Saturday, 13 September 2014

Friday 12th September 2014 Namur to Anhée. 21.1kms 4 locks

Flood markers (brass plates) on La Plante lock cabin
8.1°C Foggy first thing, sun out around 9.45am. While we were waiting for the mist to clear Mike went online and bought a month’s vignette online from VNF to start tomorrow, but had problems with the e-mail they sent that was supposed to have an attachment with a PDF file to download and print the vignette, there was no attachment so he tried e-mailing to request one. It came back with a change to the e-mail address he’d sent it to, so he sent it again. We’ll have to see later if it has sent one later. We set off at 10.10am, winded
First of the Meuse rocky cliffs
and headed upriver to La Plante lock, which was ready with gates open and green lights. I threaded our centre rope through a recessed vertical bar in the wall (new ones set just above the water line) and we rose about 1.5m. Mike did rope duty while I made a cuppa. Once we’d past the Ile Va t’y Frotte the river became wider and very deep (5m) with houses on both banks as we wound through Jambes and Wépion, with forested hills
View back downriver of Wepion
beyond. There were some modern blocks of flats among smart houses and small chateaux. The rock cliffs started on the left and I took some photos of the views back downriver towards Wépion as we reached the Ile de Dave. Mike called the next lock (so he thought) the keeper replied to say that he was waiting for a loaded boat to come down then we could go up. When we arrived at Tailfer the lock was empty with gates open and green lights. Hmm. Maybe we heard him wrong (we thought we’d spoken to Tailfer lock and
Marga loading near Lustin
had a reply from him) so we waited thinking there must be something coming upriver. Nothing appeared so after about half an hour we went into the lock. The keeper called us forward as two more boats were coming, a hotel boat called Hippoptamo and the big Dutch cruiser, called Marinus, that was behind us on the quay in Namur overnight. The lock filled gently rising another 2.22m; we’d put fore and aft ropes on as we were about 4m from the top end gates and these river locks fill with gate paddles. It was 12.10 pm when
Quarry near Lustin
the gates opened; we went out first but the other two overtook and were soon out of sight. Then we saw a loaded boat coming downstream, Aly-son (67m 8.20m 610T) plus Mike had spotted that the VNF channel number for Tailfer had been 18 and we’d got 22 in our book and realised we’d called 22 and Riviére had answered us not Tailfer! Not having a good day so far. Above the lock another 67m boat, Marga from Zwijndrecht, was loading fine aggregate at the quarry near Lustin. I took photos looking back downriver of the rocks and quarry. On along the 5.4kms winding river reach to Riviére. The other two boats were
Ile d'Yvoir and its chain ferry (red boat by the white house)
through the lock by the time we arrived. The keeper dropped the lock off and we rose another 2m. Above the lock empty péniche Noumea was moored next to the sloping concrete bank having a washing day with a rotary drier on the bows spinning round in the strong breeze. At the big bend near Grand Godine we passed another loaded boat heading downriver, DC Mosa 1 (86m x 8.2m 1174T) a Dutchman from Breskens carrying more aggregates. Mike called Hun, the keeper said he would prepare the lock for us and it
Moored at Anhee
was ready when we arrived. The deepest yet at 2.8m and I couldn’t reach the new inset bars they were up too high for me, so the keeper took my rope and put the loop round a bollard on the lockside for me. He told us that the lock at Dinant was out of action until 6 am tomorrow. That’s OK we’re not going that far. He told us there was a stopping place for us at Yvoir. OK but we’re not going there! As we passed the Ile d’Yvoir a speedboat set off from a house on the island and went upstream a bit then turned and ran downriver at
Opposite the mooring at Anhee, rocks and castle at Houx
high speed (we were in a ski zone) passing us on the wrong side. Shortly after a jet-ski came past heading downriver turned around us to go back upstream then set off again back downriver at high speed, making less wash than when he was going slower. A solitary house martin was chasing flies up and down the river. Under the railway bridge at Anhée and we winded and moored next to a quay that is just a little higher than our roof. There was a ladder by our bows so we could get on and off easily. It was 3.00 pm. Set the TV up and I gave Mike a hand to get all his stuff ready and, at 4.00 pm, he went to move the car from Namur to Givet and come back on the moped. He was back at 6.45pm having a much easier route along the Meuse than the Sambre.  

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