Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Oudenburg to Brugge

1 lock, 2 lift bridges, 2 swing bridges, 11¼ miles, 3 hours

We set of from Oudenburg about midday, but not before a local small holder came by selling home produce and wares.

Graham with Marcello

We purchased a dozen eggs and a kilo of shallots and Graham and Jill got the same + potatoes + home made Nutella. 

It was a shot trip to the first lift bridge which was also the entrance to the Plassendalesluis for a shot stop then out through the swing bridge the other side.  This is a stop lock. As the water was level no gates were required.

Then it was out on to our first commercial canal, Kanal Gent-Oostende.  A quick check on the AIS app showed no large vessels on the move.

So much for AIS as this came through minutes before we left

I wasn’t going to mention bridges, but it seems there must be a national competition on ways to make a bridge open.

This was a first.  A sort of a pendulum action

We had to wait for an on coming boat at this swing bridge, which was a surprise as again no AIS



A bit further on we came across an inland tanker ‘Kimberley’ now this was big. Again no AIS.


Running un-laden

*****Check back here for more photos from MR camera******

We had been soundly warned about the havoc these big boats can cause to us little’uns.  Well Deb was inside ironing and Jill was on MR doing similar housework things and neither of them noticed.  Maybe we were lucky maybe there’s more to come that’s worse, or maybe it was our superb handling skills.

The outskirts approach to Brugge was very pleasant.  0168
Deb at the helm





We had called ahead on the next bridge (above) with the intention to pass through but was told we had to wait about 20 minutes for another boat behind us.  We moored up and noticed it was a 24 hour mooring so decided to stay for the evening.  We will go through tomorrow.

This bridge is simply stunning in its action.  So much so even Deb’s jaw dropped.  The boat we had been told top wait for turned up and the bridge opened.




Beer was calling so it was walk of about a mile with the dogs into Brugge city centre.




This is our mooring tonight.



Just before sunset, probably the best rainbow I have ever seen appeared.  I’ll let the photos tell it.






  1. Great photos again, thanks Kev :)
    I agree that last bridge is amazing, I never tire of innovative engineering

  2. Frank Clarijs7 May 2014 at 17:07

    Yes, this last bridge is really special. The excuse for it is that the engineers did not have space at either side to place a mechanism (and counterweights) for a normal bridge.
    It functions quite strangely: a motor runs the counterweights through the arms and that makes that the bridge deck moves up or down.
    Enjoying your description of our flat country.

  3. K2. My wife is finally getting it too. Engineering that is! She is becoming a bridge anorak. I must have started when I took her to the Milau Bridge.

    Thanks for the background info Frank. It certainly is a thing of wonder and beauty. I thought it was hydraulic but counter weights inside makes sense. Keep It Simple!