My Travel Blog

On The Road Again – Rabelo is FIXED!

I’ve been thinking of Willy Nelson lately.  Why might you ask?  Because whenever I think of Willy I think of the song “On the Road Again.”  You see, we are back on the canal again, and I couldn’t wait.  It took exactly one week to get our rudder repaired and re-installed.  A little old man drove six hours from Belgium in his truck with a crane on the back as well as a little boat and our 700 pound rudder.  He arrived just after Lisa and I  left to go for a walk, and was done by the time we returned.

“Rabelo with her repaired rudder.”

“The canal is running out of water.”

“Lisa meets a friend on one of our walks.”

We have now been in Europe almost five months.  What I find so amazing is that whenever we are tied up in a village without a boulangerie you would think it was the end of the world.  At home we rarely eat bread, but in France the very essence of our survival is dependant upon our daily baguette.   Fortunately we had the car so driving to a boulangerie three villages down the road was not a problem.

“These guys were so funny as they followed us on our walk.”

On one trek we climbed to this giant windmill on top of a ridge.  You see these all over Europe, but don’t realize how big they are until you’re standing next to one.  The windmill we saw was rated at just over two megawatts.  My son Randy tells me they are now making them as large as 7.5 megawatts.  That’s enough power to run 7,500 homes.  The European community has decided that being best friends with the king of Saudi Arabia is not a good energy policy.  They are far more progressive than the U.S. when it comes to energy conservation and developing alternative sources.  While renewable energy is not as cost efficient as carbon based energy, we are rapidly approaching that point.  When we do, we will find ourselves 20 years behind our competitors who had the foresight to invest now.

“Typical French countryside.”

“Typical French countryside.”

“A rainy day while we wait for our rudder.”


-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.