Thursday, 27 June 2013

I've looked at the photo's of the Force 4 'wind-over-tide' against us, and they don't spell Panic at all.  Some of the videos give a clue, but when it was worst, you couldn't hold a camera, it was all we could do to hang on.  So feeble I hear you say.  Well, here's the first lock we entered, in Dunkirk, in our bid to escape:

Yes, this is for the big boats, there's lots of room behind too.  No bollards, just some manky wire or rope, hard to tell which really.  You wait here for a long, long, long, long, long time, much longer than the publised times, so you wonder if you'll ever leave.  This is Trystram Lock.  No-one talks to you.  They're busy with the Big Boys.  It took us a good part of a  day to work our way out of Dunkirk.  After this was Darse 1 lock.  Nobody else was going our way.  Felt kindof lonely.  Then the first canal lock left us all feeling a bit exhausted:

This was us mooring up because the lock keeper told us to go buy your licence.  I told him the office there would only take cash, about £600 of it.  Nonsense, they take plastic he insists.  This fiasco passed about 2 hours to & fro, a visit to Aldi and lunch too of course!  Some locks look pretty normal, large, but normal, but not all:

It looks like a giant guillotine doesn't it.  Well, it's a close description.  It's called the cathedral lock, colloquially, and with good reason.  Then something emerges:

That's a big boat, and we go in next!  Inside it looks like this:

Well, thank goodness that big steel plate didn't drop on us, it did drip on us tho'.  Then the trip boat, sightseeing the lock only (!), shouts at you to come forwards, those doors behind are not decorative, and we were alongside them!  So:
That is daunting.  The lock itself has huge geysers that bubble up all over, but is actually very calm and stable, keeps you in your place, so to speak.  After all this excitement we just made it to Watten, a nice little town with a windmill and a ruined abbey, and three boulanger/patisseries, and two butchers.  They know how to live.  Here's a belfrey, more on that later.
Getting late, bye for now, tell you where this is next time.

1 comment:

  1. Is this a kind of competition? Is it Fort Louis? What do I win if I guess it right? A croissant? Love the pic of Burdock and Bollinger resting after all their hard work :)