Well, when I arrived back after the weekend this last week, I had a new surprise. My gangplank was no longer attached to the bow of the barge and instead was sitting next to it. Fortunately, the chain I have to keep it from falling off completely when such things occur prevented it from disappearing into the depths, but I was glad I noticed it before I bounced merrily off and into the drink myself. I suspect some kind soul had stood on its quay end at low tide and had levered it off the post on which it fits...another job for me to sort out.
Anyway, I did, sort it that is, temporarily anyway. And I also managed to fit the new panel and 'winterise' my teak back entrance and steering wheel by wrapping them well in their own tarpaulins. I shall see on Monday whether my attempts have stood the test of the gale we had last night...there's always something at this time of year and it's not unusual to see harbour residents wandering round looking for bits of their barges in the water after one of our autumn hoolies.
However, on my way down to Zeeland on Friday, I took a route I think I've mentioned before which takes me along the dyke between the sea canal to Antwerp and the tidal Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt). I really love this road. On the one side is the wide expanse of the tidal estuary with its mud flats, waves and wildness; on the other is the major shipping lane where the huge barges plough through the waters as they head south into the great locks (kreekraksluizen) leading to the Antwerp docks, or north towards Rotterdam. I see the best of both worlds and the road seems to disappear into a wilderness of tranquillity, which I love. It always lifts my spirits to travel this route, so for once, I stopped to take a couple of photos. They don't really do it justice, but I hope you get some kind of impression of what it is like.
|The dyke to nowhere|
|Traffic on the major shipping route on the canal to Antwerp|
|Meanwhile, mudflats at low tide on the other side|
|And there in the distance on the left are the big locks|
Hoping you are all enjoying whatever the season brings wherever you are! Have a good week to come allemaal and I'll catch up with you all soon.