16 locks

27th August 2010 – While driving in the country side I noticed a little sign “16 écluses d’échelle”. It were 16 locks spread over a distance of 4 tot 5 kilometers. Skippers need an hour and 15 minutes to pass them. Two girls were turning the lock, after a little chat I discovered one of them was the lock keeper.

A few locks further, they had a little barge. That lock was different from the others, it was nicely decorated, including the house attached to that lock. It had a style, something like the hippies in the 60’s and an English cottage house.


25th August 2010 – I visited a few locks, for one way or another, French locks interest me a lot. Many of them are still turned by hand.

In the afternoon I visited two very interesting museums. One of them was an old Toueur, the other a mine. The Toueur is a tugboat that pulled barges on the Loire. It had a fixed route and used chains to make its way on the river. Only five of them are still in existent in France.

A little further down the road, there was a walenmajol (wooden spits barge). The visit of the mine, even noting nautical related,

Shipyard in Bourges

23th August 2010 – During the visit of Bourges, I found a small shipyard with one dry dock. Around the yard there are several houseboats and barges that will be converted. A few of them were already shortened as well. Besides a tjalk, there was one specific spits barge that got my attention. If anyone has more information, please contact me.

Watergeus – Removing paint and front cabin

7th August 2010 – By the end of the month I would like to see the whole deck of the Watergeus painted. It has now taken over 4 months since I started the job. Sadly enough, in the afternoon the rain avoided me from working outside.

Since I’m still working on the back accommodation and front cabin, I knew what to do…

Watergeus – Front cabin

2nd August 2010 –  The front cabin is nearly ready, once side needs to be finished. Once the wood work is done, I’ll do the fittings for a sink and washing machine. Then the whole room needs painting. I’m still looking for a floor.

Visiting the Bonne Chance in Antwerp

1st August 2010 – Once in a while; people ask me to join them to visit a barge they are interested in. Today I went to Antwerp to visit a spits barge. I was amazed to find such a traditional looking barge with so many original fittings. Whether the sale will go through, I don’t know but at least I had a great day and have seen some nice barges!

Watergeus – Heating

29th July 2010 – I continued removing pipes and heating elements. I disconnected the fuel from the heater and moved it slightly away. That old rusty thing is just to heavy to be moved by one person. Once everything will be gone, the engine room will look much larger. All those pipes made it look like a very complex system. There is now better access to the propeller and the water tanks. I’ll fit the new boiler and pump for the back accommodation where the fire used to be.

Watergeus – Front cabin

25th July 2010 – The front accommodation of the Watergeus exists of three areas, a working space with the water tanks, the front cabin and the fore peak. At the moment we are finishing the front cabin in the same style as the living room. The two other areas are for a later period, probably next year.

Nearly a year ago I bought some light armature for the living room, corridor, sleeping room and entrance. I was still using the old bulbs on a socket with a few wires. I finally changed this. A little job but a big difference!