Jackie Parry – author

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$2.99 last chance for a bargain

Price goes back up to a massive $3.99 tomorrow!

Of Foreign Build is for sale for just 2.99 cents for 24 hours!

Click HERE to read the 5 star reviews

Click HERE to read more details

Click HERE to order (or other places to order HERE)

Click HERE to see the author being an author!9780987551542-Rev7_FrontCover for Danielle and marketing REDUCED

Click HERE to win….



99 cents today!

Of Foreign Build is for sale for just 99 cents for 24 hours!

Just think about how many Christmas presents you can buy with $10!

Click HERE to read the 5 star reviews

Click HERE to read more details

Click HERE to order (or other places to order HERE)

Click HERE to see the AUTHOR IN HER PJs!

9780987551542-Rev7_FrontCover for Danielle and marketing REDUCED

oh – and have a go at winning $400 Amazon vouchers HERE


Journey Reflections as the page turns to the next chapter…..

As we approach our winter mooring, we’re starting to focus on the next part of our adventure, and look back at what we’ve achieved so far. The journey has been a pleasure and, conversely, a bit like a Carry-On film too. After the ‘challenges’ of buying a boat in a country where we don’t speak the language, we are now reaping the rewards.

First: The challenges Hauling-out, survey and work in a foreign place, with an angry broker (the sellers’ broker) as the sellers had accepted our low offer (our fault?) – AND, secret ‘meetings’ between the yard and previous owners, where we could never figure out what was going on and always felt like we were being led up the garden path to rip-off-land – made a rather stressful time. But, it all worked out in the end – and rather well!


After we’d traversed the buying process, in order to get going Noel spent two-and-a-half days bent over like a crone in the engine room, he fixed umpteen leaks in the wheelhouse windows and we painted a 18.5 metre boat (“why’d you buy something so big?”) – hanging up-side-down to reach the hull or balancing in the leaking dinghy.

Jackie painting (cutting in - NOT fun!)

Jackie painting (cutting in – NOT fun!)

Meanwhile, a cat adopted us, which was nice until we found out she had at least one other home. We tried to convince the cat to go home and stopped feeding her, but there was a bountiful supply of field mice. The cat stayed and continued to leave a trail of gall bladders on the carpet and mats to denote her preferred nocturnal eating spots.

Lily sleeping!

Lily sleeping!

When we set off, we tackled low bridges that caused palpitations. We fudged the drawing of the bridge curves, guessing the water height (after flood rains), and we considered several alternate suggestions from other nomadic-brained cruising folk, such as ourselves:

  1. Load up the boat with passers-by at the feared bridges, offer free beer as an enticement.
  2. Get close to the bridge and ‘GUN-IT-MATE’, which would indeed lower the roof height, as these barges do sink considerably at speed in shallow water (about 3″- 4″)

The problem with these ideas was:

  1. How do I overcome Noel’s inherited Scottish antipathy to providing ‘free beer’?
  2. We didn’t think we had the bottle to approach the offending 200 year old stone arches with 25 tonnes at 6 knots. “What could go wrong?”

We took a day off prior to tackling the low bridges, we had flood rain that night that really ensured the adrenaline reached peak levels…. with clenched teeth and other body parts…we made it – just.



We made good time south and Noel swam in The Med, he said, “It was very nice, no surf, dead flat and I managed to avoid impaling my feet on the broken glass and syringes.” (I have trouble swimming in the sea, since my shark encounter…another story for another day!)

More recently, we have sacked the planning staff on board that we used on the current co-ordination of events. (Fancy coming so far south for warmer climes to head north again!) There are vacancies in the afore mentioned position. So far, no takers.

Now: The Rewards Each day we trickle along, accompanied by the ripple from our bow. Otters ruffle the silky surface, my favourites, the Kingfishers, flash bright blue and vivid orange within the canal’s banks.

The rewards!

The rewards! Pommevic put on a marvellous display of pink and yellow this morning – (see map below).

It’s a real feast for our eyes, as we putter through villages, rolling hills, and resplendent trees where horses frolic. The relaxed way of travel heightens our senses, the breeze picks up the tangy perfume of autumn, and in the evenings iridescent dragonflies flit in the fading light.

We hear the throaty calls of the dawn chorus, eerily hidden by heavy mist. We are enjoying the cool nights where we feel the pleasure of wearing warm clothes.

Puttering through pretty villages.

Puttering through pretty villages – Moissac.

We’re no longer sailing but we’re still weather watching. Wind is still to be respected and, now, rain too.

The journey is becoming etched on our skin, by way of smiles; created by new friends, passing acquaintances, helpful locals and friendly waves.

It’s been an honour to do this journey and we’re having the time of our lives. It’s all there for the taking, just waiting for us and anyone with a sense of adventure.

The next part of the adventure We plan to renovate below decks and enjoy living in a small, friendly village, Buzet sur Baise. It’s here we’ll re-acquaint with friends that we’ve made along the way, and hopefully make new friends (while creating a nice home too).


Pommevic is gorgeous – free, safe mooring with electric and water (48 hrs maximum) – so nice, we stayed today!




Family trip to Besancon to meet friends

The flood rain meant we had to stop and enjoy Ranchot for a few days, which wasn’t very tough. Dad particularly loved the little village, ‘it was very pretty.’

Pretty scenery

Pretty scenery

Kieran (my nephew) stirred up his creative juices and turned a Lipton’s Yellow Label Tea bag into fishing equipment. Utilising the staple and string Kieran made a hook and line and attempted to capture a whale.


Kieran having a quick snooze

Kieran having a quick snooze

With rested crew we were all ready to tackle the swirling water and we pointed the bows towards Besancon. Gentle locks, eerie tunnels, cups of tea and a pleasantly cool day accompanied the intrepid crew who were ready for anything.

Into the black hole

Noel on the stern line

Mum became navigator and loved the team work of the crew while traversing the canals.


Our navigator

Our navigator

Dad working hard on the bow

Dad working hard on the bow

In Besancon our lovely friends Linda and Bill met us with healthy grins and a fabulous few days have been spent talking boats, books, writing and wine.

Arriving into Besancon


Love lockets

The grey clouds are now starting their march across the sky. A serious card game is developing, and many satisfied yawns can be heard beneath the pitter-patter of rain.

I want one


International Experience

We’ve ordered a marine toilet from Italy and solar panels from Germany. We’ve got a Dutch bank account and a Dutch built boat. All instructions, on the boat, are in French.

We’re ordering fuses from Holland, ‘they don’t exist anymore,’ insists the French chandlery.

My Dutch phone keeps texting me in Dutch. I can’t get my French phone to work – I have to back up the Sim first, in order to back up the Sim I have to activate the Sim, in order to activate the Sim I have to back up the Sim.

The French dongle (sounds like a poodle) is working just fine – phew!

Thank goodness for lovely places like Ranchot to calm my befuddled brain. And my lovely family from the UK (mum, dad & Kieran (my nephew)) – to help keep me sane!

Noel, mum, dad & Kieran



On the move – at last!

The town of Dole is remarkable for several reasons. The three most pertinent reasons for me are because:

1) The scientist Louis Pasteur was born here (he was the guy who came up with the food preparing process known as pasteurization, and he also developed a vaccination for anthrax and rabies).

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur

2) It is a stunningly beautiful place, and

Dole Cathedral

3) It is our first stop on our first voyage on our first barge!

My nephew Kieran is great crew

After leaving our health Spar on the hard at St Jean de Losne dry dock, where the fumes supplied a healthy nose bore, emptying out all that crap that’s been sitting there; and where daily skin and teeth exfoliation were complimentary from the neighbouring sandblasting – we finally cast off and moved!

Before departure I confused (and scared) a few people as I decided to inflict a name change on Dole, I told everyone we were going to Dove!

Hidden delights in Dole

Family arrived, mum, dad and nephew Kieran, and they instantly felt at home. They easily fell into the boating way of life and before long we were on another voyage to Ranchot; which was interesting as we did not plan to stop there – until the floods. More on that soon – with some beautiful pictures of a splendid evening on our unplanned visit.

I want one! A sneak peek at Ranchot.