to do by the time we were done, but we did get the last say.

A piece of the rub-rail stuck in our window. Note the damage to our paint

A piece of the rub-rail stuck in our window. Note the damage to our paint

It occurred to me that many of you might be interested in cruising the canals of France.  The easiest way would be by rental boat or hire a hotel barge depending on your budget.  If you are thinking of a longer term then you will need to purchase a vessel.  The question becomes how big a boat will I need?  There is no clear answer.  It really depends on the amenities you want.  Rabelo is at the far end of the spectrum when it comes to size and amenities.  Most people will not need a 39-meter barge. We past this cruiser and his vessel was no doubt at the opposite end of the spectrum.  I did not get a chance to take any pictures of the interior of this young man’s yacht, so I will leave it to your imagination.

This young man is cruising with just the basics

This young man is cruising with just the basics

Having a car with us has really helped.  While we enjoy walking and exploring the villages and towns we visit there are times when a car is almost indispensable.  Lisa says we could always rent a car, but in many of the towns we visit there isn’t a rental company.  Besides it’s expensive to rent cars in Europe.  With almost a 130 feet of boat it’s fair to say we are not lacking when it comes to comfort or amenities.  

Come back next week for more Living Large on a Living Barge

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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-27-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-26-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-25-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-24-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-23-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-21-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-20-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-19-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-18-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-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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