Come with us as we travel round Europe in our floating home

Friday, 30 June 2017

Deinze to Kortrijk

Hello, welcome back

We stayed in Deinze for 3 nights. It's a pleasant enough town but is usually only a transit mooring. The moorings are good and free, although there's no water or electricity. Luckily we didn't need either. We stayed for the market on Wednesday morning but it was hellishly expensive and I ended up buying everything we needed in the Carrefour supermarket.

Because water levels are still quite low the smaller canals that don't have any commercial traffic are closed. To travel on the larger canals and rivers you are only able to pass through a lock if you go through with a BIG commercial barge.....and by BIG I mean HUGE 😲

This was one of the "smaller" barges that came past us at Deinze. It had just unloaded it's cargo at the local mill.

We left the picturesque section of the River Leie and joined the M25 River Leie mainline.  All along it's banks are working quays where the big commercial barges load/unload. This one was unloading gravel.

It's such a busy canal that you don't usually have to wait longer than 20 minutes to get through the locks. So far the lock keepers have been very polite and helpful with clear instructions over the radio of where they want us to wait and then where they want us inside the lock.

Sint-Baafs-Vijve Lock was only the third lock we've done in Belgium and at 136m x 16m it was the biggest we've seen so far. The ship coming down the lock almost filled it!

We followed a barge into the lock and quickly got fastened onto the wall. It was quite intimidating, being the first one we'd shared with a commercial and we'd heard all sorts of stories about how turbulent it could be, but in fact it was a doddle and we coped really well. It helps that Bluey is a very stable boat and doesn't rock or bob about like some of the other boats we've seen over here.

Our second lock of the day was Harelbeke Lock at Kortrijk and once this commercial came out we followed another pleasure boat in.

A small (85m long) gravel barge came in behind us. It only had a single man crew and he made it look so easy getting fastened up.

We're now moored in Kortrijk town centre on a good free mooring with free water. The electric hook-up is out of order but we don't really need it as the solar panels are coping really well even though it's quite cloudy today.

I think we'll probably stay here for the weekend as there seems to be plenty to see and do in town.

Have a good weekend, see you soon 😊

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