Staying in Lille

Moored in Lille
By chance, we were motoring through Lille seeing mainly industrial landscape when we came across some pretty moorings next to parkland. We tied up outside a lovely Belgian barge called 'Marie Alice' and the owner, Alain, came out and helped us moor. There was a group of 6 live aboard barges, mostely retired bargees, living here with water, electricity and some even have post boxes! We asked at the local VNF and found that we could stay for 3 weeks and we could buy electricity and water tokens as well. Perfect, Lawrence could go to work (at sea for 2 weeks) and Lorna could stay somewhere beautiful and enjoy most of the comforts of home.

Moored in Lille

Waterdog still looking smaller than the old continental barges but in keeping with the large French canals.

alongside the local boats

Canal de la Deule with Lille's Citadel park to the right over the foot bridge.

Lille on the 'Canal de la Deule' is a busy stretch of canal with barges starting at 06:30 and running on until 20:30 in the evening. We had to tie our ropes really tight, or Waterdog was swept up and down the canal by the passing barges and could cause the neighbouring barge to be jolted and twisted as the ropes tightened. Our neighbour helped us get our big mooring ropes tight using the engine to stretch them first ahead and then astern. When you are down below you can hear the barges coming, first Waterdog surges toward the oncoming barge as the water is pulled that way. Then, after the ropes have reached their limit, the barge passes and Waterdog is pushed hard into the neighbour (or bank) and down below you hear the ropes stretching and tyres squealing and then the swishswishswish of the passing propellor, just like a WW1 submarine film! Then Waterdog is pulled along with the passing barge until the opposite ropes ping. If you can get the ropes tight, this is mostly stopped and you just get a small movement and some groaning from the ropes.

We will get diesel delivered by tanker here while we chill out after my offshore trip and start doing a few jobs around the barge again. First we have to re-plumb the diesel tanks to separate the large tanks for red diesel for heating and generating and then the 2 smaller tanks for white diesel for the engine. We are taking about 800 litres of red diesel here for the generator and heating and that should keep us going for a while. When we have the diesel we are going north to Wambrechies and then along the Lys as it is meant to be a smaller prettier waterway.