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

The Balesmes Tunnel

 

Wanderlust inside the The Balesmes Tunnel.

Wanderlust inside the The Balesmes Tunnel.

Tunnels are not unusual at the top of many summit canals. Indeed, mostly as a consequence of crossing water divides seven times, Wanderlust spent around 1% of her 2015 cruising distance traveling underground. One of the longest tunnels we encountered, the nearly five kilometer-long Balesmes Tunnel, is at the top pound of the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne. Continue reading

Villegusien-le-Lac

Wanderlust heads to the summit of the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne

Wanderlust heads to the summit of the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne

Sometimes we find moorings for the night in the midst of the historic old towns. Other times we spend the night tied to the bank amongst France’s idyllic farmlands. And then there are the times when aren’t particular and just need to find a decent place to tie up for the night. Continue reading

Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne

Wanderlust splits the water on the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne.

Wanderlust splits the water on the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne.

It might come as a surprise but the population density of France is about the same as that of Texas. Though there are crowded metropolitan areas, there is also plenty of sparsely populated countryside. One of these thinly developed sections is south of the summit tunnel of the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne. Continue reading

Leaving the River Saône

Wanderlust moored for a night on a single dolphin.

On the 17th of June 2015, Wanderlust moved off of the River Saône and onto the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne. Once sensibly known as the Canal de la Marne à la Saône, the entre Champagne et Bourgogne neither starts … Continue reading

Auxonne

Boats moored at Port Royal

Once we moved off the Canal du Centre and onto the River Saône we needed to plan for overnight moorings. On a canal we can reliably find adequate places for the night on abandoned commercial quays or, in a pinch, … Continue reading

Saint-Jean-de-Losne

Everyone needs a hot tub.

Located at the junction of the River Saône and the Canal de Bourgogne and not far from several other waterways, St.-Jean-de-Losne has historically been a center of barge business. Today the small town with around 1,200 residents continues as a … Continue reading

Verdun-sur-le-Doubs

Wanderlust enters the last lock on the Canal du Centre.  After descending nearly 11 meter she'd be on the Saône.

Wanderlust enters the last lock on the Canal du Centre. After descending nearly 11 meter she’d be on the Saône.

With one last deep lock in Chalon-sur-Saône, Wanderlust came to the end of the Canal du Centre. Over the last 38 days we completed the Bourbonnais Route. Now we were moving upstream on the mighty River Saône. Continue reading

Fragnes and Chalon-sur-Saône

Chalon-sur-Saône's cathedral

Chalon-sur-Saône’s cathedral

Traveling via the Canal du Centre it is 15 kilometers and 11 locks from Chagny to the Port Verte de Fragnes. The well-developed port in Fragnes was our last stop before we moved onto the Saône River. Continue reading

Southern Burgundy Wine Country

A road winds through some very expensive vineyards near Puligny-Montrachet.

A road winds through some very expensive vineyards near Puligny-Montrachet.

As we continue down towards the Saône River from the summit of the Canal du Centre the weather was increasingly hot and dry. In less than a month, we had gone from floods to drought. In 2015 France’s weather was bipolar. Continue reading

Crossing the Summit of the Canal du Centre

Wanderlust gains some bovine attention as she navigates the Canal du Centre.

Wanderlust gains some bovine attention as she navigates the Canal du Centre.

At the end of May, for the second time of the season, Wanderlust crossed the summit pound of a canal. This time the high point was on the Canal du Centre. At the top of the Centre the water drains to either the Loire or the Saône river basins. The waters of the Loire eventually reach the Atlantic Ocean; the waters of the Saône drain into the Rhone and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France. Continue reading