Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Our search for a barge

Whew! The search is a process... A process of working out what we like, and what we don't...
Rob started off wanting a "new build" a ship built in the last decade.. He imagined an old hull springing leaks, cranky engines playing up on a fast current on the river Soane, and plenty of other horrors.
I wanted the sense of history, knowing that the vessel had worked and had families on her... And I wanted an aft deck...  I imagined moored on a bank in Paris, sitting on the deck, sipping vin rouge with friends from around the world..a view of the Eiffel Tower in the background ...  
It was Chris and Diana who allayed Rob's fears about an old barge...so off to see Sojourn we went, a 103 years old Tjalk, a sail ship,originally carrying grain in Holland.  We drove to Digoin to meet her... Our first live sight of her...of course, she has been completely renovated ...in immaculate condition.


And we meet and instantly like Peter and Jeanette Langerak owners of Sojourn.  Amazing aft deck...
It can be zipped and closed up completely so that even in rain one could sit out here...


Crisp fresh practical interior which we instantly like.  


Wheelhouse has its original wheel.. Rob getting a good feel now...


And Peter takes us down the Canal du Centre, showing Rob how to handle her..


I could quickly get used to this...


New Zealand flag might have to go...


Lock approaching...Rob hands over to Peter... Lacks confidence about getting her into the space with inches only to spare..


We enter the lock with inches to spare on either side..


And over the aquaduct..


We agree to meet in a days time to talk further...








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