View Full Version : Au Revoir

Jay Knoll
07-04-2005, 10:16 AM
Hey everyone

Well all the power tools have been pushed off to the side, I've squeezed my wife's car into the garage (first time since last July) the hurricane shutters are up, I've cajoled another friend to store my car in his garage and we're running around trying to figure out what we've forgotten.

We leave tomorrow morning for France and to see our "canal boat" for the first time. Major leap of faith -- our partners in the boat (also dear sailing friends) told us they had bought in 8 years previously without seeing the boat and they had never had a second thought. So, the nut wasn't too big, and the idea of spending 2 1/2 months putting around France on the canals seemed too enticing so, off we go.

Needless to say, I don't know if I'll be able to get much SMC time in (depends on internet cafe access) but I'll be thinking about you and look forward to seeing what you all did over the summer.


Jason Roehl
07-04-2005, 10:22 AM
I guess there's only one thing to say, then, Jay.

Fair winds and following seas!

Ken Fitzgerald
07-04-2005, 10:23 AM
Have a safe, enjoyable trip Jay! Take a lot of photos for the O/T forum!

Carl Eyman
07-04-2005, 12:45 PM
Well, have a good time. I hope you speak french well enough so the French won't know you're a yank. Otherwise just roll with the punches.

Jerry Olexa
07-04-2005, 12:50 PM
Enjoy your trip!!

Mark Singer
07-04-2005, 12:59 PM
Bon Voyage! It sounds really great!

John Miliunas
07-04-2005, 1:40 PM
Jay, I for one, will miss your input here at SMC so, yes, please do try and make an attempt at checking in every now and again!:) At the same time, my best wishes to you and your bride for a safe and wonderful experience! As already stated, we'll be expecting many, MANY trip photos. Guess we'll let you slide on bringing everyone back a souvenirs.:D Take care, my friend and, have fun!:) :cool:

Jay Knoll
07-07-2005, 3:01 AM
Well, it was a long night/day trip, Orlando, Charlotte, Munich, then to Paris --but we're sitting in a cafe near the Bastille, checking out the wifi -- incredible!

Today is boat orientation with our Partners, got to run


Vaughn McMillan
07-07-2005, 3:11 AM
Good to see you're already hooked into the Internet...pretty cool technology, huh? Sounds like a great way to spend a couple of months. I'm envious, but as Ken mentioned, we'll be expecting photos.

Bon voyage -

- Vaughn

John Miliunas
07-07-2005, 9:03 AM
Great to hear from you, Jay! Sounds like you're off to a great start. Continue having fun, as well as posting updates when the opportunity arises!:) Be safe!:) :cool:

Dennis Peacock
07-07-2005, 9:48 AM
Well, it was a long night/day trip, Orlando, Charlotte, Munich, then to Paris --but we're sitting in a cafe near the Bastille, checking out the wifi -- incredible!

Today is boat orientation with our Partners, got to run


Congrats Jay....Have fun and it's nice to know that someone is suffering the life of ease. :p :D

Bill Lewis
07-08-2005, 10:01 AM
Needless to say, I don't know if I'll be able to get much SMC time in (depends on internet cafe access) but I'll be thinking about you and look forward to seeing what you all did over the summer.

Based on my 8 week experience in Normandy I'd have to say we'll see you when you return. I ran accross one terminal at the Cherbourg Harbor. BTW they use a different keyboard over there. Have fun!

Jay Knoll
07-09-2005, 3:48 PM
Hi everyone

Well, here's a link to SWMBO's picture site!


There is a link which lets you sign in without registering.

We are sitting at a cafe at the Bastille, it is 9:40 and still light out, oh these higher latitudes! Still getting over jet lag but it is fun so far.

Thanks for your kind thoughts


Bill Lewis
07-09-2005, 6:39 PM
Way cool Jay. I hope you can keep'm coming!

The higher latitudes are really a cullture shock, with it staying light out to about 10 - 11pm

Vaughn McMillan
07-09-2005, 8:46 PM
Cool looking boat, Jay. Looks like the way to see France. Keep the pics coming!

- Vaughn

Jay Knoll
08-15-2005, 3:59 AM
Hi everyone

Just got a chance to get to a WiFI cafe, so we were able to download somemore pics

The trip has been great so far, about 250 km on the canals and 85 locks -- lots more to go before we get the boat to its winter resting place.

French people have been fabulous, not a speck of anti-American feeling and they have been very gracious with our attempts to speak their language -- lots of hand gestures

I wish you could see the bricolages -- the French equivalent of our hardware stores, I haven't had a camera with me when I go in -- but tres interesting.

Anyway heres the link to the new album


We leave on Sept 13 to return to the states -- I'm starting to go through sawdust withdrawal


Bill Lewis
08-15-2005, 6:51 AM
Cool pictures!

Yes I wondered if the "Brico Depot" was truely owned by Home Depot, or just a French copy (same orange color theme).

John Hart
08-15-2005, 7:18 AM
very nice pictures Jay. Looks like a wonderful trip.:)

Norman Hitt
08-15-2005, 4:15 PM
Hi Jay, looks like ya'll are having a Great time. The pics are great and really bring back lots of memories from the 5 1/2 years I lived in Europe. I certainly envy your opportunity for this great trip, and hope I can get back there one more time in the future. Continue your fun, and keep the pics coming.

PS: aren't the markets great there, with all the "really fresh" fruits & vegetables. When we made Cargo Flights to Africa, we would normally bring either fruits & vegetables (just picked prior to the flight, many times even delaying the flight to finish the picking), fresh cut flowers, or animal hides on the backhaul, and if we landed in Paris by 6:00 AM, our cargo (except for hides of course), would be ready for sale on the shelves in stores or on tables in the market by 8:00 AM. They just don't tolerate veggies that are not fresh over there like what we get here that has been bounced all over the US, iced down in a "Reefer" Truck for a week or more.

Jeff Sudmeier
08-15-2005, 4:47 PM
Jay, more great pictures! Looks like the trip of a lifetime. I hope you continue to do well and have a safe trip home!

Vaughn McMillan
08-15-2005, 6:02 PM
Ya know, if I ever buy a boat, I think I'll have potted geraniums on it, just like your boat Jay. :)

Cool pics...thanks for sharing them with us.

- Vaughn

Jay Knoll
09-17-2005, 9:35 AM
Hi everyone

Thanks so much for the great comments, we put the boat away for the winter last Monday, did a quick trip to Switzerland to visit some friends then back to Paris for a few days before we flew home on Tuesday Got back to Vero Beach at 2 am Wednesday morning and are still fighting off jet lag.

We leave today for a two week business trip, got to pay for the summer! So it has been a whirlwind of unpacking/laundry/mail sorting etc.

I'll try to put some more pics up over the next week, we couldn't find high speed access after my last post.

Bottom line-- this was a great experience, far better than I could have imagined. If any one is interested in more detailed information or has questions, don't hesitate to PM me. There are lots of charter operations over there with bases located all over France, so if you wanted to do a short trip with friends/family it certainly is possible for anyone with a minimial of boating skills -- (after all how far astray can you go in a canal :) ). Seriously, the main challange is boat handling, but the charter boats are "well bumpered".

Thanks again for your interest.


Jay Knoll
12-01-2005, 12:35 PM
Our partners have told us they are interested in selling their share of our French canal boat “Le Canard”. While we are sorry to lose them as partners, we can understand their interest in other boating adventures since they have spent eight seasons in France.

Le Canard comes fully equipped, linens and towels, dishes, pots and pans, mooring lines, bicycles, stereo, etc. The galley has a small gas refrigerator and a four burner range with broiler and oven. There is a shower stall in the head.

Last year was our first season on Le Canard, we eagerly anticipate next year’s cruise. Simply put, we had a wonderful time! Le Canard is eminently designed for what you want her to do – safely and efficiently cruise the French canals. While Le Canard is “of a certain age” the price of a half share ($20,000 US) reflects this fact. In broad strokes, we split the annual expenses (winter storage, insurance, canal use permit, required maintenance and any agreed upon improvements). Each partner pays their own operating expenses and leaves the boat with full fuel tanks/gas bottles at the “change over”. Our arrangement with our partners is that each of us split the season. Other alternatives could be discussed. The boat is not available for chartering or loan to others.– only the owners can operate it – but guests are of course welcome. Some boat handling experience is a must.

If you are interested we would be happy to discuss the arrangement in further detail, and learn a bit about you and your interests. We can send more pictures, details of the boat etc. Or, if you know of other people who might be interested we would appreciate contact information and we will send them an email.


Tyler Howell
12-01-2005, 2:52 PM

Jay Knoll
12-01-2005, 3:07 PM
Links to pics (were earlier in the thread)


and the other one


Carl Eyman
12-01-2005, 4:05 PM
If you get no offers, Jay, how about donating it as a "FREE STUFF" drawing

Jay Knoll
12-01-2005, 4:08 PM

Great idea, (?) you'll have to ask my partners, since it would be their donation! Somehow I think that they would rather not give away their share!


Tim Armstrong
12-01-2005, 6:32 PM
What an inspiring thread and idea. The notion of owning part of a French canal boat certainly puts a smile on my face. As a young couple on the cusp of starting a family, I suppose it's not the right time for us. But I thought I would post a reply anyway since the idea and your trip this summer is just so darn inspiring. I would have never thought this type of thing was even possible. Thanks for 'acting' on your dreams and for sharing the story. As I was looking at your pics I caught myself almost thinking "lucky bas@#$". ;) While that may be true, more than lucky, I'm guessing, you made it happen. Anyway, thanks the daydream and the reminder that acting on those dreams results in experiences like that.

Ken Fitzgerald
12-02-2005, 8:34 AM
Tim....we have friends who slaved away as teachers and saved their pennies. They were extremely frugile and managed their money and yet seemed to do what they wanted before retirement. They and their 35' 5th wheel just returned from visiting most of the east coast over a 3 month period. They've been retired for 3 years now.......6 week RV tour of Alaska.....Ballon fesitival in Albuquerque........fall tour of the East Coast......6-14 weeks of RVing...with friends they met on the Alaskan tour.....It is not an accident or good luck....it's a matter of long term financial planning.....and forethought.

Alan Turner
12-02-2005, 8:45 AM
Not much is shown of the shop. I am assuming it has 3 phase power. One could share the stationary machines, but a hand plane is pretty personal. How do you manage these details?
I can imagine a major ding in the workbench being a bit of a problem.
Kidding aside, nice venture for someone.

Frank Pellow
12-02-2005, 9:02 AM
It sounds like a great adventure Jay. I envy you!

Jay Knoll
12-02-2005, 9:15 AM

Thanks so much for the kind thoughts. We are very fortunate, but I agree with Ken, it isn't all luck. Both my wife and I had good jobs, we lived below our means, had no debt except for a mortgage, and systematically invested via Vanguard funds. We were lucky to have done this during the long bull market prior to the 90's blow off. We quit our "big jobs" when we were 45, went sailing for a few years, then relocated to a lower cost area. Started a home computer training business which lets us wander in the summer (most of our clients are snowbirds). We are 58 now and haven't regretted quitting the "big jobs" and going out on our own.

Everyone takes their own path, I'm not saying what we did would be right for anyone else, but I do believe that staying out of debt and having a simple consistent investment plan are the keys to having the flexibility to live your dream (Look at Vanguards Life Cycle and/or Target Retirement funds -- they weren't available when we started but are very effective plans) .


Matthew Poeller
12-02-2005, 9:54 AM
My parents retired a few years ago and are having blast doing fun travel type stuff like that.

At 26 I have a few years to go before I can retire and live a life luxury.

Good luck and god speed.

Jay Knoll
03-09-2006, 9:05 AM
We haven't been "swamped" by interest from SMC members in but some did inquire so I thought I'd tell everyone that we found new partners who, believe it or not, live right in our home town. If any of you were still mulling things over, at this point at least, the "boat has left the dock".

So, I don't have to try to convice anyone to put the share up on FreeStuff!

We will be going over in June, is there any interest in my posting pics about this year's trip or was last year's stuff enough?


Cecil Arnold
03-09-2006, 10:11 AM
Jay, I'm disappointed the farm hasn't sold yet, but would enjoy seeing pics of this year's adventure.

Karl Laustrup
03-09-2006, 1:06 PM
I'll be ready for new pics. Always like pictures. It's less taxing on the brain than words. :o ;) :D


john whittaker
03-09-2006, 5:05 PM
Jay FWIW. I've followed this link with great interest. Post whatever you can and I will continue living the "high life" vicariously through you.:p

Good Luck this year.

Vaughn McMillan
03-09-2006, 11:46 PM
Add my vote for more pics.

- Vaughn

Robert Mickley
03-10-2006, 7:26 AM
We will be going over in June, is there any interest in my posting pics about this year's trip or was last year's stuff enough?

More pics, More pics :D Since I may never get there myself this way I get to go through your eyes. Now you need to find some french woodworkers to visit.