Wanderlust Sticky

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Wanderlust achieves light speed.

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

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

The Canal du Rhône au Rhin: The Porte de Garde near Saint-Vit

This section of the Canal du Rhône au Rhin is separated from the River Doubs by a low wall. Normally the water level on the right is lower.

In 2017 our last attempt to navigate the Canal du Rhône-Rhin ended when we encountered a closed guard gate above the village of Ranchot. At the time, the River Doubs was experiencing higher than normal flow from the recent rains. Though we didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, there were signs we might have issues with high water on the way to Ranchot as Wanderlust passed through flood locks were functioning. Continue reading

The Canal du Rhône au Rhin: Saint Jean de Losne to Dole

Wanderlust pauses for lunch above the lock in Écluse de Saint-Symphorien.

Leaving the port in Saint Jean de Losne we turned Wanderlust upstream on the River Saône. Not far upriver we reached the entrance of the Rhone-Rhine Canal with its distinctive but little used observation platform. We loitered a short time pointing into the river’s stream waiting for the lock’s gates to open. When they gates did swing open, we moved Wanderlust into the lock. Leaving the Saône we were on our way up the Canal du Rhône au Rhin. Continue reading

Canal de Bourgogne: Saint Jean de Losne to Dijon and Back

Wanderlust escapes.

As of the time of this writing it looks like we will lose the 2020 season to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the trouble-plagued 2015, Wanderlust has not had a full season of cruising, having lost much of 2016, 2017, and 2018 to the legal dispute and repairs. In 2019 additional repairs and a water shortage cut short the season. We had grand plans for cruising, and more paintwork for Wanderlust, in 2020. But those seem to be lost for the time being. With luck in 2021 we will finally be able to enjoy our first full cruising season in six years, as we imagined when we laid down the money for Wanderlust in 2013. But for now we’ll just relive our 2019 season…. Continue reading

Bottom Blacking and Dysfunctional Anchors

Wanderlust comes out of the water in Saint Jean de Losne.

Five years after launch, in the summer of 2018, Wanderlust was due to have her bottom blacked. This is a standard maintenance item for most steel inland waterway craft. For Wanderlust, the re-blacking of the hull became more necessary after the paint survey conducted in the summer 2017 showed widespread failure of the underwater coatings. When Wanderlust was out of the water in 2017 swaths of bare steel were visible, particularly in the HAZ or “heat affected zones”, the places where the metal work had removed the shop primer applied during the steel’s manufacture. Continue reading

The Generator and the Power Management System

Wanderlust on the Saône: Pleasant unserviced moorings such as this one are the reason why live-aboard boats have the ability to function off of the grid.

From launch Wanderlust had issues with the integration of her generator’s electrical power output into the boat’s systems. The problem was debilitating enough that it made us reluctant to spend time off shore power, the main reason to have a generator in the first place. It’s these trials and tribulations with the generator that was the first indication that things would not go smoothly with out new barge. Continue reading

Saint Jean de Losne: Reconfiguring Wanderlust’s Fuel Vents

Wanderlust comes out of the water for work in 2018.

Note: I’ve been slow in following up with the posts on Wanderlust’s story. The 2018 season was lost in entirety to the remedial works that only became possible after the dispute with the builder was settled on February 6. As of 2019 Wanderlust is better than she ever was, though we are still dealing with several issues. Continue reading

Canal de Bourgogne: Abbey of Fontenay

Inside Fontenay Abbey’s church

We first visited the Abbey of Fontenay in Burgundy France in 2010. It was the first Cistercian abbey that we visited. It still ranks as our favorite. Continue reading

Canal de Bourgogne: Château de Bussy-Rabutin

Château de Bussy-Rabutin

Roughly 9 kilometers from the mooring in Venarey-les-Laumes is Château de Bussy-Rabutin. It is reachable by bike, as are several other notable destinations in the area. We missed this one when Wanderlust transited the Canal de Bourgogne in 2016 and only found it by chance later in August of 2018 when we visited the area by car. Continue reading

The Rhône: Tournon-sur-Rhone, Train de l’Ardèche

Inside the open cars of the Train de l’Ardèche

About four kilometers from the pleasure boat port in Tournon-sur-Rhône is one terminus of the Train de l’Ardèche, a historic steam train that runs up the rugged River Doux valley. The train’s lower station is within bike riding range of the water. If we were able to moor in Tournon when we passed by on the Rhône in 2017 we would have ridden our bikes out to ride the train. But the port was silted in at the time and we couldn’t moor in Tournon, so we were left to visit by car when we were again in the area in May of 2018. Continue reading