Thursday, 20 May 2010

Veurne to St Omer via Dunkerque

Veurne Market
French Boarder
Wednesday 8th June

We made an earlier start
this morning as we are going to make for St Omer in France today. First though we had a trip to the local market which was held in the large central market place. The fresh strawberries really scented the air so we bought some of those for later. The market was a typical mix of fruit and vegetable, clothes, hardware and even some livestock and although last night the town was completely deserted, today it seemed like the everyone who lives there has turned out.

There were no locks on the first part of trip, just lifting bridges which were no problem at all. Karl pulled over to the bankside at Adinkerke for me to hop off, climb up the steep bank and nip to the chocolate factory to buy goodies - there wasn't any mooring places so he just stayed with the boat while I did my trolley dash!

The French border was a lifting bridge where we had to present the boats papers and our passports in the bridge office. We had to fill in some paperwork here which enabled us to collect a licence later at the VNF office further along the canal in Dunkerque, this was 224 euros for the remainder of the year. As we entered Dunkerque the first lock was automatic but this was broken so we had to wait for an operator who had to come from the seaport.

Immediately after we had collected our licence we went into a lock, the first of many! We then carried on along the canal via Watten to St Omer where we found a little marina for the night for the fee of 14 euros, water & electricity included - in total we have travelled 61.5 kilometres today.

In the marina Karl spotted a boat which still had a Broads licence number on it and recognised it from a marina at home where we had once moored. He wandered off to take a look while I prepared our meal, when he came back he told me that not only was it the same boat but the same owners, who happened to onboard for their holiday - they live just 3.5 miles away from us in the UK!! Small world.

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