North Fambridge to Antwerp


A magic moment in the life of a boat owner.

To start the Gardner engines, to cast the ropes and to set off for a first trip.

L1084129We blow the horn as we leave the jetty where Monara spent the last 5 years, push the two throttles forward and glide out in the evening sun. Even with all the growth on her hull, she quickly reaches 6.5 knots.

In Burnham-on-Crouch we need a short emergency stop to start the generator, as both alternators refuse to charge and the new generator starter battery has died. The only hickup this journey.

We work our way out of the Thames Estuary into a quiet night, for a steady sail. Once settled on her course, with all the electronics set up, we can appreciate the low hum of Monara’s engines.


The night shift takes us through the traffic separation zone, and by morning the Belgian coast appears under a brilliant sun.

Due to some delays at departure, we reach Flushing at low tide, and are forced to crawl our way up the Schelde river against the tide. As time is no issue, we cook a marvelous brunch and the crew tries out all possible seats for a rest, while the beautiful grey, green and beige landscape slides by.

IMG_9547As the river gets more narrow, the huge container vessels and chemical tankers pass close by, en route for Belgium’s biggest port Antwerp.

By 22.00 Monara moors off at the St Anna Jetty in front of Antwerp, time for a drink, a hot meal and a good night’s sleep.

She performed well!

Thank you Joeri, JanDD, Patrick and Jo, for this marvelous journey.


Monara in Willemsdok Antwerp, her berth for the next years.

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