Day One of Canal trip

Spent the beginning of the day filling the water tanks, waiting for our box from the USA to arrive with many of our personal items we didn’t want to take on the plane, and stowing gear. The biminy finally got up, bikes folded and lashed on the front deck. New “gangplank” we are hoping wasn’t a foolish purchase.

The weather, sunny, cool, windy. 12 kts average. Our plan, is to leave the marina and motor (of course) over to the locks about quarter mile from marina. Get through the locks after 5:30ish, and then moor on the opposite side of the locks until morning. If we went too soon, we would be shooed off. Our plan is to leave by 6:30-7am to motor the 60 K to Gent. Hoping Gent will be seen by 3pm. Dinner of left overs and Lyle on the stereo. Ken is sleeping on the settee and I went above to see how the lines were holding. Did I mention that we tied up just in time for the rain to start. Noticed we have company on the Quay. Another sailboat. The lock is a 24 hour lock, but most don’t like to travel after dark. It is cool in the boat, we have plenty of wool blankets and I have the hotwater bottle under my feet as I sit here. (taking it to bed tonight)

Day two – Heading to Ghent through the Oosterschelde

We left our mooring around 7am and with reasonable warm weather gear on headed to the Oosterschelde to motor through the Zuid-beveland Kanaal.

This is the first real lock we will encounter and it opens up to the last saltwater we might see in a long time. Motoring became miserable only due to the blowing, freezing rain. We believe we were getting pelted with sleet. Finally resorted to full-foul weather gear. Went through several sets of gloves as they would get wet and then our hands would freeze.

Our mission was to reach Terneuzen, Belgium the start of the Belgium canals. Be in Gent by mid-afternoon. Tom, from Bruinesse (Van Swaay) told us to stop at the KYCG yacht club at the top of the Ringvaart of Gent. We almost went past it as we were finally “off” the nave charts and using paper charts. A boating skill to rediscover. Very small yacht club, but they let us dock and after finding out that Tom had sent us, they became very friendly and by early evening, we were drinking at their club bar like old friends. Sunday, Easter, Walter (Harbor master) is going to drive us to the petro station with several small liter cans. We are almost on empty and the diesel is hard to find. We have a 2 gal tank, and that would be many trips to the gas station on our bikes to fill 35 gal boat tank. Walter has collected several small tanks from his other boaters here and has offered to drive us twice to the station.

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