3rd August 2018 – After many preparations, we set of this morning at 11 o’clock, direction Nieuwpoort. About ten minutes later, we had to go to the side. The Scheepsdale bridge only opens at 12 o’clock. I jumped of board and helped my neighbour who was following us with the Frantsis. I put two ropes around the bollards so he could wait, just like us…
Once we passed Scheepsdale, the journey went fluently. At some point the Frantsis returned after cooling issues with the gearbox. We hoped he could join till Nieuwpoort, but the risk of damaging the engine was to big.
After we passed the lock in Plassendale, my old ship ‘Op Hoop van Zegen’ followed us until he hit the side of the Canal when his rudder got stuck. The small canal from Plassendale to Nieuwpoort is small and steering is a bit harder then on the other canals. Bridges were often built where the canal made a turning.
In Nieuwpoort, we left the lock and went straight to sea. We left at05:07 and arrived in Swale around 03:30 the next morning.
It was dark, only the light of the moon and some mast lights. It was great to see the cntours and the shadows of the Thames Sailing barges. They were all asleep. We moored alongside the VIOD II, who was anchored like all the other ships.