On Friday we came out of our mooring in the side channel in Kortrijk carefully, to rejoin the river Leie and then turned into the Bossuit Kannal. The first 3 locks were like being back in France! 38m long, not very wide and manually operated by 2 lockies, of whom even spoke French! They had to lock us through separately but they seemed quite happy to do so.
Apparently this section of the canal is protected so that it cannot be widened and upgraded as it is after these locks. Then we were back to the huge locks and commercial traffic.
We went right the way along to where the Bossuit joins the Haut-Escaut, stopping for the night in front of the Bossuit lock and behind Chris on Laura Marie! A pleasant mooring particularly as here were no commercials coming in either direction. We had a peaceful evening with dinner for all – David, Chris and us – on board Piedaleau. David had been talking to the lock keeper to arrange timings for the next day and he brought his German Shepherd dogs to visit! Apparently one has been the Belgium champion 2 years running and both were the offspring of the world champion. The guy himself was a complete dog freak! He kept referring to his wife as his ‘woman’ and, when I queried this, said in Belgium referring to a ‘wife’ is like calling her a slut! Don’t know how true this is but he then referred to her as his ‘lady’.
Next morning we were up early and off at 9am. Sure enough he same lock keeper was there and he regaled us with stories of accidents in this 9.5m deep lock. Not nice.
A short stretch of the Haut Escaut and the Herrines lock where we had to produce documents to obtain our obligatory, but free, licence for the Wallonie region of Belgium. This is the magic bit of paper that the lock keeper refused to give me when we came in last August! Not surprising really as it took forever for the guy to complete the registration process.