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Wintering on the Canal Latéral à la Loire

This is the logbook of the motor yacht Cimarron, published to keep in touch with friends and to encourage everyone to explore Europe by water.  The beautiful countries criss-crossed by canals and rivers all look dramatically different when seen from a boat.  It is possible to cross Europe, all in fresh water, from Biscay to the Black Sea and from the Mediterranean to the Baltic. 

2014 has our camper trip in the United States and 2016 another camper trip in New Zealand, nothing to do with boats but a lot of fun.

Many of the better photographs were taken by Vivienne Whiffen, Chief Mate and professional photographer; see her website at www.viviennewhiffen.com 


Cimarron was built by Altena in 1990.  A Dutch steel single screw motor yacht with a 135hp Ford Lehman engine, Kalkman bow thruster and Ruggerini generator. A Rogue Wave WiFi aerial and router assists communications with the internet. Satellite television is provided by a Ten Haaft Oyster V automatic dish. A laptop with PC Navigo, V.H.F., Lowrance chart plotter and echo sounder complete the picture.

She is 13.8m x 4.1m x 1.25m draft.  With an air draft of 3.2m with canopy and mast down she can travel most rivers and canals in Continental Europe.  An inflatable boat with a 4hp Mercury outboard helps enjoyment of smaller waterways.

Cimarron is equipped with AIS and is listed (MMSI: 235075023) on http://www.vesselfinder.com and http://www.marinetraffic.com. Because of the lower number of AIS reporting stations on inland waterways the coverage has lengthy gaps; a much bigger gap with no reporting occurs when in winter layup.

Vivienne’s photographs were taken with Canon EOS, Panasonic Lumix and Lumia Windows Phone.

Peter’s photographs were taken with Vivitar, Canon Ixus, Lumia Windows Phone and now a Moto G4 Plus. 

Links to websites in Andalucia:-

Seraucourt-le-Grand at dusk
Molly acting as lookout

In December 2016 we adopted Molly, a rescue dog from the Estepona dog shelter Adana.  She has done shore based training and is ready to join the ship as 2nd Mate. She is a Gos d’Atura Catala or Catalan Sheepdog and had been neglected, painfully thin and matted coat, she  responded well to a bit of care and attention.

Here you can see her keeping a sharp lookout to port for Dutch dogs on the canal bank. She learned to bark in Dutch and German very quickly, she had mastered Catalan, Spanish and English already.