The urban shepherd and things that go bump in the night

Firstly I must mention the urban shepherd I spied on the way in to Gent.

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He was peacefully grazing his sheep along the cycle/walk way. Each time a cyclist appeared he sent his sheepdog to create a space for them.  I spied him on the way back too so this must be his usual route.

Now then, our past mooring was delightful,  perfectly situated near Gavere village for shopping and with plenty of dog walking

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… then the weekend ended.

Monday morning and the big boys returned – lots of them – making waves and churning up the water … poor Avalon was up and down, backward and forward, rocking this way and that with her ropes creaking under the strain.

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I was glad to put my feet on solid ground and escaped to walk Herbie with Jill and Mutley.  We found a nice copse behind Carrefore Supermarket which led in turn to a fishing lake. The dogs had a lovely time and we all returned thirsty and tired.

Back on board and although I can cope with the boat swinging about a bit it does get rather annoying when you have to literally brace yourself each time a barge goes past and I was thankful when it was time to go to bed perchance to sleep. Or so I thought.

It seems the big boys like to motor through the night which is fine until you are woken in the early hours with the boat feeling like its being thrown from side to side (well not quite but you get the idea!). There was one particularly nasty occasion at 6am when the boat was rocking for around 15 minutes afterwards and the fenders were squealing under the pressure. My head was spinning and poor Herbie came for a reassuring cuddle.

On inspection in the morning it seems our gunnel had at some point dipped under the rim of the mooring and the side bollard had scraped off some wood. Also some of the paintwork is now scratched where it was bashed about.  Quite a rough night! I can only imagine what would have happened if we had been on mooring pins!

Tonight we have erred on the side of caution and moored off of the main thoroughfare in a village called Kerkhove.  Far more peaceful!

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