Canal de Bourgogne: Fleurey-sur-Ouche to Dijon

Place de la Libération, Dijon

Continuing on from Fleurey-sur-Ouche Wanderlust’s next stop was Dijon. Though we debated stopping in between it seemed that the pull of the biggest city on route was too much to ignore. Continue reading

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The Builder: Quality Control and the Build Standards

Wanderlust soon after launch

Wanderlust soon after launch

Building a barge is complicated. With the complexity come the inevitable mistakes and problems. When the bottom of a barge first hits the water neither the customer nor the manufacturer anticipates that every aspect of a new barge will be perfect. Post launch repairs and fixes are simply part of the process. Continue reading

The Build Standards: Are Customers of Barge Builders Really Protected in the UK?

Wanderlust under construction

Wanderlust under construction

Sometime well after we took delivery of Wanderlust her Owner’s Manual arrived on board. As we learned later, the manual is a legal requirement of the build. According to the Recreational Craft Directive or RCD, the boat manufacturers must provide an owner’s manual with their craft. It is an obviously sensible rule. Continue reading

Fuel Blowback

Wanderlust leaves Caversham on the way to her first fuel fill.

Wanderlust leaves Caversham on the way to her first fuel fill.

At the end of the 2015 we documented Wanderlust’s fuel blowback problem using the pump at the fuel depot in St. Mammes on the Seine. Carefully timing the gauge on the fuel pump with a stopwatch we observed a steady filling rate of 23L/min. As usual we shut off the pump at the first sound coming up from the fill pipe. Seconds later, also as usual, a foaming mass of diesel emerged from the filling port. Continue reading

Return to Auxerre

Sunlight highlights Joigny

Sunlight highlights Joigny

The route between Melun and Auxerre has become a well-worn path for Wanderlust. At the end of 2015 she made her third trip on this segment of the Seine and the Yonne. Novelty of the new places has been replaced by the comfortable familiarity. In the towns we know where the restaurants, the markets, and all of the other important stuff for day-to-day living is located. We just settle in and take in what the town has to offer. There’s no longer any stress in finding things. 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

Lutzelbourg

Lutzelbourg viewed from the canal.

Lutzelbourg viewed from the canal.

Four locks from the bottom of the Arzviller Inclined Plane, at the base of the wooded valley floor, is the small town of Lutzelbourg. A bit French and a bit Germanic, Lutzelbourg is a romantic postcard of the Alsace. The scene along the canal near the town is straight out of a hire boat company brochure. Continue reading