Preparing to leave Gent

All our visitors have gone now, family and friends.  We really enjoyed the visits but the attention has now shifted to the summer, and what we have to do to get ready to leave our winter mooring.

It is funny how little things can really cheer you up.  I had a problem with our wood burning stove over the last few days, not drawing as it should and really struggling to burn well.  I investigated yesterday and found that the chimney and flue was all but blocked with tar and soot deposit built up over the winter months I had no tool in my box that could reach the affectted parts of the flue and I dispaired that I would be able to find a suitable instrument in this part of the world. 

Also I was aware that I had to find some diesel somewhere near before we set off at the end of March.  I consulted the Havenmeester, Carlos, who gave me a steer to boat yard about 9 kilometers away that could help with the fuel.  As  I am getting rid of the car next weeked I am trying to get all the jobs that ned the car out of the way this week, collecting coal and logs etc.

I drove to the boatyard this morning and met up with the boss Peter and got his mobile number and the arrangement is that I ring him the day before and then drive the boat around to his boatyard and fill up at a mooring, he will make sure the mooring is free for me on the day.  I was cheered leaving the boatyard having secured the fuel supply and knowing exactly where I was going to get the fuel and how I was going to get there.  

Imagine my delight when I was traveling back to the boat from the fuel location and came across a large do-It -yourself shop called Bricco.  I pulled in on the off chance that I might find something suitable to unblock my chimney.  I made a tentative enquiry to a charming member of staff and she lead me to a large display of chimnmey associated bits, I was like a kid in a sweet shop.  I purchased a 2 meter flexible pole and a steel brush attachemnt which would do the job splendidly.  I bounced out of the shop, fuel and chimney sorted out in one fell swoop..yippee.

This post was written by Terry Barrett

Photographs by Tes

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