Thursday, 24 April 2014

Fintele To 11km From Ypres

0 locks, 0 lift bridges, 10¼ miles 2½ hours 

How do I know we are 11km from Yepres?  We have wild moored right by the sign.


We left Fintele a bit sooner than we had panned. 

Matilda Rose casting off from Fintele

It seems the Belgium water authorities have laid down a new dictate that all moorings are now 24 hour only.  This was told to us by the lockie at Fintele who was more surprised at this new rule.  So much so he even brought the letter he had received that afternoon.  He had no idea this was coming.  Behind us on the mooring were 2 cruisers.  Both are themselves harbourmasters at Diksmuide and they too had no prior knowledge of this news. The harbourmasters both thought this new rule would be very unpopular with cruising clubs and would be quickly rebelled against and then overturned.  For us this means wild mooring will be more our style as we don’t want to be rushing from mooring to mooring every 24 hours.

As lovely as wild mooring is



it does have its disadvantages as Jill in her blog demonstrates.

Rope to assist the steep slippery climb essential

The cruise from Fintele was once again in brilliant sunshine. We took the lead as I was doing a time lapse film. 

MR in the distance




At one mooring there were a few large and all very different barges that looked to be totally converted to house boats.

About 5½ miles from Fintele along the Ijzer River a very sharp right turn was required to enter the Ieper (Ypers) canal.


It was on this canal we saw the larger boats above.

I have to say so far all our cruising has been through open flat farmland with very black rich soil.  With the exception of the infrastructure and the trees lining the canals and rivers the area is almost the same as the Fens. 

We met the local farmer whose land we have moored adjacent to last evening.  He was checking on his bullocks in the field.  The very same ones that Herbie chased around the field earlier in the day.  Boy can them bullocks run. The farmer spent a good while telling us of the war history of the area.  This canal was a battle front, on this side the Germans, on the other the French.  He also told us the land around us is about 4m below seal level and in the winter will flood to form lakes in the fields. 

While here today we have both been dong boat maintenance and cleaning.  On the transport the port side suffered  some tree/ bush scratching to the paint work.  It wasn’t deep and easily mopped out with Tcut.  While the mop was out I did the hatch lid as well.  Deb gave the rear deck area a good clean and polished all the paintwork.

Just as I am writing this blog a glorious sunset appeared just to round off the day perfectly.