Wanderlust Sticky

Wanderlust under construction at Piper Boats.

Wanderlust under construction at Piper Boats.

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 Thames: Cruising with Wanderlust on England’s River Thames

The Crossing: Taking Wanderlust across the English Channel

Barge Life: Information about living on a barge

Routes through France:

Calais to Auxerre, our first season in France, including:

 Canal de Calais, Grand Gabarit, Canal de St. Quentin, Canal de l’Oise à l’Aisne, Canal lateral à l’Aisne, Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne, River Marne and the Canal lateral à la Marne, River Seine, River Yonne

The 2015 Season, Auxerre to Strasbourg and back the long-ish way

Melun: Vaux-de-Vicomte

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

A six-kilometer bike ride from Wanderlust’s mooring on the River Seine in Melun France is the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Vaux-de-Vicomte is the creation of Nicolas Fouquet. Continue reading

Meaux: Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux

A striking display inside the museum

A striking display inside the museum

During our stop in Meaux we took the bikes out to visit Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux on the outskirts of the commune. During the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the German troops were stopped at the gates of Meaux. It was as close as they came to Paris. The history of the battle and war is explained in the expansive museum. It is worth a visit it you are in the area. Continue reading

Meaux, le Fromage

Brie de Meaux

Brie de Meaux

Wanderlust returned to Meaux on the 29th of September 2015. Meaux is close to Paris; the City of Light is a half hour by train away. More importantly for us, Meaux was just above the last of the scheduled lock closures on our Marne route. With long days and determined cruising we had made it to Meaux with a few days to spare. We now had the luxury of staying four nights and resting in a commune that we knew well from our stop a year earlier. Continue reading

Chalons-en-Champagne to Damery

An iconic tree-lined road in France

An iconic tree-lined road in France leaves Damery.

On the 27th of September 2015 Wanderlust left Chalons-en-Champagne and headed west. The day began on the canal latéral à la Marne and by the evening Wanderlust reached the River Marne proper. At 5:30 in the evening we moved Wanderlust to the riverside halte nautique in Damery and stopped for the night. Continue reading

Anti-Lope

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As we arrived in Chalons-en-Champagne we passed by the commercial barge Anti-Lope for the second time in 2015. Two months earlier had met Anti-Lope near the Mauvages Tunnel. Heavy with a load, she was moving very slowly. Anti-Lope’s crew stopped for the night at a quiet wooded spot just before the tunnel entrance. We chose to moor at a pontoon further back down the canal closer to town. When we rode our bikes up to check out the tunnel we met the crew. Continue reading

Wanderlust’s 1000th Lock

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On the 29th of September 2015 Wanderlust passed through her 1000th lock. The milestone occurred on the eastern segment of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin near Vitry-le-François. Wanderlust’s crew took a brief break to celebrate the moment and then quickly headed into her 1001st, 1002nd, 1003rd… locks. There are many, many more locks in Wanderlust’s future. Continue reading

Hammer Time

Wanderlust waits in a lock

Wanderlust waits in a lock

After a delay in Toul to drop off a guest and to have our plumbing leak and numerous other things fixed at Lorraine Marine, Wanderlust returned to cruise mode. It was hammer time. We needed to move fast to be able to get back to our winter mooring in Auxerre. Continue reading

Return to Toul: The Leak is Fixed

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If you’ve come to Barge Wanderlust expecting cheery tales of pleasant times on the inland waterways of France you might want to skip this installment. This segment focuses on the plumbing leaks and other problems Wanderlust has experienced. This unfortunate sequence of problems negatively colored our experiences in 2015. Indeed, this very upsetting course of events has colored our view on Piper Boats and on barging. Continue reading

Return to Nancy

Wanderlust finds a spot in Nancy's port.

Wanderlust finds a spot in Nancy’s port.

Leaving Strasbourg Wanderlust started on the return journey to her winter mooring in Auxerre. At first we moved quickly. But once we reached Saverne and picked up our next guests we slowed to a tourist’s pace. Our visitors, Erik and Judy, joined us as we revisited the best section of the French waterways that we enjoyed in 2015. Continue reading