Moored at the very pleasant town of Lokeren awaiting the mechanic while Fernand and his wife head off for their six months of summer cruising. Lokeren is at the end of this river, the Moervaart, navigation halted by a reservoir built many years ago to stop the town flooding. Fernand turns out to be an influential person here and is heading the push to get the navigation re-opened again. The resulting link to Antwerp would bring many more boats to the town.
As it is, there are five lift bridges to be opened to get off the river and onto the canal system. No problem you would think but here everything is done for you which means booking the team (yes, team)of bridgekeepers to open them for you. They are very small (the bridges, not the keepers) and with very little traffic on them. BW would very quickly change this system! Or close the spur......?
1500 euros later and the proud possessor of a recon. gear box, we too leave finally for Gent. It is our first inkling of how expensive goods are here.