|‘t Majeur in Ostend harbour, last in the row next to a real big one|
|the smallest ship in the harbour, it came on a trailer but the skipper slept on board|
The weather did its utmost and we quite enjoyed meeting old friends and acquaintances and making new ones.
|only the ships that joined in the evacuation can carry this plaque|
This year’s theme for Ostend at Anchor was the liberation of Ostend 70 years ago. Some twenty “little Dunkirk” ships had crossed from England. These were ships that had actually partaken in operation “Dynamo” in 1940.
|first attempt by Rebecca|
|second attempt by Michel|
We dearly wanted to visit Bergues, we hadn’t been there before and we enjoyed watching the movie “Bienvenue chez les Ch’ti” that has been shot in and plays in Bergues. For those of you who don’t know that movie: go see it!
|part of the ramparts around Bergues|
|Punch and Judy on the scooter|
We managed to get the scooter on shore and for the first time we had the possibility to visit a wider area. Michel drives, I’m in the buddy seat and I really have to set myself to drive.
|the Zeppelin looks small but in reality it was very big|
During our stint on the Oise we saw each night a huge Zeppelin cruising overhead, stately and slowly. These are the real airships.
|overtaking a heavily loaded colleague, in the bent, at 16 km an hour|
|coming home a bit in Paris|
We took the Canal St. Denis into Paris and we moored in the Basin de la Villette. Exactly where we moored last year, it felt a bit like coming home. Another Dutch barge was already moored there and next day Shell V arrived, so lots of merriment and social traffic.
Spectators not only for the ship, Panache gets his share as well and he knows quite well to position himself on the aft deck in order to get as many Oooh’s and Aaah’s from the passers-by. Lots of pictures are taken and he seems to enjoy it.
|Michel makes outrigers to moore, at least at night, a meter out of the quay|
|this is how the system works|
The advantage now is that Rebecca rides a brand new bike, even more comfy; the distinct disadvantage is that our care free attitude has been severely dented. That is the worst, and it will surely get better although we aim to stay more alert.
We frequently and with great fun used our scooter, the perfect means of transport for Paris. Not just for the two of us but also with Panache in the crate to drive him to a park where he could run free.
|Punch and Judy and their dog|
Let it be well understood: Panache loves driving in the crate, just as he loves cruising in the dinghy.
|René tries his best, helas in vain|
|even the diver could not get it out|
Not only was our son in law visiting us in Paris, but also our daughter and grandchild Nathan.
|Panache protects and guards the puppy|
|playing games with the baby phone close by|
|Nathan enjoys it all|
|in the dinghy and Panache can come to, his favourite thing to do|
|Nathan can enjoy this one for years to come|
|watching Wimbledon on grandpa’s lap|
We have now decided to change our itinerary and go slowly back to Belgium where we will manage to get in a dock in Antwerp or Namur.
On the 14th of July the locks don’t work in France, it’s a public holiday, so we planned to moor on a nice spot on the Marne for that day. And because there was a ship moored on the pontoon already we could only use part of it and the fore ship was moored in the trees, having a line over to the quay. A bit nasty to moor with a bow thruster, a real bitch without one. But no problem, we did well.
|the awkward mooring we had to go back to, in pitch dark|
Getting off the pontoon was the least of the problem, but hovering in the dark of a current and then to moor again on that awkward spot, no bow thruster, was a real challenge. It wasn’t the first and definitely the last test on manoeuvring without it, but things are getting better and we, especially Michel, is getting the hang of it.
|lunch with the locals|
We amble along direction Belgium, next time more about finding a dock.