Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bethune mooring on to Douai

Here is a strange photo:

Yes, it's yours truly doing something that looks truly unreal and indescribable, well it should be !  This was the "water supply" at our most indifferent mooring location at Bethune, supposedly upgraded.  Heaven knows what it was like before!  The lovely town made up for it, but I was determined to get some water, using the myriad of adaptors I'd bought and brought.  There was a hose here, it seemed to contain all he sedimentary substances of a marsh at one end, and a complete ants nest at the other, plus the minor matter that it didn't even reach the bank, by several metres!  Add to that the fitment used, which was a wierd bayonet fitment in galvanised or zinc moulding, so I had to use a hose nozzle, rammed into the rubber seal, with all my might because water pressure was very high!  Nik had a go, and accidentally moved the valve pointing back towards where she was sitting, and I compounded the problem by trying to shut it off, but went the wrong way.  Nasty!  Don't try this, unless you are very, very thirsty.  Needless to say, we found a proper tap about a mile later!  Gosh, too much, a pic of the upgraded mooring for the record:

We did moor there, but the recently added 'steps' (that bank is steep, so it's an upgrade) was made of wire mesh unsuited to paws, and was very steep for anyone, let alone a Burdock!  We found someone later who'd been charged Euro 13/night for that!  Enough moaning, here's a quite big boat:
We had these and double ones, going past when we were moored on the main canal, which we had to quite a bit.  The sucked the boat about long before arriving, and buffet you long after they've gone. 
Mooring bollards were big, secure (tho's some had fallen nearly or totally into the canal under the loads applied!) and infrequent (meant for 35 metre barges) so we had to take special measures:

Our bollard was way back, and this one was being used by the next, large boat, who suggested this means to stop the bow, well, bowing out!  It worked, but most bollards were further apart.  I know ....
Next entry will be much cleaner.

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