This is the story of Wanderlust, a replica Dutch-style barge built by Piper Boats LTD in 2013. To make navigation of this website easier, the topic categories (click Continue reading) can be used to pull up the relevant posts. There are more categories at the very bottom of each page.
The Build: Posts about the building process and the decisions that were made. If you are considering having a barge built look here for the upsides and downsides having a barge built by Piper Boats.
The Troubles: Wanderlust has had more that it’s share of problems. You can find out more about the issues and what has been done about them in this link.
The Thames: Cruising with Wanderlust on England’s River Thames
In our opinion the most attractive segments of the Canal de Bourgogne bracket the waterway’s summit pond. It is not unusual for canals to wind and climb as they work their way to the highest point. Though the climbing or descending usually comes with numerous locks, the appeal of the hilly terrain rewards the work. And so it is on the Bourgogne.Continue reading →
The stretch of the Canal de Bourgogne between Vandenesse-en-Auxois and Pont d’Ouche is prime hotel barge territory. Luxury barges work their way along the canal winding through the bucolic French countryside. The canal in this area is an antidote to the stresses of modern life for the customers who can afford the steep admission price.Continue reading →
On the far side of the Pouilly tunnel a quick sequence of locks took Wanderlust down from the summit pound of the Canal de Bourgogne to the village of Vandenesse-en-Auxois. With only 275 full-time residents and a seemingly equal number of flower boxes, Vandenesse is a typical small French village.Continue reading →
Wanderlust approaches Vandenesse at the far side of the Souterrain de Pouilly-en-Auxois.
The port de plaisance in Pouilly-en-Auxois is located in the uppermost pound of the Canal de Bourgogne. From the summit reach Wanderlust would descend at the next lock no matter her direction of travel. To the west of the port, the canal water’s drain down to the River Yonne. In Montereau-fault-Yonne the Yonne joins the Seine on the way to the Atlantic in Le Havre. To the east, in the direction we were heading, the waters of the canal connect to the River Saône. In Lyon the Saône joins the Rhone River, which deposit’s its waters into the Mediterranean near Marseille. Though the water in the summit pound would eventually make it to the Med or Atlantic, Wanderlust would not, at least not this year.Continue reading →
The port in Pont Royal is pleasant. Indeed we might have stayed another day if the restaurant was open. But it was August in France and the restaurateur was “en vacances,” as they say. If we wanted to stay longer we’d need to break out the emergency rations. Though we like the cassoulet we had stocked in the pantry well enough it is hard to want to subsist on canned food for days on end.Continue reading →
Not far from Venarey-les-Laumes the Canal-de-Bourgogne starts climbing quickly, or at least quickly for a canal. For one 12-kilometer stretch from Ecluse Mussy to Ecluse Charigny there are 37 locks. These locks lift or drop the passing boats by about 96 meters. That calculates to a gradient of roughly 0.8%, a slope that would be hardly noticed in a car. In barge on a canal, you definitely are aware that you are climbing.Continue reading →
Soon after we tied Wanderlust up in Montbard we learned that an American couple, traveling in their Linssen cruiser, was moored nearby. When I say “we”, I really mean our dog Gigi made the discovery. As is often the case, Gigi made the first introduction. We just happened to be on the other end of the leash.Continue reading →
In Ravières, on the morning of the 29th of July, I turned the key on Wanderlust’s dash to start the engine. The motor came to life with small belch of smoke. After the troubles in Ancy-le-Franc, it would take some time until starting Wanderlust’s engine again felt routine. But for now, it was good. The new battery was working. There was no indication of any additional problems.Continue reading →
In Ancy-le-Franc, on the morning of the 28th of July, I turned the key on the dash to start Wanderlust’s main engine. The engine came to life with a rumble. After a week of struggles, we could finally continue on our way along the canal.Continue reading →