My Travel Blog

From Fumay to Montherme | Encountering Our First Jerk!

From Ecluse (lock) 53 we motored a short way to the tired little village of Fumay.  The pretty little church on the hill with its broken stained glass windows was just another reminder of how tough times are.

“Heading into a lock that is only a couple of feet wider than Rabelo, and they will get tighter.”

We were fortunate to find a spot on the main quay.  At 127ft Rabelo attracts a lot of attention when we dock.  When we moor between two boats that are 130ft apart everyone notices, especially the boats in front of and behind us.  The guy behind us threw a fit when he saw us coming worried that I would crush his little plastic boat.  When we were safely tied up he had the nerve to tell us we were blocking his view.  He stomped around the dock for a few minutes, then untied his boat and left.  He acted as if he owned the view.  So far he’s the only jerk we’ve come across.

“A tight parking spot in Fumay.”

Another boat owner told me he could tell that I had Rabelo completely under control, and he wasn’t worried at all.  I’m glad he wasn’t worried because I sure was. We eventually ended up making new friends.  My admirer along with his wife and another couple came over for drinks and hors d’oeuvres.  They had traveled the rivers and canals of France for over 20 years, and were a wealth of information.  We will no doubt see them again.

“Oh no! I let my friend Steve drive.”

From Fumay we cruised to Montherme along a narrow, but beautiful canal with mirror smooth water surrounded by vibrant green vegetation that reached out and almost grabbed us as we rounded each bend.  We spent just one night in Montherme because of the church bells.  Imagine listening to the first three notes of Three Blind Mice every fifteen minutes all night long. It was enough to turn a pious man atheist.

“Nothing like a narrow canal to keep your attention.”

“Tied up in Montherme.”

We went to the Tourist Information Center to find a Wi-Fi hotspot, and where to eat. They sent us to the library for free Wi-Fi, but it was closed. Then they sent us to the best restaurant in town, but it was also closed.  We ended up eating at a roach coach 50 feet from where we were moored.  Everything was freshly made.  Their fresh pizza dough was amazing and their sandwiches were delicious and cheap.  We scored on that one.

“Steve and Ilana ordering at our favorite roach coach.”

“Our friend Steve said it’s just a little snack. How will we ever lose weight?”

“A lock filling. We use the temporary flag pole to determine if we can get under the bridges without taking down the pilothouse.”

“A beggar at our kitchen window.”


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.