My Travel Blog

Rabelo’s New Home in Saint Jean de Losne

Rabelo is moored at her new home, and what a lovely home it is.  Rather than running back to Holland at the end of the year we now have a permanent mooring in the heart of Burgundy at Saint Jean de Losne.  In the past I have always moored my boats in a traditional marina.  That’s not to say while we were out cruising we didn’t find beautiful spots to tie up, but we always had to leave after a short time.  Our new permanent mooring is on an old canal that is no longer in use, next to the Soane River.

“Rabelo tied up at her new mooring.”

I’m not sure if it is good news or bad news, but our new mooring comes with a front yard.  I’m not talking about a small patch of grass.  Our front yard is longer than Rabelo, and we will have to maintain it.  When we arrived the first thing we did was go out and buy some gardening tools.  I never dreamed that clippers and a rake were some of the supplies I’d need when barging. Fortunately our neighbor loaned us a lawnmower.  We understood it was for the community of boats along the canal to use, so that was very nice. Our new front yard has a walnut tree, raspberries, blackberries, plums, mirabelles and a storage shed.  Most of our neighbors are moored permanently and never move their boats.  Their barge is their home and they live on it year round.  It is such a nice spot I can understand why, but that’s not why I bought Rabelo.

“Julian mowing our front yard.”

“Another view of our front yard.”

“Our neighbors had some visitors.”

We are now right in the center of France.  If we head back up the Soane we can go all the way to Luxembourg or turn off at the Canal Entre Champagne de Bourgogne, which will take us back to Champagne. We are just a mile from the entrance to the Burgundy Canal and two miles from the entrance to the Canal de Rhone a Rhin, which will take us to Strasbourg and all of Germany.  If we head down the Soane it turns into the Rhone River, which takes us to the South of France and the Mediterranean coast.  Or we can turn off at the Canal du Centre and go to Paris.  Basically we are in the center of France and go any place we like.

“A view of St. Jean de Losne from the Soane River.”

“Tied up along the Soane ten miles up river from St. Jean de Losne. It’s a good thing we have a long boarding ramp.”

“Lisa hard at work in our new galley.”

Oh no, we just heard a nasty rumor that there is talk of closing the Canal du Centre due to lack of water.  Rumors run rampant through the barging community so we will have to check this one out.  We also heard that the Doubs River, which makes up part of the Canal de Rhone a Rhin, was at flood stage.   What I can’t figure out is that at one point the Doubs and Canal du Centre are less than thirty miles apart.  None of this makes sense.  I had hoped to visit Roanne and Nevers, but if they close the Canal du Centre we will have to change our plans.  Oh well, that’s all part of barging.

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels

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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.