Friday, 27 July 2012


Yesterday morning we moved off of our mooring at Littleport, our 48hrs were up, watered the boats and headed downstream towards the confluence of the Little Ouse.  There is a EA mooring right here and it was vacant and and enticing so that is where we stopped.  After a quick dog walk we piled into Graham's car for the short journey to March where we had arranged to meet a couple of narrowboaters, Olly and Ann, who have spent the last four years cruising the Belgium and Northern French canals/rivers on their narrowboat Wandering Snail.
Olly and Ann are in the process of getting their narrowboat repaired following a recent incident with a JCB so we arranged to meet them at Fox's Marina before finding somewhere for lunch and our interrogation research to begin!

 Lunch at The Little London in March.   L-R Olly, Ann, Graham, Joe and Jill.

We had gone prepared with list and covered a range of things, like banking, the who to use and how to do it, telephones and broadband, helmsman's qualifications, what size ropes/lines to take, where to moor, shopping, sanitation, water supply, where to buy diesel and much, much more.  Ann is in the process of writing a book about their experiences which will be very, very useful for anyone considering taking the plunge and going Continental.

Whilst at Foxes Marina looking at the repair work their boat is undergoing following the JCB incident, we also noted and photographed changes they have made specifically for their European cruising.  As above, two addition dollies added to the bow and a cleat to supplement the normal T-stud.  These add-ons are essential the help hold the boat steady when sharing locks with the enormous commercial vessels that use the Northern European systems.

 A mast for navigation lights, these in addition to the lights on the side of the boat.

Another mast forward for an anchor light - if you are moored on a buoy for instance - VHF radio aerial etc.
We returned with much more information and food for thought and are very grateful to Olly and Ann for sharing their time and knowledge with us.


  1. Leaving aside all the changes you'd have to make to Yarwood to cruise in Europe, three remains the larger question of how to get her there? I assume that a channel crossing on her own bottom is not a feasible alternative... But maybe im wrong.

  2. Hi Bob

    Narrowboats have gone across the English Channel under their on steam, well prepared and in the company of a qualified Pilot. Sometimes they 'raft' boats together and take them across I understand but our choice wiould be to load Yarwood on a lorry and take her across on a ferry.


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