Antwerp, Belgium :: The Locks

Shipping locks fascinate me.  Just the simple fact that human impact is so great that we raise and lower natural water levels.  Commerce!  Commerce!  Commerce! Several things amazed me:

  • There were no fenders.  We literally tied up along a concrete wall.
  • They packed us in there like sardines.  When we were departing there were two barges between us an the opposite side of the lock.  When the second barge slid between us there were probably about 6 inches to spare.
  • The levels move quickly.  There really isn't too much downtime.
  • The line handlers are amazingly nonchalant.  They wore shorts and certainly not in any hurry.

The only bummer about going through a lock is that it adds several hours to a docking evolution.  When sleep is such a precious commodity this is rather annoying.

The good news?  I got to sit on the bow and take photos!

[nggallery id=25]