Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Schoten and Brasschaat

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Woken at 06h30 by the sound of props slapping the water and engines rumbling; a peep out of the window revealed a queue of commercial barges waiting for a lockkeeper at the upstream bridge/lock. Eventually someone appeared and they all trundled off eastwards – as the saying goes “Don’t you love the smell of diesel in the morning?”.

That mornig we rode into the nearby town of Brasschaat and visited the gorgeous former Kasteel van Brasschaat set in a beautiful parkland. The castle is now used as a community center and can be hired for functions of all descriptions. Brasschaat is a pretty little town, well worth a visit.

Our old Electrolux gas fridge had been giving problems for some time; battling to get the gas to ignite, not maintaining temperature on 12v and sometimes not kicking in on 220v and worst of all it is an energy gobbler using about 11 amps per hour on 12v and 2.7 kilowats per 24 hours and when you are paying by the kilowatt as is the case in some marinas, it is like feeding a slot machine. So we ordered a new 12v/220v Waeco compressor unit ( ) to be delivered to Frederick’s office in Antwerp (I messed up the delivery address details so we are holding thumbs that it is actually delivered).

Just in time too. Lynn had been smelling gas for a few days before and finally we traced the leak to a join in the piping where it branched off to the fridge. By the look of it the problem was not a new one, something not disclosed at the purchase date.

A not-so-tidy gas installation - the source of the leak.
 Managed to source the necessary parts at a gas dealer 5 kilometers away and, with Ian’s help, the new cut-off valve was installed and the fridge and old water heating gas heater completely isolated from the gas supply. Now we only have the stove running off gas so our two 13kg bottles should last an age.

Lunch was pork fillet and bangers on the Weber with spuds and salad and the day ended with Irish coffees on Njord.

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