Sunday, 11 October 2015

Leers-Noord to Tounai

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Sulking about having missed such a long term planned meal, Tuesday we called the VHF frequency for lock service and, seemingly as usual on these small canals, received no response so it was back to GSM and after Lynn having battled away in French trying to request lock service, the polite young gentleman on the other end said “No problem Madame – what time would you like the lock to be prepared?”
“When can you make it?”
“15 minutes?”
“Fantastique! Merci/Thank you/Dankie/Siyabonga!”

 And 15 minutes later our super-efficient two man team were there to take us through the lock and onto the prettiest 8kms of waterway we have yet seen – crystal clear water, beautiful avenue of trees, autumnal farmlands and fabulously anticipated bridge and lock openings,

despite the rather drizzly weather which, just before we turned into the big Haut-Escaut, became torrential. Poor foredeck crewmember!

 With the rain eventually letting up to a pesky occasional shower, we travelled up the surprisingly pretty commercial canal,

Canal Haute-Escaut
Trickster with which we later locked through
dodging the odd ‘biggie’, until we arrived at the 120m long Ecluse Kain and moored under the stern of the 90m long commercial barge Trickster – a bit intimidating I can assure, especially after hearing what had happened to friend Willy of Diksmuide (see the last paragraph of Sian’s post here ). But after about an hour we moved into the huge lock without incident and then locked out into the historical city of Tournai, past Henry VIII’s arches, and historical canalside buildings

to our mooring which we later named Donk Poo Dock due to all the duck poo on the pontoon and all the dog poo on the pavement above – not very pleasant...

The incessant drizzle was no motivation to go exploring and after six hours on the water we were a little weary so after engine checks, a great chicken curry supper, it was off to bed for a long read.

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