In December 2016, La Dame Jeanne, a flat bottomed boat and popular tourist attraction that sailed the Charente River was damaged while docked and began to sink. While La Dame Jeanne was rescued by crane from sinking further, the sailing craft suffered extensive damage.
According to Sud Oest, La Dame Jeanne will not be repaired in time to sail this summer during the height of the cognac tourist season. Discussions to find a replacement gabare have to date been inconclusive.
La Dame Jeanne – A Modern Garbare Replica
For centuries, flat bottom cargo boats (gabarres) navigated the Charente transporting salt from the Île de Ré and oaken barrels of Cognac and eaux-de-vie from Cognac. The garbarres no longer adorn the riverscape of the Charente as other modern forms of transporting Coganc and other cargo have emerged.
In 2001, the commission of La Dame Jeanne, a newly built replica of the garbarres of yore, brought at least one gabare back to the Charente. Since 2001, La Dame Jeanne had transported tourists looking to explore the Charente and enjoy a picnic lunch or gourmet meal aboard.
As of this writing, that experience will not be available this summer.