Living large on a living barge–A fond farewell: A six month per year barge tour of Europe

viagra 40mg times; font-size: 16px;”>By Tom Miller

abortion times; font-size: 16px;”>Tom and family are touring Europe by barge. This is will mark a fond farewell to this six months journey of cruising the waterways there.

generic times; font-size: 16px;”>Rushing was something I have tried to avoid this entire trip, but there are times when it is unavoidable.  Our friends the Rode’s and Vandenberg’s were due to join us in less than a week.  I wanted to meet them in the Champagne Region. We were there nine years ago, and still have found memories. I knew it would be a special treat.  

Vitry-le-Francois was our destination.  We blew through Bar-la-Duc the first day, and did 21 locks. We had already seen the town while waiting for the rudder, and had a fantastic lunch at La Meuse Gourmands.  The best restaurant in town even comes with incredible views of the city.  The second day we did 29 locks.  My previous record had been 26 on our barge Tigre Rose.

We ended up just a few miles short of Vitry-le-Francois when our friends arrived by train.  After traveling for almost 24 hours I figured they would want to clean up, sit back and relax while cruising those last few miles.  We loaded Scott, Lovita, Jon and Cherolyn onto Rabelo and took off.  Of course when it comes to barging things never turn out as planned.  At the very next lock I put Rabelo in reverse, and discovered there was no reverse.  Holy $#%*$, now what?  I yelled to Wilco that we had lost the transmission. I was stopping Rabelo by heading her into the canal bank.  Fortunately I was going very slowly so there was no damage, not even a scratch.

A champagne welcome for our friends

A champagne welcome for our friends

We pushed Rabelo into the lock and called the VNF. In the mean time Wilco and Scott went into the engine room to see what the problem was.  I had visions of being stuck on the canal for a month waiting for a new transmission. They re-appeared after a few minutes an announced that it was not the transmission.  You could hear my sigh of relief all the way to the next village.  The problem was in the coupling between the transmission and propeller shaft.    All eight bolts holding the coupling together were sheared.  Wilco drove to a local hardware store and bought new bolts.  We think that six of the eight bolts had been sheared long ago, and the last two finally gave out. Within two hours Rabelo was repaired.  We cruised into Vitry-le-Francois with a few less bottles of champagne, but full of smiles.

The leaves starting to change - Farewell

The leaves starting to change – 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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