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7 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
We love it when guests have the chance to experience an encounter with another large barge. Keeping Somewhere straight whilst working against the bank effect, then…wait for it…the draw of their prop. Excellent handling Paul whilst Mandy was busy practising her ‘half hitch’ knot. Bon voyage. ... See MoreSee Less
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7 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Whoa! Where did the last month go? As normal at the peak of summer, our guests have come and gone all too quickly. Each had their own unique experience whilst flash floods hit the neighbouring river Baïse and storm damage closed the canal further up stream. Thankfully the canal on our route remained open 'with care'. Everyone had a great opportunity to learn and practice how to best navigate around debris from the storms. Over the past month our guests have travelled from far and wide, from 30km away or the USA, our Barging Experience is ideal for so many budding bargees. Well done to Peter and Martyn who completed their RYA Helmsman and passed their CEVNI with flying colours - thanks to their regular weekly coffee meetings to study together in their village coffee shop. Whilst Travis and Laura used their transatlantic flight to focus on the useful CEVNI flash cards to achieve their success. All are now qualified and can cruise at leisure on their respective boats/barges.Bon voyage ... See MoreSee Less
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8 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Our cruising last week had a great mix of interaction with local wildlife. A young fisherman caught the resident port catfish 'Henry'. He is enormous!! He's as long as the guy who caught him. Hook removed before gently lowering back into the canal.The following morning the tamest raven insisted on joining us for croissants.All in all, an entertaining week for Lisa and Bob who also managed to squeeze in the time to visit the church at Le Mas d'Agenais and wonder at the Rembrandt 'Christ on the Cross'. It still amazes us at just how accessible the community there has made such a masterpiece.Bon voyage Lisa and Bob when the momentous day comes when you can gently cruise the waterways in Europe. ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
A beautiful sunny day for todays’ Grande Plaisance (EGP) ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
An interesting encounter for Steven and Fiona last week. VNF works blocking the canal whilst loading equipment onto a work barge, only to share a lock with some VERY nervous holiday makers. It helps for us to share a lock with them, firstly our students get to experience this evolution and take extra care when managing lines and keeping movement to a minimum. Plus the holiday makers get lots of help and patience with gentle guidance. I'm sure it helps them when they negotiate the next lock.Well done Steven and Fiona, now you have your ICC's and you're ready to skipper your own barge when the time comes to retire. ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Angela thoroughly enjoyed her new 'office' in the bow of Somewhere - the delights running your own business, but the changing views are certainly a bonus. Before she knew it, other tasks took over in the lock under Steve's watchful eye. Richard also had time to savour the silence of cruising from 'upfront' a perfect place to take in the tranquillity of the canal life.After all that hard work they are now qualified to skipper their very own barge when retirement beckons. Bon voyage Richard and Angela. A pleasure to have you onboard. ... See MoreSee Less
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Another successful Grande Plaisance (EGP) completed this week. Now Fiona and Matthew are qualified to pilot their respective beautiful Hotel Barges - that is IF the incumbent pilot can be persuaded to take over ‘chef’ duties 😁. Hmm maybe not, but at least they each have cover for piloting should the need arise. Have a great season ... See MoreSee Less
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
A busy week as we draw to the end of the first month of the 2023 season.We welcomed two Americans aboard to complete their RYA Helmsman training and CEVNI to qualify for their ICC. Brian has been waiting a while to set up his training date and it has now given him a better understanding of what his pilot is doing when at the helm of his 30m in the coming weeks. Maybe he'll progress to taking his EGP too before too much longer!Whilst Bogdan has long since dreamed of owning a barge and is a year or two off fulfilling his dream. However, on learning this is our last year he couldn't wait to join us in readiness for is future barge ownership.Bon voyage to you both. ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Hello 2023 cruising season. 😃This week, we began our final season in absolutely glorious sunshine, albeit a little chilly first thing, but perfect weather once the sun melted the ice from the top deck! The Spring blossom and bright blue sky lifts everyone's spirits.Anita and Jon did admirably as we're amongst the first to test out the locks since they've reopened after the full drainage of our canal during the winter. Plus 'Somewhere' is in tip top form too despite spending several weeks 'sat' on the mud!Both students passed their RYA Helmsman training and clutching their CEVNI passes too, they are now qualified for their ICC with the freedom to cruise on their planned itinerary.Bon voyage on your respective boats, Arabella and Meander. ... See MoreSee Less
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1 years ago

Bargecraft Boat School
It's our end of year report for Bargecraft:2,838 kms172 locks278 engine hours35 new RYA inland waterways helmsmen/ICCsThank you one and all! ... See MoreSee Less
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Our last weekend of training for 2022 and autumn has definitely arrived! Still, it was rather odd to have warm, +26°c temperatures in the middle of October. The leaves last weekend proved a bit of a challenge as did sharing a lock, but Brent and David coped with well with both.Fair winds and following seas to you both! ... See MoreSee Less
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Our penultimate Barging Experience before closing for the winter welcomed Callum and Timmi from Australia.Unexpectedly they had a very unusual and challenging encounter in the first couple of hours of the RYA training - a 30m hotel barge on a fairly narrow stretch of the canal. It made for an interesting demonstration of the effects and how to best navigate when sharing confined waterways with other large vessels. Not sure they'll have such a tight squeeze when aboard their own new boat when she's delivered in 12 months time, but at least they know what to expect.Hope to see you in the South in the coming years, and good luck for the future launch of 'yet to be named' takes to the water 😀 ... See MoreSee Less
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1 years ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Next were Neil and Susan who managed to slot in a three day immersive training Barging Experience en route to their French house near the Spanish border.They soon got the hang of handling Somewhere despite having no previous experience on a boat, never mind a barge. Thankfully the canal was lovely and calm (as always) so no signs of sea sickness for either of them and RYA certificates and CEVNI achieved in the blink of an eye.Bonnes vacances à bientôt ... See MoreSee Less
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As always, September has been our busiest time for Barging Experiences and many guests have completed their RYA training with us recently.First, were good friends, Neil and Paul. I think it's safe to say that Rosie found a new best friend and both guys found the entire three days enjoyable - if a tad tiring. Good to see they felt relaxed enough onboard to fully unwind when the training days were done :-).Bon voyage on La Manche crossing next Spring! ... See MoreSee Less
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Very graceful. Double speed stern spring turn still takes a long time, but so much more elegant.Simon thoroughly enjoyed experiencing and can't wait to try it out for himself aboard his own barge. Or perhaps he might try one of the other techniques to turn, it all depends on where he is!Bon voyage Simon now you're qualified with your ICC ... See MoreSee Less
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Interesting overtake by a LeBoat Horizon today whilst training onboard our barge. Ah well, at least he waved. Happy holidays! 😎 ... See MoreSee Less
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What an eventful introduction Willem and Charmaine have had to boating in France since arriving from New Zealand. They had a trip to the UK booked to complete their training only to fall victim of the disastrous airline chaos. A chance meeting with a fellow boater over aperitifs (of course) led them to us. A last minute shuffle of diaries, et voila, they managed to complete their RYA inland waterways helmsman and CEVNI with us this weekend. A great opportunity for them to experience the beautiful Canal de la Garonne and begin to master the techniques needed in locks and across an aqueduct plus everything in between.Now they can finally set off on the much yearned for European adventure.A good job they have 'Attitude' 😉 ... See MoreSee Less
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Phewy, another weekend of scorching temperatures as Europe melted under yet another heatwave. Although used to summer heat back home in the USA, poor John and Jim experienced the ups and downs of boating in the summer. The luxury of being on an air conditioned barge kept fresh and cool whilst underway, and a relaxing lunch in a cool salon /galley after a morning in the dappled shade through the trees. Then the contrast of an overnight stop with no shore power, oh dear, no fans and no air conditioning overnight! But they kept smiling throughout and gained real life knowledge of summer cruising during their 'Barging Experience' and left with their RYA Helmsman certificates and ICC.Bon voyage or perhaps we should say 'Gute Reise' as you head out in Berlin. ... See MoreSee Less
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Wow what a productive weekend was spent with Kim and Jenny from Australia. Their first time ever on a boat and they did splendid on their RYA inland waterways helmsman training. They also passed the CEVNI with ease despite only having a few weeks to learn it. Now they have their ICC qualification all sorted, and the search for a dream barge begins in earnest. They even managed to do a bit of networking and connecting locally to our advantage - uniting us with another ex-pat who lives 2 minutes away from us, but have never met! Merci beaucoup.Who knows I may get to meet up again at 'Canal Capers' in WA in November/December.Happy barge hunting. ... See MoreSee Less
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A fantastic weekend spent with Paul and Lesley whilst they undertook their RYA training for an ICC. All successfully completed and now they can take turns at the helm of their own barge which they share with Patrick - Paul's identical twin brother. And yes, Patrick came to us a couple of years ago, so we did have many 'deja vous' moments!Bon voyage everyone, hope to see you in the south in years to come. ... See MoreSee Less
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