of that year, we met a couple that owned a canal boat in France and
were selling it after living on it for two years. This was a no-brainer
for us, and we bought it on the spot. (We didn’t see the boat until
the following April, so I don’t recommend this method for others.)
The boat turned out to be as advertised.
We moved aboard, with two dogs, in April 2000, and spent
the next three years, five months each year, touring the canals. We
made a giant circle of France the first year, and spent the second
year in Belgium and the Netherlands, as far north as Tershilling
Island in the North Sea. The third year we traveled from Amsterdam
to the Midi Canal in the south of France. Altogether, we traveled
more than 6,000 kilometers, and passed through 1,400 locks. It
was a wonderful lifestyle. We invited friends from home to join us
every two or three weeks and all it cost them was the airfare. The
rural people in Europe couldn’t be more friendly to Americans.
We sold the boat in 2002, which covered our total expenses, so
essentially, we had a free ride. Incidentally, we bareboated through
the Greek Isles in 1980, so we have completed two-thirds of your
bucket list. Gordon & Jane Groves
Aye, Aye, Captain Sammy!: Maria and Gene Faatz from
Stuart, Florida, sent in this photo of their four-year-old
granddaughter Sammy commanding their 43-foot Ocean SS,
the Maria J, on the St. Lucie River.
DAMMED IF YOU DO …
You might be interested to watch the progress on the Elwha Dam’s
Some locals question the wisdom of this project; we’ll lose the
“green” electricity from that water power, and end up having to
burn more fossil fuels to make up for it. After all, it may take 100
years to get 100-pound salmon from that river again.
The Flagship Prestancia: “This is our 1991 Doral 255MC
Prestancia, all dolled up for the July 4 celebrations,” says
David Cope. Their boat was photographed on Lake Allatoona,
Cartersville, Georgia, last year.
I just read Ryck Lydecker’s article about the development of isobutanol (Dec. 2011) and the positive effects on our engines. Recently,
I also read that the Federal Aviation Administration just awarded
Honeywell UOP a $1.1 million contract to “produce renewable jet
fuel from isobutanol.” Dan Syrcher
Your magazine is full of useful and interesting stuff for an old boater/
chemical engineer. In “Three Ethanol Myths Clarified” (Dec. 2011),
myth #2 could have made more impact by explaining the physical
chemistry a bit. If you have a tank partly full of fresh gasohol, then
the fuel does have an affinity for water vapor and can absorb water
from the air in the absence of condensation. In the industrial settings I work in, we have moisture pickup problems in solvents and
oil/solvent systems. When we use polar solvents like alcohols, we
have to keep our liquids enclosed and under a blanket of dry nitrogen gas to avoid the very problems that happen in your boat. Lucky
me — I keep my boat in a quaint little town where non-ethanol gas
is available. If the dollars spent to subsidize corn-based ethanol had
been spent on bona fide R&D, we would have the solutions now.
Alley Cat Or Galley Cat? Terry Meyer from Youngsville,
Louisiana, poses alongside her two boating cats, Tigger and
Smokey, on their 23-foot Seaswirl. “My wife insisted I submit
this picture because she said it was time to see some boating
cats instead of everyone’s boating dogs!” says husband John.
SEND PHOTOS! We’d love to see photos of you, your
family, and friends enjoying great times on the water.
E-mail the high-resolution version to us with your name
and address, and tell us who or what’s in the photo to