Monday, 11 August 2014

Tuesday 5th August 2014 Sclayn to Auvelais. 38.6kms 5 locks.

Loading grain at Marches des Dames
13.6°C A cooler night, just below 20°in the cabin. Hot and sunny all day. We set off first at 9.05 am, Snail following us, still towing Origami (their folding dinghy). It wasn’t long before two Dutch cruisers went past heading downriver. The first of the cliffs appeared on the left, the right bank was lined with quays. A tug and pan were under the loading chute for the quarry at Marches des Dames, being loaded from tipper lorries. More cliffs on the right, back of the cement works, and two more commercials were on the quays being loaded from tipper lorries which were
Car on stands on board Baraka
depositing their loads on to conveyor belts that dumped rocks into the holds of the boats. Quite a collection of boats were moored at the old lock. Loaded boat Barak had its car on stands behind its back cabin, unusual as most cars get stowed on the cabin roof. Two more cruisers downriver at the next bend, followed by two more as we passed Roche d’Albert, the memorial to King Albert I who died in 1934 after falling from the rocks here; he was an avid rock-climber. Passing the basin on the bend where the CNNY yacht club moor their boats, three more
Beautiful cliffs of Marches des Dames
cruisers went past. Myzako was being loaded by a digger on the quay below Grands Malades lock. We had a green light for the lock. Rose about 2m in the bottom half of the chamber (it has a set of gates across the middle of the chamber allowing half its length to be used). We went in at 11 am and came out ten minutes later. Two more cruisers were waiting to go down. On into Namur following the Snail. As Oll turned right into the Sambre a British-flagged DB called Anthonia came out and turned upstream on the Meuse. A small water
Roche d'Albert 
taxi was following it. It was 11.30 am as we started heading upriver on the Sambre, passing another statue of King Albert on horseback at the confluence. They’d finished all the building work that was going on when we were here last year, new flats had been built on old foundations and the area had been tidied up a lot. Still no boats were allowed to moor in the narrow section leading to the Meuse, not surprising when you consider the size of the commercials which use the Sambre nowadays. We had a short wait below Salzinnes lock, then just the two of us went up,
Myzako loading
again about 2m, and left the top at 12.15 pm just as loaded (with white powder, probably gypsum) boat Jaguar (110mx11.45m 2906T) came round the bend above the lock. We spotted a yellow flashing light and went to have a closer look, it was on a tube down into the water so we guessed it was a water depth sensor – if the level gets too low then it sets off a pump to backpump water. Four cruisers from Gent came past, then a French one called Hippocampus – sure we’d seen that one before. They were followed by another loaded boat, called Allonso (67mx8.2m
Mike on rope duty, Grands Malades
857T) which went past at Ronet. The valley was becoming steeper sided as we left Namur behind. Both banks of this canalised river have sloping concrete edges with flights of steps every 50m or so, occasionally there are vertical quays for loading and unloading. The Sambre is a very industrialised river. A long low building on the left before the first long right hand bend housed a bus depot full of red and yellow single decker buses. A for sale sign announced the sale of La Ferme Blanche (the white farm) and a sign outside it in neon said it was a discotheque. Sandpipers flew off in front of the boat, the first we’d seen for ages, they were
Smartened up waterfront on the Sambre at Namur
to be a regular feature of this river. We passed a crane unloading a pan in a new canalside building and oh boy was the smell bad – it was recycling rubbish. Beyond it were long sand quays and opposite was a huge warehouse. An empty called San Remo (80mx8.20m 1138T) went past heading downriver. Futura was unloading grain at the silos below Florifoux lock. The lock was ready with a green light so we went in and Mike did rope duty while we rose 2.5m and I made some lunch. As we headed past the church on the
Water level sensor, River Sambre
hill at Floreffe, loaded boat Las Vegas (80mx8.2m 1163T) went past heading downstream. Low wooded hills on our left and old farm buildings on our right. A new wooden landing had been installed at the foot of the cliff by the church, it was filled by two cruisers and a small tug. Another short wait for the lock at Mornimont; we’d caught up with a small yacht who joined us to go up the lock, a deep one, 4.9m, after an empty and a cruiser came down. The yacht moored above the lock. Two Dutch flagged boats were waiting to come down, one was a British built replica DB. Another came around the bend, called Fowey Belle with a red ensign, we were sure we’d
Floreffe Abbey, R Sambre -being Belgian it also brews very good beer!
CLICK HERE for more info on the Abbey.
seen it before somewhere. Past the AGC works with its four tall chimneys then on past the huge Solvay chemical works which seems to stretch for kilometres along the river. Another loaded 110m boat went past, Karina from Gent, just before we arrived at Auvelais lock. The new mooring below the lock was a wooden staging at the foot of a high wall – we carried on up the lock another 2.7m and moored at the end of the lock waiting area where we’ve stayed before. It was 5.15pm. Helped unload the bike off the roof and Mike went to get the car from Ampsin. The yacht we locked with came up Auvelais and moored in front of us and later a large Dutch hotel boat arrived from upstream and moored beyond the yacht. The Snails folded up Origami and stowed it in its box on their cabin roof. Mike didn’t get back until 9.30 pm. We put the bike back on the roof and had dinner, late.

No comments:

Post a Comment