After taking over Kotare in Belgium the first few weeks were spent kitting out, then it was off for a months familiarisation cruise. First up the River Leie from Kortrijk to the Ringvaart near Gent, then west across to Plassendale (near Ostend). Beautiful weather but we had the canals to ourselves other than commercials - perhaps someone was preceeding us with a red flag and bell.
We had blown the bowthruster fuse on Day 1 backing out of the Kortrijk mooring in windy conditions (panicking under pressure) so we learnt to cope without for the month! The large locks (sluis) were a shock after our UK narrowboat experiences.
A few minor mishaps like a mooring line parting after a commercial passed us at speed - must get new ropes in Antwerp (I can recommend Francois Chandlers) - the odd spot of embarrassment when caught by wind when mooring (of course I meant to turn around).
Some of the barges were not to be argued with.
Then it was around the Oudenbourg-Fintele-Veurne - Nieuwpoort ring in West Flanders before heading east again. Several lots of relatives caught up with us for a few days so too much food and drink.
|Veurne Rail Bridge|
|Gent Haven and no seagoing quals|
|Moervaart before the fog|
|Upper Leie - Autumn is imminent|
|Kes at 4 weeks|