Once Avalon was loaded on to the truck we went home to finalise matters there.
On Monday afternoon, ahead of planned time, we set off for Dover in the motorhome. We made good time and were on the dock ready for the crossing about 1 hour before we needed. This gave us a bit of chill time.
Once on the ferry the main concern was the dawgs in the MH. About 1 hour into the crossing I went down to see them as this was their first time on a ferry. They were fine of course however I never realised how noisy it is down there. Car alarms going off everywhere. Poor dawgs hearing!
The trip from the port to Nieuwpoort marina was uneventful. Pulling into the marina the first thing we saw was our friend’s NB Matilda Rose on the lorry. We parked up close and went to bed totally knackered.
Knock, knock on the MH at 8.15 was Graham. MR was heading for the crane (Travelling boat lift).
They were in the water very shortly after. Just about the same time I got a phone call from the driver of our truck to say Avalon was on the way and would be with us about 10.30am. It duly arrived. Avalon had been transported from Tilbury to Zeebrugge on an overnight cargo ferry.
Avalon and MR were moored on the floating pontoon where loading and preparation of the boats back to normal operation status took place.
We had to wait for the tide to rise and boy did it! From MR going in to when we set off for the first lock it had risen about 30-40 feet.
Passage from the crane dock to the sea lock onto the inland waterways was about ¾ mile. This was Veurnsluis lock leading to the Canal Nieuwpoort – Dinkerken. The lock complex at the tidal head of Nieupoort is called Ganzepoot and is a bit like a roundabout of locks leading in different ways. Use of this lock require my first use of the VHF radio to request passage.
MR approaching the lock
Our first view of the inland waterways
MR exiting the first lock
where we transferred the remaining stuff like food and clothes from the MH and set about getting Avalon back to its normal state. All the packing for a safe trip had to be relocated and all the outside things like the canopy but back on. This went on until beer o’clock at which point beer stopped play and the first BBQ occurred.
First outing for the Cadac Safari Graham driving
So here we are in Belgium read to start the trip. All the planning and logistics have been well worth it.