Friday, October 29, 2010

Winter ready

 After a lot of work, and about one mile of string to keep the tarp secured we are ready to leave Le rêve for the winter.

With the radar arch folded down and a tarp over the boat you never know you were looking at Le rêve!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Our idea was to make it back to Duisburg in record time, one day from Neuwied to Duisburg. When we got up in the morning it looked a little foggy in the harbor, however when we got on the Rhine we realized we had made a mistake by leaving early. However it is not easy to turn around in fast flowing water and fairly dens fog.

We did not get as far as we had planned as we were forced to anchor (radar problem) and wait for the fog to lift. However we still made it to Dusseldorf  70 nm (140 km) going with the current.

The next day we had a easy run to Duisburg. We did the Dusseldorf / Duisburg stretch in  2 hours and 10 minutes. The same distance going up stream took 5 hours and 20 minutes.
All together we cruised the Mosel the Saar, and a little of the Rhine, 750 nm or close to 1400 km  and navigated 48 locks, raising us 106 meter (approx.  330 ft) on the Mosel and about 40 meters (approx 130 ft) on the Saar
Now we have to get Le rêve ready for her winter sleep.

Cochem on our way back

As we approach Cochem the sun was in the right position to capture the castle on the hill, the  "Reichsburg" castle.

We walked around in Cochem for a bit, and then got our bikes down and went to the little village "Valwig"which we passed just before getting to Cochem.

It is nice to browse around in the bigger touristic places like Cochem however we actually prefer the smaller quieter villages.

A view of Cochem from the bridge

Shopping street in Cochem
 After we left Cochem we kept on going all the way to where the Mosel meets the Rhine.
We were surprised to see the water level in the  Rhine as low as it was. We wanted to stop and say high to our friends in Koblenz, the Eckstein's  ( glass in lead) however with the water level in the Rhine as low as it was we could not get into the marine where they keep their boat.  We approached the marine but soon found our self stuck in the mud, and we had to back out. So we went to Neuwied (where we had stayed on the way up) and stayed for the night. Even though the water level had receded (between 11/2 and 2 meter) we still were able to make real good time going down stream. Some where between 10 and 11 kns. (about 20 km/hr)

Last day in Zell

Today Oct. 12th) we will leave Zell and aim to go to Cochem.
Joanne captured this picture from the back of the boat early in the morning. The sun is starting to peak over the mountains and the early morning fog hanging over the Mosel is dissipating.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The best wine

  The owner was in contact with the pickers via walky-talky. In between dumping the wine buckets he had time, and was quite willing to talk and give us information about the in's and out's about vineyards, and grape growing in general. We learned for instance that grape vines start producing a full harvest when they are 3 to 4 years old. They will last for 50 to 60 years. The best vineyards are on steep slopes facing south.
This young wine farmer had just bought the 5 hectare vineyard 5 years ago, and was quite happy with the return on his investment.
Vineyards in this area are worth about 2.50 Euro per square meter.

When we arrived they had just finished lunch, and we noticed they were not drinking coffee, tea, juice, or milk, but the best wine of last years harvest.
There were some bottles left over and we were able to buy them from the farmer right in the vineyard.

More grape harvest education

 When the buckets are full they are lowered to the bottom of the cable track.
 Then they have to be man handled the last few steps.
And finally dumped in the waiting wagon on the road level.


We biked back to Traben-Trarbach and on the way stopped to watch  grape harvesting on steep slopes.
We had noticed some installations with poles, supporting a cable going up the mountains. Now we found out why these were there, and how they were used.  A tractor is parked in front of the installation, and a winch on the tractor is connected to the cable. This is how the carriage that holds the wine buckets are raised and lowered, as it is impossible to manually carry the buckets up and down the steep slopes.

Here the winemaker and his wife,
and the next generation of wine makers

Little "Bo"

Guess who was the center of attention for the week end!!!!

Wine tasting in Bernkastel-kues

 We spent the day visiting the unique town of Bernkastel. Here the down town square of that town.

Then off to the Rosehof winery. We learned about the winery from "Charlie" a boater at the marina. Not only was Charlie's suggestion a good one, he also helped with various other things. THANK you Charlie.

Waiting for the taxi to take us back after the wine tasting!!!


Andy and Christie and Bo with Andy's parents came to visit from Oct. 8th until 10th. We had a very nice time.  The weather was beautiful and we had coffee and cake in the cockpit.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October at it's best!!!!

 We sure are not the only ones on the Mosel!!!
Only these guys are on land.
 Some even dare the "late summer" waters. Never saw someone take a swim carrying his briefcase.

Nice enough to take out the BBQ

(First time in Germany)

Grape harvest up close.

In Kues, just across from the marina we stayed they were harvesting grapes. Hey..... can we help????

Sure.... strap on the " back pack" and come on up!!!

OK.... Fill her up!!!!!

And dump it in the cart at the bottom of the hill....

OK... take it to the wine press!!!!

Contrasting colors

Climbing ivy seems to turn the most brilliant red, whereas grapevines only turn a little yellow.
This picture shows the contrast between the two.  

Mechanical harvest

Where ever possible mechanical means are used to harvest the grapes. However by far most of the harvest is done by hand because of the steep slopes.

Fields ready for harvest.

One other sign that fall is upon us is the fact that everywhere there are workers in the vineyards harvesting the grapes, and tractors and wagons taking the grapes to the wine presses.   

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

On route to Bernkastel-Kues

 We have come as far as "Bernkastel-Kues " which is at KM 131.
Metz is as far as we wentup the Mosel and is at KM 300. So we are over 1/3 back to where the Mosel flows into the Rhine (KM 0).
We are waiting here for the arrival of our guest (the Dislich's) who will come down the Mosel with us for a couple of days.
It will be good to see little Bo again, and the rest of the fam. too of course!!!!

On the way back.

We are on our way back to the Rhine. It is clear now that fall is upon us as the colors start to change more and more and the nights are getting cooler.
However we are enjoying beautiful fall weather with temperatures in the lower 20 deg.

Monday, October 4, 2010

French Cuisine

This is the restaurant where we tasted the "French cuisine" and it was worth coming to Metz for. The meal took 3 hours, partly because it took a while to figure out the menu!!! If nothing else, the duck liver (famous in France) was excellent, as was the rest of the meal.

Metz by night.

Near disaster!!!

 The weather was nice, however a bit windy.
We were enjoying the sun and reading a book on the back deck. When I looked around I noticed Joanne's  bike hanging from the dock by the handle bars. Mine was nowhere to be seen. When I fished Joanne's bike out of the water my bike was hanging with the handle bars on Joanne's carrier. So we salvaged both bikes. The only thing that was missing was the chain lock, but we even managed to retrieve it with the boat pole and a hook tapped to it.

Down town Metz

Some pictures of the down town area of Metz.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Down town Metz

          After collapsing everything on the boat that could be collapsed, we squeezed under the  bridge and made our way to the marina.

It is close the the down town area, and has excellent internet connection, much to our surprise.  So as long as we are here we will be able to post to the blog.

The weather is beautiful, and promises to be for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


We are almost there!!! But that bridge in the distance looks awfully low!!!! And as we get closer our suspicion becomes reality,  We DON't fit under. At least not until we drop the radar arch.

We decided that it was not a bad place to anchor, and will worry about getting under the bridge tomorrow.