Category Archive

2018 2018

2018 Journey on Maps Vlissingen, Netherlands to Paris, France Return to Vlissingen, Netherlands   Maps used come from Tom Sommers books on France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Peronnes, France to Vlissingen, Netherlands Peronnes, France to Vlissingen, Netherlands

The first of October brought the first of the chilling wind and rain that foretold the coming of Winter: ‘bone numbing’ were the words to describe it. Winter woollens and rain jackets came out, but for those out on the helm, there was nothing to stop that aching chill. Passing through the final tunnel of […]

Into Dunkerque Into Dunkerque

Morning upon us, it was time. Time, that is, to deal with clearing the prop! By using a knife attached to one of our metal poles, Bob was most relieved when he managed to avoid a dive overboard into the murky brown waters. After some serious carving, he eventually pulled up a long piece of […]

Adinkerke to Dunkerque: Belgium into France Adinkerke to Dunkerque: Belgium into France

The morning was spent out on the bikes attempting to find cycle tracks into the exquisite de panne, all to no avail. There were plenty of paths for walkers, but the closest the cyclist could go was around the perimeter. We liked this critter….. Then to the beach we cycled……. What a beautiful piece of […]

Veurne to Adinkerke, Belgium Veurne to Adinkerke, Belgium

It was a waterway of green today. A green so thick that only 4km later Bob noted smoke emitting from the exhaust for Big Bertha. There was a blockage, which meant we had need to make stop. As you can imagine, there was one very unhappy camper. With moorings few and far between, there was […]

Nieuewpoort to Veurne, Belgium Nieuewpoort to Veurne, Belgium

Another early morning start took Gratis through the lock into the basin that led the cruiser either seaward or southbound. This morn, our path led us west to VYNieuwpoort and the slip. The lift ready, in and up went Gratis. It was now that the battle with the stony bank – resultant of that inept […]

Beernem to Nieuwpoort Beernem to Nieuwpoort

Over the past few mornings, Bob had been taking note of the times at which early morning barges passed through on their way to Zeebrugge and Oostende. Departing just ahead of one would provide us with the best chance of least waiting time for bridge and lock openings. With a long day ahead, and movement […]

Bulskampveld, Belgium Bulskampveld, Belgium

Just a four kilometre bike ride from Beernem, a castle resides in the beautiful landscape of Bulskampveld. In this picturesque and tranquil landscape visitor finds walking and riding paths that lead one through heavily forested sections in which ferns grow, across open heathlands in across which water courses run, and a large lake where it […]

Bruge by Bike Bruge by Bike

An exquisite summer’s morning had Bob and I alighting our bikes for the 14km trip into this UNESCO heritage Belgian city. Arriving at the township, it was wow! Beautiful doorways. waterways, interesting boats, and we loved the whale. One of the locks is still in operation: it’s colossal! Once there were seven, then there were […]

Kortrijk to Beernem, Belgium Kortrijk to Beernem, Belgium

The morning found us back on the Leie, pointing the bow of Gratis Gent way for a few kilometres. With the prop requiring its new anode sooner rather than later, we were having to pick up a little pace. Two locks with drops of under three metres were the only stops along the way, were […]

Kortrijk, Belgium Kortrijk, Belgium

Arriving at the entrance to Lock nine at 9am on this warm summer’s day, our delightful lock keeper was there to see us through. There is no VHF contact for these locks, so the mobile phone (+32 4789 6203) comes in handy for arranging passage. The lock hours for each gate opening are highly restricted, […]

Bossuit to Lock 9, Kortrijk: Belgium Bossuit to Lock 9, Kortrijk: Belgium

The part required for the running of the engine arrived via courier at the mooring dock just after lunch. By mid – afternoon, our sojourn along this not oft traversed section of water by pleasure boats commenced and, with the three locks at Kortrijk only operating between 9am and 4pm, it was a short run […]

Bossuit, Belgium Bossuit, Belgium

Awaking to a warm morning, breakfast consumed, it was time for Bob to reconnect the seal and lid to the base of the water muffler. Taking a matter of minutes to accomplish, all required now was to turn Big Bertha over. Engine idling, no leaks evident, it was time to test by increasing throttle revs. […]

Tornai to Bossuit, Belgium: A Challenging Day! Tornai to Bossuit, Belgium: A Challenging Day!

One the road again, the one – way passage through the narrow waters of Tornai would normally have made for a slow but relaxing motor, however, issues with our normally reliable Bog Bertha commenced (an Isuzu 4.5L marine diesel engine) and continued on a major scale. With the light green it was time to depart. […]

Museum Day in Tornai, Belgium Museum Day in Tornai, Belgium

his was the day Bob and I designated to visiting various museums. First off the rank was the Musẻe d’Archẻologie. Housed in what was a pawn shop in 1622, we found housed here collections dating from prehistory through to the Middle Ages. There was a font of information, including the family tree, on the Merovingian […]

Peronnes to Tornai, Belgium, in Gratis Peronnes to Tornai, Belgium, in Gratis

The bike trip to Tornai enabled us to make the decision to up moor Gratis and undertake the short motor to the Tornai mooring pontoon. It was delightful being able to view the sights from the water this time. There was even a barge undergoing the process of refuelling whilst on the move!

Tornai, Belgium Tornai, Belgium

The bikes offloaded, Bob and I set off on a pleasurable ride to Tornai. Situated on the border of north – western Wallonia, what a town this was! With 2,000 years of history that dated back to 1BC as Tornacum under Roman rule, in our minds the oldest city of Belgium easily rivalled Gent. Our […]

Peruwelz to Peronnes, Belgium Peruwelz to Peronnes, Belgium

Today’s was just a short leg to the marina at Peronnes. We wanted to check out the township of Tornai and its pontoons prior to continuing there. The 14m lock just outside of Peronnes marina was an easy drop with its floating bollards.

Huissignies to Peruwelz, Belgium Huissignies to Peruwelz, Belgium

After the most peaceful of nights, the arrival of the lock operators at 8:30 it was an early start for all. With a barge joining the group, there were two teams, with us being in the second. Between Huissignies, the water level occasionally dropped to 1.7m, but mostly stayed at 1.9m and above. We found […]

Ath to Huissignies, Belgium Ath to Huissignies, Belgium

This was our first day on the Blaton – Ath Canal, and a beautiful one it was. A mix of farmland and green forested banks with the occasional township thrown in, this was truly a waterway for the nature lover, and those wanting to have a break from the rat race. As always, ducks and […]