Monday, September 20, 2021

Sitting on the bank of the canal

This week hasn't generated much in the way of new news. It's been situation ongoing here in the flatlands; in other words, preparing for the Vereeniging's big move from Rotterdam and painting the Hennie H. 

I know there are only so many photos of the two barges in their usual spots I can show you without being tedious. It would be a bit like trying to post photos of my cat sleeping in the same position every week, wouldn't it? Not that I share my life with a feline friend–not yet, anyway, but you know what I mean. Suffice to say, both barges look marginally better each week, which is more than can be said for the cat...if I had one.

I had a brief eruption this weekend when a neighbour who shall remain nameless decided to use an angle grinder right next to my newly painted deck and deposited swarf (a new word for me) all over it, but that's about the only blip in an otherwise flatlining week. I will admit that my language became quite colourful when I discovered the damage (the result of the blip), a rare descent into extreme vernacular for me, but I think I got my message across. I told said neighbour I would forgive him, but it would take me a week or so.  

And for anyone who's wondering, Koos is doing well following his op. His first checkup confirmed his control panel (pacemaker) was working fine.

Anyway, given the dearth of fresh news, I thought I'd share these photos with you. I was sitting on the bank of the Gent-Terneuzen Canal last week watching the water traffic while waiting for the bridge. It was open to allow the tug boat in the photo below to pass through as well as the big tanker beneath. 


A man stopped to chat to me and seemed surprised that I loved watching the 'big boys' going by. I explained we had a boat in the harbour and that this was my world. He nodded and smiled; I think he understood. We carried on chatting for a while and he told me that on the 24th of December, the biggest freighter in the world would be passing Terneuzen on the Westerschelde on its way to Antwerp for repairs. It's 400 metres long, 70 metres wide and 17 metres deep. Just think about that for a moment. He suggested I might like to see it...would I ever? The date is noted in my diary with brighter colours than Christmas.

Meanwhile, on a slightly smaller scale, the photos below are a random collection of shipping moments I've captured at various times. Four of them are on the Gent-Terneuzen Canal, but the others are elsewhere, and perhaps they give you a glimpse into and an idea of what I love to see.

I would never be permanently content with waterways that only cater for pleasure craft. This commercial traffic has the vibrancy of real life and I revel in it. Maybe you can see why.


Gent-Terneuzen Canal

At Sas van Gent

A tug heading out into the Westerschelde at Terneuzen

A tanker on the Gent-Terneuzen Canal

Professional craft at Terneuzen

A container barge on the Juliana Canal in Limburg

One of the regulars on the Gent-Terneuzen Canal, this time from
the Hennie H.

 Have a lovely week allemaal and I hope I'll have more to say about our progress next time.

12 comments:

  1. So thankful for the good news about Koos. You are amazing, Val. Keeping up with everything in spite of his health issue. Thanks for the laugh about owning a cat and photographing it on your Watery Ways. As always, your blog and your pictures are exceptional. Many blessings. (Steph)

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Steph. It just occurred to me that constantly taking the same photos of the barges was a bit like that. :)
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos. xxx

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  2. Anyone who would allow their grinding dust to land on your new paint is not a good neighbor and worthy of the worst barge person language available!
    On another note, those big container ships can hold the equivalent of 24,000 20 foot containers. I spent many years refueling them in Los Angeles/Long Beach harbors and it's unbelievable how massive they are. Make sure you keep that schedule. We want pictures!

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    1. That made me laugh, Don. I'm not sure I descended quite that far in my language. I've heard some ripe expletives in my time, and by comparison, mine were fairly moderate, but quite extreme for me! As regards the container ships, I've tried counting a few times, but never got very far. No wonder if that's how many they hold!! Message received and understood about the schedule! :)

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  3. What a beautiful place to be. Thank you Val for sharing another wonderful blog. I do hope that you manage to see the big boy on 24th December.
    So glad to hear that Koos is doing well and hus pacemaker is working correctly.
    Love and hugs to you both my friend, xxx ❤💖

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    1. Ah, thank you so much, Linda. I shall pass your message on to Koos, and I'll be sure to make a date with the big boy! Love and hugs to you too, my dear! xxx

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  4. What great pictures Val. The canals in Europe really are like highways, aren't they. Very different from Australia where roads reign in our parched dry land. It is good to hear Koos is recovering well, and you can look forward to your move. Take care.

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    1. They are highways, Patricia. That's exactly right! Water highways. I find them endlessly fascinating even after twenty years here! I'll keep you posted about the move :) xx

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  5. O, it was very bad of that neighbour to have done that. And you did the right thing by making your displeasure amply clear.
    Glad to know that otherwise everything is fine at your end, and all are well.
    Fabulous photos!

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    1. Thank you so much, Pradeep, and my apologies for the late reply. It's been such a busy week! I too am glad to hear you are well :)

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  6. Val, I laughed at your use of colorful language with your neighbor. I do the same sometimes while driving. The barges and pictures are beautiful. We take so much for granted about finding needed items on the store shelves;but the Suez Canal mishap reminded us all of how dependent we are on the waterway traffic. Glad to hear that Koos is doing well. Great post! Lynn

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    1. Thank you, Lynn! Lovely to hear from you and I'm glad to know I'm not alone in resorting to colourful expletives when pushed to it ;) And yes, the Suez Canal mishap was indeed a lesson to us about the importance of the waterways!

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