Saturday, 9 August 2014

Sunday 3rd August 2014 Yvos-Ramet lock to abv Ampsin lock. 15.8kms 2 locks

In Yvoz-Ramet lock
16.0°C Sunny with white clouds, becoming more cloudy late afternoon. Hot. We backed out into the lock cut at 8.45 am as the lock opened today at nine. The commercial that had arrived late last night was an 80m empty called Mira-Secondas and he was just firing up his engine. Yvoz-Ramet lock emptied and two cruisers came out. Mike called the keeper to ask if we could go in alongside the smaller tanker Noord (51m) but he said follow the two commercials into the lock. OK. A cruiser came in behind us. There were no recessed bollards, just ladders with
Building a new lock abv Yvoz-Ramet
bollards in the edges – and they were too far apart by 2m, so I put my rope on at the bows and let out plenty of slack so Mike could attach his stern rope – and we had to do that for each set of bollards as the lock filled and lifted us 4.5m. Both commercials left their props turning even though there were large notices in Dutch and French to say stop engines and use two ropes - fore and aft. Mike spotted there was a water hose right by the boat so he waved to the keeper who said OK and we refilled the tank
Below Ampsin-Neuville lock
(almost) using the very large bore pipe before the keeper said we’d got to go as there was another commercial below the lock wanting to come up. We left the lock at 9.30 am and I sent a text to the Snails to say we’d be at Engis in half an hour. Paused alongside them, had a coffee and a chat. Set off again upriver at 10.50 am slowly so the Snail could catch up. One wedge shaped cruiser overtook us and four boats went past heading downstream. Tankers Noord (51x6.3 463T) and Proserpina (61x6.55 567T – this one had been past us several times at Weert) were sitting on the quay at the big cement works in Engis waiting to be unloaded. On upriver to Ampsin-Neuville lock. We had a short
Unusual caterpillar tracked boat crane
wait below the lock as a small cruiser, which had overtaken us half an hour earlier, went up and the keeper emptied the lock again. Another cruiser arrived and we all went into the chamber, the two narrowboats on the left hand wall and the cruiser on the right. The keeper asked the cruiser’s skipper to move over to the left, but he just went up to the front by the top end gates on the right. An empty commercial called Amorsita (59.14x6.69 749T) came into the lock on the right and the keeper shut the sliding gate behind us. This time we had recessed bollards and
Moored in the weirstream above Ampsin lock
ladders. I had a ladder by the bows but didn’t really need ropes as the water squashed us against the lock wall and kept trying to destroy my fender in the rungs of the ladder. Again, it survived. The Snails asked the lock keeper if they could top up their tank with water, OK, and there were lots of bins and a bottle bank on the lockside so all our rubbish and bottles found a new home. We set off to find a mooring in the weirstream, leaving the Snails to finish topping up their water tank. As it is holiday time, and a Sunday, there were loads of moored commercials, lots of them double moored. Just enough space for us between a péniche and a big boat. We had one bollard for the bows and Mike banged in three stakes to put springs on and secure the stern. The Snail came alongside. Woody found his way across our bows to the bank straight away, no problem! Mike went off on the moped to recover the car from Panheel.

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