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As the summer heat arrived we welcomed Miranda and Christina, close friends from Holland for their RYA training. As we all melted in 35ยฐc+ they did a superb job at the helm and crewing to smoothly take us from Buzet to Caumont, with a stopover in the lovely Villeton, and back again. They'd earned a very well deserved celebration drink on successful completion of their 3 days training.It was an absolute delight to spend several days with them and enjoy entertaining conversation over dinner. Now we can't wait to see the beautiful Vaporetto 'Hippopotamo ' in all her glory after a painstaking renovation project.Bon chance Miranda with your further preparations before heading off on your adventures afloat. Bon voyage ๐Ÿ˜Š ... See MoreSee Less
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Summer is here! Wonderful weather, to enjoy a tight squeeze cruise just outside Buzet. Tanya did a superb job navigating through the narrow channel at the end of her three days with us. I'm sure she'll do very well once back onboard her own barge - a little different than the 'Great Loop' but a new adventure awaits. Bon voyage Tanya, hope to see you down here some time ๐Ÿ™‚ ... See MoreSee Less
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Another eventful week for different reasons! Following a violent summer storm last weekend which brought a mini tornedo pass through the region, we were left with canal closures because of trees blocking the channel on both our potential routes. Thankfully, the stoppage one way reopened in time to allow us to pass, only to be closed again for lock repairs. Ah well it brought a brief interlude for Adam and Leigh to complete their CEVNI and an insight into the sometimes changeable situation on the canal network. All ended well, as after lunch the lock reopened and they were able to continue back to Buzet and successfully earn their RYA inland waterways Helmsman's certificates :-).Safe travels back to the USA to you both, and hope to see you in a year or two as a refresher before setting off on your own barging adventure. ... See MoreSee Less
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We've had an entertaining week with Tom's sea shanties whilst he took his inland waterways helmsman's course. It's not the first time we've had musicians onboard and we really enjoy their skills and talent. Well done Tom and thank you! ... See MoreSee Less
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Obstruction on the Canal Garonne at the last lock/ecluse (39) before Buzet. Passable with care. We don't know the circumstances yet, but it will be there for a while. ... See MoreSee Less
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What a wonderful week it has been to be able to welcome guests again to our residential training Barging Experience. Perhaps the weather was a little on the hot side, but the storms eased the humidity and Dorinda concluded her RYA inland waterways Helmsman training in more comfort and dodged most of the downpours overnight! We've all had a fantastic week of training, good company and entertainment with thought provoking debate. Even Rosie and Jim slipped straight back into their 'jobs' as front of house guest relaxation team - although I think Rosie got carried away and found Dorinda's dog whispering technique more therapeutic than she expected.... "wake up Rosie!"Bon voyage Dorinda wherever Siga Siga takes you ๐Ÿ˜€ ... See MoreSee Less
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2 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
We're open! Hooray.As France slowly begins to ease the 'non' lockdown we are now able to run training courses - non-residential for the next couple of weeks before fully returning to our fully inclusive Barging Experiences next month.Don took full advantage to reserve an early slot and drive to us both days. He calmly handled Somewhere to complete the course with flying colours, well done Don. As he's already passed his CEVNI he's all ready to secure his ICC and at last let the lines go and sail away. Bon voyage Don and enjoy 'Misbehavin'! ๐Ÿ™‚ ... See MoreSee Less
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3 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
We're reopening! ๐Ÿ˜€France is now progressively easing the Covid restrictions in light of an overall reduction in the spread of the virus and the significant increase in the vaccination roll out programme - we've both had ours! The good news is that we are able to reopen safely and tourists will be able to come to France from early June - with a health pass.Our reopening dates are:โ€ข Wednesday 19 May โ€“ non-residential training can beginโ€ข Wednesday 9 June โ€“ a full return to our Barging Experiences, the all inclusive residential training programmeIf you're not already in France and hope to get to here later this year (obviously if your home country permits international travel), then please do check our availability page as many dates are already reserved for our guests who couldn't get to us last year. www.bargecraft.com/the-barging-experience/availability/During the lockdowns we've been busy updating our interior and installing air-conditioning ready for the long hot summer. We hope to see you here later in the year ๐Ÿ˜€ ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
This year's end of school report... Due to Covid-19 lockdowns and the French border being closed to the majority of our usual clients, 2020 has been a quiet year for 'Somewhere'. We had a good couple of weeks in Toulouse dry dock, painting, maintaining and fitting new air conditioning onboard. We've even moved our operating area to the Canal Garonne as it's near the house we recently purchased.Here's what we've actually done (last year's figures in brackets for comparison):Engine hours 124.3 (429.7)Kilometres travelled 480 (1,396)Locks negotiated 132 (568)Here's hoping to a better year when the season starts again at the end of March 2021, when we should see lots more activity on the French inland waterways. We look forward to welcoming new boaters onto the canals and making new friends. ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
What a mammoth year 2020 has been for our most recent guests Eric and Kathy from USA. After purchasing their new [to them] Piper barge earlier in the year, Covid 19 stopped them from being able to get to France to both move onboard and of course take their vital training for their ICC. Fate was on their side and they were lucky enough to escape on a rare, late summer transatlantic flight to Europe and after a short time in the UK they eventually moved onboard their barge in France and began settling onboard for their new year round floating home. Even more luck on their side - we had availability and were able to run the RYA Helmsman course for them JUST as the second confinement period was announced. In fact they opted for a third day training which crossed over into the confinement period - but thankfully a common sense and flexible application of the 2nd confinement at short notice meant we were able to return to port safely and all of us return home without any problems and we even had lovely warm autumn sunshine too!More importantly, they both passed the RYA Helmsman and CEVNI test with ease and can now enjoy their new cruising lifestyle in France. Bon voyage! Bonne chance avec vos cours de franรงais ๐Ÿ˜€ ... See MoreSee Less
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Another week and another EGP. Well done Eric congratulations. You got there at last. Now you can explore aboard Ria. Bon voyage. ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
A beautiful day in Villeton for day two of our first EGP for 2020. Itโ€™s been a long wait for Mike to get his licence, but at last heโ€™ll be able to enjoy a cruise aboard Maria. Bon voyage. ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Our new base in Buzet sur Baรฏse has opened up an alternative option of non-residential training for those not needing or wanting to experience life aboard a barge whilst learning how to handle one. This weeks student, Nigel found this a more suitable choice when he needed his RYA Helmsman, CEVNI and ICC. The soaring August temperatures and Covid-19 safety measures of masks brought a different dynamic for him, but he coped well with the necessary precautions. After many years as trawlerman his ropework was a doddle, but the CEVNI and canal effect caused him some worries, but he passed without any problem and is now ready to begin his new life afloat - once his house sales completes next week!Bon voyage et bon chance. ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
After an enforced lockdown we have at last just completed our first RYA Helmsman training course. Michael's journey to us was rather complex, being an Australian, stuck on his sailboat in the Caribbean (a French island) he eventually found a route to France with several weeks to prepare for his CEVNI and first inland waterways experience after many years sailing the oceans.Michael coped with all our Covid-19 safety measures and protocols to ensure we all remained safe and well. He passed with flying colours and is now ready to begin his barge cruising adventure of Europe aboard his newly acquired barge 'yet to be named'. Bon voyage Michael. ... See MoreSee Less
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12 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Fantastic news everyone...we are reopening next month. Training dates are being rescheduled for our revised timetable. Do message us if you hoping to join us this year for a Barging Experience in the glorious sunshine of the South. ๐Ÿ˜€ ... See MoreSee Less
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1 years ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Bargecraft Boat School's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less
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At last, we're underway and what a beautiful river on a beautiful day! It wasn't all for pleasure, unfortunately, our first official river trip of 2020 for our 'sea trial' to complete our survey and inspection for our Communautaire Certificat renewal. The surveyor's notebook is full of measurements, readings and inspection notes but more important were his closing words...'passed with flying colours'. Tomorrow we start the journey to our new moorings and all eyes on French government announcements that from 11 July we can reopen and welcome guests aboard. ๐Ÿ˜€ ... See MoreSee Less
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