Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Down to the Sea in Our Ship.
Sunday 30th September - Veurne to Nieuwport

Nieuwport is at the very heel of the Ganzenpoot, the Goose Foot, that part of the delta where half a dozen rivers and canals converge through a series of sluices and locks which keep them all above sea level where they meet the sea.  This is where the gates were flung open in a desperate attempt to keep the invaders at bay in the Great War, successfully allowing a bit of Belgium the size of a pocket handkerchief to avoid occupation.

In something of an historic understatement, this was said to be a politically necessary move for King Albert 1st, who remains in some prominence in effigy, sitting on his horse overseeing the comings and goings of the entire Ganzenpoot.  There are a number of other monuments to those times sprinkled in the vicinity to remind us of battles fought and prices paid.  It was a far less significant battle that commanded our attention today though.

We had a tiny weather window to cross this equally tiny patch of seawater before the already strong winds would turn to lashing gales.  Fortunately this coincided with the similarly sized time window in which the locks were operational.   If one imagines being a cork being blown across a bathtub in which a firehose is being used to fill it through the plug hole, one would have a fair idea of what our five minutes of discomfort felt like.  Sadly, a casual observer could not have been aware of the depth of experience called upon to oh-so-casually enter the lock and tie off without fuss, but we noted that King Albert, who’s seen it all before, did appear to avert his gaze until we were settled.

1 comment

MoHoMoments said...

I seem to remember that from the "goose foot locks" the most you can see of the statue is a horse's ass. LOL. Oh is that what you meant?

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