Numerous things must be done in order to take a barge such as Wanderlust across the English Channel. As a requirement of the insurance, a qualified skipper must be in charge. We needed to find and hire a delivery skipper for Wanderlust. Closer to the crossing date, Wanderlust had to be positioned on or near to the Thames Estuary. A few days before crossing, the insurance company has to be notified of the plans and funds must be transferred to cover the costs of the Channel crossing policy rider. And, just before crossing, all loose items on the inside and out must be secured to withstand the waves of the Channel. Continue reading
Wanderlust was constructed to gives us a craft suitable for live aboard cruising on the inland waterways on the European continent. Instead of building new, we could have purchased an existing barge. As things worked out, we felt that our best option was to go the new build route. And once we decided to build new, we, for various reasons, figured that our best option was to have Piper Boats construct the barge. Choosing Piper Boats meant that our barge would be constructed in Biddulph, a short distance north of Stoke-on-Trent in the British Midlands. Continue reading
A flat-bottomed barge such as Wanderlust needs to find favorable conditions to cross the English Channel. Some barges cross at the first opportunity; others must wait until the winds and waves calm so that they can make the crossing. Wanderlust’s Channel crossing plans fit into the later category. As the date of our planned crossing approached, the winds increased and the waves built. According to the forecasts, the weather would not improve for days. For the time being, we would be stuck on the English side of the Channel. But at least we were in London, assuming we could find a place to tie our barge up. Continue reading
Our dream of spending a month or so in Central London on the way to the Channel crossing ran into a bit of snag—we had a difficult time arranging a mooring. Here’s what we tried. Unless noted, the prices shown are for 2014. With time, things change so even if we’ve been told no, it might be worth calling around.
A short ways from the Thames, Dorchester has loads of history. Long ago the Romans occupied the area but they were by no means the first to live near this bend in the river. Today the town is dominated by it’s interesting abbey. For us a not quite convenient mooring on the bank was a good place to spend the night. Gigi always likes place with nice large green fields just off the deck. A happy dog is a happy barge. Continue reading
Today we cruised from Runnymede Meadow to a spot on the Thames just past the village of Marlow. Between the periodic heavy showers the light was spectacular.
We’re having a barge built to go cruising on Europe’s network of inland waterways. Living on a barge is a major, unexpected change in our lives. It is not part of a vetted and polished long-term plan. The fork in the path that took us in Continue reading
After months of waiting Wanderlust finally floats in 14 feet of water in berth D15 at Thames & Kennet Marina. The busy marina is located just outside of the London commuter suburb of Reading on a spur of the River Thames. Wanderlust is Continue reading