A lot of bridges and a few locks and a lot of miles
After a rather late night out in Brugge the previous evening we decided that an early start was not on the cards. Initially I radioed the bridge control for passage at midday and did they want us to wait and join a convoy. They said no we were the only boats moving but couldn’t go until 12.30pm. Some muttering about their lunch time.
At 12.30 sharp we were ready for the off, having radioed the bridge is was duly opened. It’s rather impressive to have this beautiful piece of engineering move just for us. I know its just another bridge but this is by far the most impressive on all counts.
Saturday 10th May 2014
This is a map of the Brugge canal ring road in light blue.
Here are the bridges & locks in order. We started at Scheepsdalebrug which is the first crossing at the top left of the map just a bit down. It has a white road line crossing right over.
The more observant of you will see we now have 3 in the convoy and oncoming trafic. So much for us being the only ones on the move!
The cruiser being faster than us took the lead early on which meant they did all the radio work and waiting while we kept a sensible distance meaning we just went through the bridges at our leisure. They turned off into their marina VVW Flandria while we continued South.
Once on the Gent-Ostend canal again
Not long after this bridge at a place Called Aalter we started to look for the listed moorings. It didn’t take long to realise this was out of date information on my map so we wild moored for the night. This was far from ideal as the bank was a good 30 feet up requiring the rope once again. A friend of ours on FB drew this for us to explain how Ted felt about the egress from the boat
Sunday 11th May 2014
After a bit of a chat in the morning it was decided to have a detour to Gent via Deinze. This would still bring us into Gent but a couple of days later and via a hopefully very pretty winding River Leie where the maximum size is 100 tons.
MR dwarfed by another tanker at anchor
Then another on the move towards us
Not long after we turned in these 2 tankers fully loaded came by. This was the first time we’d been overtaken and surprisingly the effects are very little. The main thing I noticed was just before they reach you just for a moment you seem to stand completely still. This moment soon passes then it’s just a case of searing straight through the churned up water.
Monday 12th May 2014
We cast off just after 10am. Jill and Deb both did some top-up shopping at the Carrefour which was just a couple of 100m form the mooring.
We are now on the stunning River Leie from Deinze to SW Gent. There’s some absolutely stunning river front property's along here. Each with equally stunning lawns and gardens, and almost all have a unique statue. I have lifted these photos form Debs’s blog Avalon Afloat
After a cruise of about 3 hours at a very slow pace we moored tonight at an equally beautiful and manicured village of St. Martens-Latem
The police here seem to be well funded. I seriously doubt this neighbourhood has any crime. This is the garden to the police station, YES the building is the police station!
Tuesday 13th May 2014
The weather finally took a break for the better and it was decided to kick off for Gent about 10. About 9.58 the weather once again decided to kick off and the heavens opened. Arrangements having been already agreed we decided to set off regardless.
A coupe of hours in and we reached the outskirts of Gent by crossing the Ringvaart with probably the most complex river sign I’ve seen. Not really complicated but moptions than most.
We spent the next couple of hours slowly enjoying the cruise to the centre of Gent. At some points the chanel was very narrow and tight between boats and banks. At one point I missed a right turn which required a 180 with only feet to spare.
We are now moored just past Bresslespoortsluis. We entered the Gent SW on the map at the junction Keersluis K2.
This is our mooring for the next few days.
I have lost count of the locks and bridges but would estimate with the point markers on the map the distance covered from Brugge is about 50 miles.