My Travel Blog

Chateau Fort Sedan and a Saturday Jousting Match

It looks like a garage door opener, but it’s a lock opener.  I press the transmit button, and the doors to Ecluse 40 part.  Within a matter of minutes we are lifted 10 feet, and on our way.  The river is not much higher than yesterday so maybe there wasn’t as much rain as I thought.  The scenery is not just beautiful, but take your breath away knock your socks off incredible. The canal is also very narrow at times.

“There were a couple of spots where the tree limbs were touching both sides of Rabelo.”

We cruise into Sedan only to find the marina closed.  There are a couple of boats tied up across the channel, so I decide to check it out.  I start to back Rabelo down the dead-end waterway when I hear someone on the radio calling Rabelo in French.  “Oh crap,” what am I going to say.  I utilize most of my French vocabulary and tell them, “This is Rabelo. Do you speak English?”  My prayers are answered.  A lovely female voice responds with an accent that I think is British.  We find out that Georgie and her husband Greg are actually Aussies.  He is a Geologist that has spent most of his career in Africa. She is a doctor that worked in the refugee camps.  I thought we had an exciting life, but these delightful people make us look down right boring.  Georgie tells me we can moor behind them.

“Zoe wearing her mommy’s shoes.”

We had to tie Rabelo to some large boulders as there were no bollards.  As soon as I turned off the engine Lisa announced that we have to go to the supermarket.  She has a list a mile long.  As we are running up and down the aisles I hear rain on the roof.  The chorus of rain begins to build.  Then the percussion section with its lightning and thunder drowns out the chorus culminating in a spectacular crescendo.  Everyone in the market stops and looks up.  The exits are blocked.  It’s raining so hard that nobody wants to go to their cars, and we have a twenty-minute walk.  Eventually the rain lets up and we make it back to the boat relatively dry, but the river is now two feet higher and the current is really moving.  I am not happy.

“Chateau Fort Sedan.”

The next day things have dried out so we decide to go exploring. Sedan is home to the largest castle in Europe.  I’m not sure what parameters they are using, but the castle covers about 10 acres, so it’s pretty big. Our new friends Greg and Georgie tell us that on Saturdays and Sundays they have jousting matches at the castle.  We buy tickets early as they sell out. Not only are the Granddaughters excited, but so are the parents and Grandparents.  What a fun show.  Everything was in French.  We didn’t understand a word, but it didn’t matter.

“I think he is reading the rules to the contestants.”

“These guys were serious.”

I’ve been keeping an eye on the river, but it doesn’t seem to be going down.  This next leg could get interesting.

“Tied up in Mouzon next to a factory.”

“Talia and Zoe playing in front of the fort in Sedan.”

“An RV Park through the kitchen window.”


-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.