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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: transiting antwerp

transiting antwerp 05 Mar 2020 15:54 #114207

  • Balliol Fowden
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Yes, I would agree. The Westerchelde is no place to be in strong westerlies, especially as you come out of Terneuzen. Even once round the corner and heading north there is a lot of fetch since the channel follows the eastern side. I would be going via Antwerp, if I couldn't wait.

Balliol.

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transiting antwerp 05 Mar 2020 15:34 #114202

  • John Fraser
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Many thanks for advice. I like Balliol's advice of the Terneuzen / Westerschelde route. Unfortunately tomorrow forecasting very strong westerlies so looks like we may go via Antwerp unless these winds lessen. Once again lot of much appreciated help. Thank you to all.
John

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transiting antwerp 05 Mar 2020 14:07 #114200

Many thanks to everyone who responded to me questions. The view seems to be that the river flow rate isn't that significant when compared the tidal flow, timing is vital and breaking the journey if recommended. I will have a look in detail nearer the time that we hope to travel. Hopefully, the rain will have eased and the river flows will have reduced. Brendan

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transiting antwerp 04 Mar 2020 16:35 #114171

  • Balliol Fowden
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John,

Reverting to your original question I do wonder whether you have considered the Terneuzen / Westerschelde route?

Personally I have not done the Schelde downstream from Merelbeke for many years, simply because I find the route Terneuzen - Hansweert - Bergse Diep Sluis - Tholen much easier, less stressful and an easy day’s barging. Indeed you can do Gent to Tholen in a day providing the tide times are right with low water Terneuzen sometime in the morning. So long as the Westerschelde is calm with good visibility then it holds less potential horrors than the Boven Zeeschelde, is well buoyed and I have never had any issues with heavy wash from big seagoing ships as some sources might suggest. The fully tidal bit from Terneuzen to Hansweert is no more than a couple of hours, leaving Terneuzen on the flood tide, probably less subject to tide.

Even on the Antwerp route you still have big estuaries (Volkerak, Holland’s Diep) to traverse, which are in practice just as weather dependent and you need good vis. And before you get that far you have potentially a lot of messing about in Antwerp. I remember being there all day once. On the other hand Terneuzen and Hansweert locks are not a problem and all you have after that is the little 40 metre lock at Bergse, then you are in Tholen, back on your original planned track.

The Boven Zeeschelde on the ebb can be quite tense with big ships thundering up astern and trying to push past on the bends. Upstream is much easier since you simply catch the very start of the flood at whatever point you enter, and usually keep well ahead of the bigger stuff all the way to Gent, so I happily do upstream on the flood, but avoid downstream on the ebb.

You also have to watch out for low flying aircraft on the Boven Zeeschelde! (Joke, but you will know what I mean if you go that way!)

Balliol.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Peter Johns

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transiting antwerp 04 Mar 2020 15:28 #114165

Brendan Whelan wrote: Pete, thanks for the link to the useful timing information. In around five weeks time I expect to leave Gent - Lindenlei and then travel east making a couple of stops before arriving in The Netherlands. ( I will look in detail at possible routes nearer the time. )

I recently did the trip the other way from Gorinchem, staying at Willemstad and Tholen, as I needed electricity. Several cheaper or free moorings on the route are in the Waterways Guide, like Kreekrak, Steenbergsche Vliet, Volkerraksluis

Have the recent storms significantly affected the river levels and/or the river flow rates? If there has been a change does this affect the recommendation as to when to start on the tide? Is there information of the rivers from any official body.?

I'm not expert on the Schelde but extra flow is likely to just help you on the journey and reduce the time. I doubt that you'll be white-water rafting. Others have given the sites I'd suggest for seeing the conditions.

Pete

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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis , Gent.

transiting antwerp 04 Mar 2020 14:52 #114162

This site www.waterinfo.be may also prove useful.

Ken

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transiting antwerp 04 Mar 2020 12:34 #114149

  • Balliol Fowden
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There have been a lot of disruptions recently on Belgian waterways due to excess water, affecting areas around Gent and to the west in particular, but also undoubtedly the Schelde downstream of Merelbeke. It is important to realise that Belgian rivers and even canals drain much of northern France via the Schelde, Leie, Yser, Meuse, Canal Gent Oostende etc. What the situation will be like in a few weeks is up to the weather in northern France.

You can register with Vlaamse Waterwegen via their website www.visuris.be/ and obtain automatic emailed navigation notices for all waterways or just selected waterways (if you select All you get a lot of emails!)

Balliol.

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transiting antwerp 04 Mar 2020 12:28 #114147

Pete's link covers most information.

2 points I might highlight:

1. if you have the time, do it in 2 days and stay overnight at a place called "Branst" (Café Zates). It's marked in the waterways guide. That's roughly 4 hours from Ghent and 3 hours to go to Antwerp. It's a relatively calm mooring (the occasional commercial passes by). When you get to the place, you'll see three pontoons, you want the MIDDLE one (blue) and very pleasant café. It splits the otherwise 7-hour journey in which you would inevitably go against the current near the end.

2. [Absolute worst part of getting to Antwerp but it's worth it:] When you get to Antwerp, there are 2 locks. Be prepared it could take a few hours to get through to the inside. The 2 locks are: The Royerssluis and the Kattendijksluis. The latter (Kattendijk) only works three hours before and after high tide so when you come from Ghent, you usually have to wait quite a bit before you could enter this lock. The Royerssluis works all the time, low or high tide, yet is old (built in 1908) and thus SLOW. As Pete wrote, there's a large pontoon for you to moor on while you wait; moor on end of the pontoon as the "waterbus" also uses it to drop-off and pick up passengers.

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transiting antwerp 04 Mar 2020 10:37 #114130

Pete, thanks for the link to the useful timing information. In around five weeks time I expect to leave Gent - Lindenlei and then travel east making a couple of stops before arriving in The Netherlands. ( I will look in detail at possible routes nearer the time. ) Have the recent storms significantly affected the river levels and/or the river flow rates? If there has been a change does this affect the recommendation as to when to start on the tide? Is there information of the rivers from any official body.?Thanks, Brendan

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transiting antwerp 03 Mar 2020 20:51 #114108

There are detailed notes (from an Antwerp resident) on travelling the Boven Zeescelde in the -Knowledgebase .

Royersluis rather than Kattendijk is the normal entry from the Schelde and there is a potential waiting pontoon opposite, though Wintam or Branst will be more comfortable for overnighting.

The FD number for transiting Antwerp is most easily obtained from Willemdok marina if you plan to stay there. Otherwise by VHF as you enter. There are signs indicating the appropriate channel.

Pete

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transiting antwerp 03 Mar 2020 20:01 #114106

  • John Fraser
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We are leaving Ghent for Holland next week. I have a couple of questions. We will be going along the schelde river and understand we are best to leave around one hour before high water ( This will be 4.5 hours before high water Antwerp). My plan was to travel as far as reasonably can on one tide. If we could make it to the locks at Antwerp it would be good but if not then moor somewhere and wait for the next day.

Pc Navigo suggests entering Antwerp via the Kattendikksluis, can I check this is sensible. It is not clear which is best lock to go through. Also if we get there when tide is running hard (I hope not to ) but is there some where to wait. I also understand that a number is needed. I did try to email the jacht haven without success. Any advice on this trip would be great. We are 17 meter long and can manage around 10 km per hour flat out. Any advice on the transit of Antwerp would be much appreciated

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