Namur (Namen) - Yvoir

After having been there for 5 days Namur was left on Wednesday the 18th of May 2016 at 09:16AM. We had contacted the first lock, La Plante, beforehand at 9:00AM because our mooring-place was on a distance of less than one kilometer. The lock-keeper promised to have his lock ready in half an hour and indeed, we entered the lock at 9:28AM. That was good timing! The difference in height was only 1,5 meters (5 feet) but a lock is needed for any difference, isn’t it? Three bears -luckily not real ones- are guarding the weir.

Approaching Profondeville going upstream this huge open-air quarry came in sight. It’s a shame on the one hand but, on the other hand, don’t we all want nice tiles on our floors and walls and good looking pavement? Choises, choises….

This mooring space does not mean a lot to the majority of humanity, but is does to us. Last season we were in deep s… because of an engine that failed us more often than we care to remember. (So far so good this year.) Therefore, we remember this forced, yes forced, mooring space all too well. See the last picture + comment on this page: It was here, at Profondeville that we found one of our many Waterloos last season.

After having negotiated 4 locks, ascending some 8,5 meters (28 feet), we moored at 1:12PM next to L’Île d'Yvoir, by river 8 kilometers (5 miles) north of Dinant. We progressed almost 19 kilometers (nearing 12 miles). De river splits here shortly, thus creating the island. We are visible on the right hand side, facing upstream…

…and here more in close-up as seen from the right bank. Idyllic is the key-word.

The two pictures before this one already make clear there’s no bridge leading to the island. But there’s a charming little self-operated ferry (‘bac’ in French). After arrival the harbourmaster distributes a key -of course after payment- and the happy boater can go to and from the mainland as much as desired.

The ferry

Here’s a piece of the ferry-sensation as experienced by ourselves. The ferry is driven up and down by an electrically moved submerged chain and kept in place by both submerged steel-cables and a rope – the last visible at the end of this video. So it's obvious why this side of the island is not a through-route.

The little town of Yvoir is situated at the right bank of the river and divided by a tributary to the main river (Meuse in case you lost track) named Bocq. This is the river Bocq bordered by some Yvoir-buildings.

What can one tell when photographing attractive buildings in a little town? It’s a rhetorical question, to be answered with: ‘most of the time not much of significance’. The exception in Yvoir was this proud Wallonian symbol - the cock.

  • Domestic goose

    There the domestic goose as well. This is a she, we believe. There’s a more aggressive second one, no doubt a male – although he seems to have developed a fear of water. A fear of water???? Yes, when chased by, for instance, a dog, he(?) goes into the water only when his safety is in obvious jeopardy.

  • Canadian goose

    And then there’s the inevitable Canada goose. Noisy and producing lots of droppings. Intrusive and troublesome all over, so to speak. To make things worse they fly a bit upwards at 6:00AM(!!) land on top of our little ship, start to eat the flowers and to wreck the boxes they’re in, thus waking us up early. Grrrr. Besides they’re ugly, out of proportion unlike the domestic one. Take that! ©

If the weather permits –and it did last Thursday- we sit on the other side of the island enjoying the view and looking at passing ships. This one is named ‘Matariki’ and owned by a couple we met last September in Bruges (Brugge). We will join them, well: her, during one of the coming weeks. The male part will be gone for a month, sailing a boat into Croatia!

The same view in a somewhat wider perspective. The downstream cruising boat is called ‘Liane’. We know the owning couple from Roanne where we have been co-overwintering during the winters 2013/4 and 2014/5. The male half helped us out in January 2015 when our water-system failed. We are still grateful for that. Frantically waving and shouting did not help: we were passed unnoticed.

Of course we do not limit ourselves to only enjoying the view. The restraint one, guess who?, of the two of us reads and drinks only one glass of white wine, the other one listens to music, drinks gin & coke (G&T bores him quickly) and eats salted peanuts. Yes, he still uses cd’s and an old fashioned cd-player that was a birthday gift ages ago. The thing still performs super-de-luxe. Inside the ship he uses a computer, Spotify and a Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth speaker, also a recent birthday-present. Hopefully that gets him off the hook. That’s it for this week, dear followers. Bye for now.