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It's been a difficult year without clients being able to get into France, let alone to us! We've taken advantage though... Bum scrub, fresh paint job and new air conditioning onboard! Once we're able, new clients will of course be welcome! ... See MoreSee Less

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Overtaking. There's a time and a place - and a speed. Exceeding the 8 kph speed limit causes increased erosion to the sides of the canal. It can also have a negative effect on the vessel being overtaken. On this occasion we had to take over from the student to make sure 'Somewhere' did not strike the bank. We caught up with this boat at the next lock as the lock keeper (eclusier) knew we were coming and made them wait. We all had a chat... ... See MoreSee Less

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2019 end of year school report: 'Somewhere' has travelled some 1,396 kilometers, negotiated 568 locks and had her engine running for 429 hours! We have met some lovely people - 34 new boaters, most of whom are either already on their new boats or waiting for them to be launched. We're now at our winter mooring, this year in Moissac, awaiting another most enjoyable season. However, next year we're on the Canal Garonne! More news on our website soon... ... See MoreSee Less

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Our cruise to this season's winter mooring was shared with our last guest of the 2019 season, Jessica. She's been planning to purchase a hotel barge for a few years now, after being inspired by her aunt and uncles barging adventure many years ago.

Successfully completing her RYA inland waterways Helmsman and CEVNI examination with us this week means she's ticked off the first step to put her business plan into action. Next stop, VHF, French CEVNI then her EGP and not forgetting her ASP - didn't realise there were so many acronyms in the barging world!!

See you soon Jessica for your EGP and good luck with your purchase - but just what colour will you choose to 'tone' down the rather colourful peniche on your shortlist? πŸ™‚
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A brief holiday a couple on a narrowboat from Meilhan-sur-Garonne a couple of years ago started a long term dream for Chris and Helen. Perhaps the dream will come true to spend more time in France with a live aboard barge now they've accomplished their ICC with us. Big decisions to make with an already dual residency in the UK and Dordogne house - how will an inland waterways adventure fit into their retirement plans? Perhaps next years floating holiday from Agen will help map out if it's really for them.

Looking forward to passing you next July on the Canal de la Garonne - Bon voyage.
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The last days of summer closed in as Robin and Catherine joined us for their RYA Helmsman and Crewman boat training. The morning chill very evident as they prepared to set off on their mammoth 8 hour drive to view a potential barge they've had their eye on for a while. At least now they have the barge handling and crewing skills all ready for when they make their final decision. Bon voyage and we hope to see you soon along the Midi! πŸ™‚ ... See MoreSee Less

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Chris and Christine found having a wheel and stern was something a bit different to managing their narrow boats with a tiller. They coped fine and passed with flying colours, so they're all ready for their European adventure in 2020, but back to the tiller!

Good luck with the crossing party and enjoy the French and Belgian cruising. Maybe see you this far south before too much longer πŸ˜€
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David and Katrina from Colorado are a very happy couple to have completed their RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman with us and some very impressive CEVNI test results, very well done. Now it's time to find your own dutch barge to begin the French barging adventure...at least living in their 'RV' for a few months is preparing them for 'compact living'.
Hope to see you both in years to come, happy barge hunting πŸ˜€
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When Mike and Karen joined us recently we saw a role reversal...normally the engine room inspires the chaps, but this time Karen was enthralled tracing a water cooling problem and happy to assist replacing a worn impeller.

I guess your beautiful barge 'Maria' will be lovingly maintained with an efficient and immaculate engine room thanks to Karen. πŸ‘©β€πŸ”§
See you soon for your 'Grande Plaisance'.
Bon voyage
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Looks like the port Capitaine of Castelnaudary is eagerly awaiting our return. Good job I baked a big enough carrot cake for our guests and eclusiers with some left to share with the Tourist Office team.

Castelnaudary Tourisme
πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰ welcome to #portcastelnaudary Bargecraft Boat School Jo Bridges #carottcake πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™ yumi yumi πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜›
#Castelnaudary #canaldumidi πŸ’¦πŸŒ³πŸ’¦
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School

As in previous years, September is our busiest month. More comfortable weather but still pleasant enough to enjoy the sunshine - if a little crisp first thing in the morning.

Lucky for Debra and Bob we managed to squeeze in a last minute Barging Experience for them before they have to jet off back to Florida. All that panic cramming for the CEVNI paid off as they passed the test with flying colours. Now they can spend their winter in the balmy weather planning their cruising aboard their newly purchased cruiser in France.

Happy sailing to you both - hopefully BeauBo will get her 'sea legs' and take it all in her stride πŸ™‚
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School

Celebrations all round as Will successfully completed his EGP this week with Benoit on the beautiful river Tarn. Good job we all had an eye on the depth gauge!

Another happy BIG barge owner now fully licenced on the European inland waterways.
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School

Having enjoyed a summer of night markets and social events we're raring to go for our late season schedule.

Phil and Fay from Germany (UK ex-pats) joined us this week to learn all they could about barge handling and their efforts of learning CEVNI over recent weeks paid dividends as they both passed with flying colours.

We thoroughly enjoyed their company and Steve appreciated their help with his duties in the galley after dinner - second helpings AND both licking out the bowl meant a very easy clean up! Thank you πŸ˜€

Good luck aboard you lovely new boat, we hope to meet many times in the future on your French waterways adventure.
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11 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School

Glorious day on the river Tarn during our most recent EGP with ENAM. ... See MoreSee Less

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12 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School

After the sweltering 40Β°c temperatures last weekend, Victor and NadΓ©ge were hoping for some cooler conditions for the EGP on Monday morning. It was cooler...a mere 37Β° phew!

As they are Toulouse locals we were hoping to get some practice with our French, but having travelled the world extensively and holding a PhD in English they preferred to speak English!

They coped well with the heat and handled 'Somewhere' efficiently through the required manoeuvres before leaving us on Tuesday clutching their all important EGP certificates. They are now eager to cruise aboard their own beautiful 22m barge in the months to come.

Bonne chance avec la nouvelle arrivΓ©e dΓ©but 2020.
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Not a soul moving today. Hardly surprising at a searing 40Β°c! ... See MoreSee Less

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Rob and Suzy found the intense and sudden heatwave in France just like being at home - well they do live in Dubai!

Time for a relaxing lunch on their two day RYA Helmsman training with us. A great time to ask us their many questions about barging from interior layout, wheelhouse practicalities, self-sufficiency and not forgetting TV/radio options. Their 'shortlist' of requirements for their barge search seems to be getting longer and longer.

Good luck in your barge search to progress the French/New Zealand lifestyle. We hope to see you later in the year for your EGP.
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The weather just about held for Patrick and Mary Lyn from Geneva and they spent three nights with us on the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsmens Course. (Well, it is the south of France!)

It was lovely to meet you and we hope you don't have to wait too long before retiring and finding your dream barge. We shall see you on the longest village in the world before too long!
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After four nights and three days hard work Les and Carolyn are one step nearer their new life afloat. Thank you for being ideal students and for your kind words on providing your testimonial (www.bargecraft.com/about/testimonials/)

Good luck with the French lessons and we wish you every success in finding your dream barge.
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The challenges of ropework had musician Perry and actor wife Debbie tied up in knots, but all in the interests of learning the necessary bowline, clove hitch and round turn and two half hitches. Although not as complicated as Perry's intricate finger work on his guitar during our private concert!

We wish you a safe trip home tomorrow to Oregon, USA. Good luck with the summer concerts and studio recording in the months ahead.

Aye, aye Captains. Your perfect barge will be out there somewhere, but sorry, it can't be 'Somewhere' πŸ™‚
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