Humber Barge Waterdog
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Our track north from Erquelinnes took us ten 8 hour days via Charleroi, Antoing, Tournai, Dienze, Bruges and Oostende with one day off in the middle. We arrived in Nieuwpoort, topped up with fuel, found a nice mooring and started checking on weather forecasts and the availability of our crew.

We had plenty to do to make the boat ready for sea so we set about it in perfect sunny weather but with wind too strong to safely make the crossing.

We fitted the radar to the roof by taking a roof panel off and working on it beside the boat. Then putting it back up with the radar attached. Testing in the marina proved that all was well and the target definition was brilliant.

The radar is a Simrad 3G (Broadband) radar with an Evo2 NSS9 multi-function display with a Navionics chart chip to give it navigation plotter functionality. We interfaced this to our AIS system to display other barges and ships both on the canals and at sea. It promised to be great kit so it was time to get to sea and try it all out.

After 10 days of nail-biting weather watching we saw a suitable 2 day window and managed to arrange for our crew to travel from the UK. Two experienced, retired sea captains came to join us, both familiar with barges as they have lived on them for years. Captain Ian on the left and Captain Rob on the right.

On September 19th, we set off to the sea lock Gravensluis - Waterdog leaving freshwater for the first time in 8 years.