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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Us Brits cause a bit of bother.

Oh dear. Seems the eight of us got into a spot of bother last night. Carole, Mick, Dennis, Margaret, Heather, Dave and us visited Ron's bar for the second time last night, and were welcomed back by the owner. One of her bar staff took the drink order and unfortunately got it a bit wrong. All in good fun we joked about this but the chap doing the drinks was not very happy and complained bitterly to his boss. She in turn told him no uncertain terms that the customer was always right and if he didn't like it to leave. Now this was all relayed to us when we enquired as to why he was storming out of the pub and of course we were mortified and full of apologies. The owner was marvellous telling us that his attitude was not one she wished from an employer and was very glad she found out now. So all ended well and a good report will be posted by us on trip adviser.

So back to today, walked along the prom and admired the marina before taking a short ferry crossing to the other harbour.

One of the harbour locks
Free ferry across the harbour
 On reaching the other side, Port Napoleon, we were lucky enough to see a fishing vessel locking up. Notice the lock keepers lack of safety gear. They appeared so blasé' about everything , even when we watched the workers on the railways in Ostend we noticed the men without hard hats. They appeared totally unconcerned about their safety and I don't suppose they will even have heard the term Health and Safety voiced.

Huge lock housing a fairly large fishing vessel.

Yes that's the lock keeper

"This bunker of the type R (Regelbau) 633 was a component of the German coastal defence Atlantikwall. The main armanant composed of a 5cm M19 mortar, installed underneath a heavy armoured steel copula, with a fire range of 750 meters. The task of these type of bunkers were to protect the beaches and 'Stutzpunkten" (the harbour of Oostende). The R 633 is the only surviving example of this type in Vlaanderen. The bunker is easily accessible and unit signs can be found on the walls and inside the mortat copula. The original armoured doors of the main entrance and emergency exit are preserved and the steel mortar copula is still equipped with its cover."...Translated from the information panel.

And inside

Looking up at one of the air vents possibly
Not far from the Mortierbunker was these large wooden structures attached by chain to a massive reduction gear box. When a boat needs to dry dock, the wooden structure gets lowered by the winch, the boat then manoeuvrers over the cradle and once the gears are engaged, the chain pulls the whole thing, boat an all, out of the water.
Is it called a slip???

No longer in use because of the damage

winch gear.
Another of the casualties of war was WW1 battle ship 'Vindictive' She was sunk as a blockship at Ostend during the Second Ostend Raid on 10 May 1918.This part of her super structure was the only thing on display near the breakwater..

After a very pleasant few hours we caught the ferry back and had a wander to another of the harbour locks. Yesterday a huge ship was being locked up which we saw as the tram trundled past. Shame I didn't get a picture The vessel was huge and would have completely filled this photo.

One of the many fish stalls along the prom.
I wanted to dip my toes and with the tide coming in so not to far to walk, got my wish. This is both of us enjoying a toe dipping session in the warm North Sea.

That's me pretending to dive. (sad I know)

No it wasn't pecking Ian's leg although it does look like it.
And seen along the promanade,

Oyster catcher

This surprised me as I thought dragonflies only emerged from fresh water.


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