The canal barge is a small ship built by the Varrockian Museum just north of the Digsite, east of Varrock.
After the completion of the Bone Voyage quest, the barge can be used to travel to the Fossil Island by using the Quick-Travel option on the Barge guard, if not using a Digsite pendant.
According to Curator Haig Halen, the idea for the canal and barge's construction surfaced shortly after the discovery of a previously uncharted island north of the swampy region of Morytania. When finished, a small canal was dug to the River Salve, the border between Misthalin and Morytania. From there the water-filled canal will allow the barge to travel north up the Salve, where it will eventually arrive on the island.
According to Curator Haig Halen the barge was not completed because:
- Version 1.0 of the barge had some serious design flaws (it didn't float).
- Version 2.0 suffered from 'feature creep'. Senior museum staff stuck their oar in (ho-hum) and added unnecessary features: 'go-faster stripes', a portable fossil centrifuge and a walk-on mini-museum. Needless to say, it had buoyancy issues.
- Version 3.0 used a special sealant that attracted sea monsters.
- Version 4.0 used a special sealant that attracted icebergs.
- Version 5.0 crashed into Version 6.0.
- Version 7.0 was lost.
- Version 8.0 is still here, we think. But, thanks to an accident involving a magical explosion and some talking anchovies, it now resides 12 seconds out of phase.
- Version 9.0 was built with Magic logs and gained some form of rudimentary sentience. It developed serious depression and ran itself aground near Crandor.
- Before the release of the island, the barge was under construction, with the canal not being dug out yet.
The barge being under construction.