July 11

I left the Netherlands on the Gent-Terneuzen Kaanal, and am back in Gent in Belgium. I had a wonderful time exploring the small and the vast waterways of the Netherlands. I hope you have enjoyed the cruise (and if you want more, or have forgotten,- read back through the posts from mid-May).

From Rotterdam, I cruised along the ‘great Rivers’ route, through Dordrecht, and the ‘Hollandse Diep’, mooring for the night (noisy and not settled: ship movements and lots of wind), at Willemstadt JachtSluis. An early start through the lock, and then along the Krammer Volkerak, now a fresh water inlet: dammed and controlled, but a large and very busy waterway. I passed through the dam at Philipsdam, using a very large lock, to the Keeten Mastgat, which was absolutely covered with sailing vessels: from little dinghies to large two-masted yachts. They are much harder to deal with safely than large commercial vessels: they do the least predictable things, including tacking right in front of me… No damage to them or me, but it was exciting!

Then, along a dredged channel in the Oosterscheldt, to the Zuidbeveland Kaanal, that bisects this large peninsula. It was a lovely day, and there is always the prospects of nasty weather, so I persevered, through the sea lock (largest yet), into the Westerscheldt, a salt water inlet that is the major shipping route to Antwerp. The ships were large sea-going container ships, drilling vessels, and others, and made me feel like a little leaf floating through rapids. Their wakes are really significant, and the spray that resulted made the whole boat covered in salt.

I finished this long day, mooring in Terneuzen, a major ship repair/servicing port town, where vessels of all types are in various states of repair/service/building/reclamation. It is the entry for ships to the port of Gent.

After a nice mooring in the town center, I headed south on this major ship canal. It is lined almost the entire way to Gent with industrial works, from pet food manufacturing, to coal-fired power stations, and heavy industry of all sorts. Refineries, smelters, and steel recycling, sand, gravel, and brick-making. It is all here along this stretch of water. Not much photogenic stuff, so this description will have to do. Once into Gent, I cruised along the Ringvaart, a modern ‘ring-road’ for ships around the city. The canal has the ring road lining both sides of the canal. I am moored on the old river Leie, awaiting the arrival of a friend who will spend the next week with me as we cruise up the Leie towards France.

I'm to fit into the lock in that space... Hope he knows I'm there...

I’m to fit into the lock in that space… Hope he knows I’m there…


About Ed Mortimer

I'm a retired school teacher, now living on my Dutch cruiser in France. I'm touring as much of the canals and river systems as I can. This blog describes what I do and where I've been. I did spend 5 years on first a narrowboat, and then this boat, in Britain.
This entry was posted in adventures afield, Belgium, canal experiences, history and excursions, The Netherlands. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to July 11

  1. Heather Mortimer says:

    Great reading back on your posts, Ed. The photos are stunning and the buildings and sites are so different from England. Your journey continues to impress me with the breadth of your experiences!

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