Please find driving directions below the main text
Bank account of “National Trust Belgium” (NTAB)
BE17 0016 2443 2021
Against the backdrop of the recent energy crisis, rising energy bills, the urgent need to curtail the use of fossil fuels through the accelerated development of alternative and sustainable energy sources, to bring about a low-carbon society, no outing can be more appropriate in timing and better respond to current events than a boat trip to Belgium’s offshore wind farms on the Thornton Bank, some 30 km from the coast line. Indeed marine generated electricity will play an increasingly prominent role in creating Belgium’s new energy mix.
During the 5-hour cruise, a professional English-speaking guide will immerse us in the techniques, know-how and secrets of offshore wind generated energy and tell us about major future projects such as the Ventilus project, a planned robust power line for the transmission of marine energy to existing onshore electricity grids, and the planned construction of the Princess Elisabeth Island, an electricity hub which seeks to connect wind farms from the sea to the mainland and create new connections with neighboring countries, including the UK.
Arriving at the Thornton Bank, we will focus in particular on the wind farm run by C-power (the nearest), fully operational since 2013 with a total installed capacity of 325 MW. The park consists of 54 wind turbines generating about 1,050 GWh per year, or enough to provide 300,000 families with renewable energy.
On the way to and from the wind farms, we also get the opportunity to learn more about the North Sea itself, its currents, tides and prevailing winds, coastal navigation and port signalling, international shipping routes and the various buoys and beacons. It will also be a great moment to explore marine birds and mammals. So don’t forget your binoculars. And enjoy the healthy sea air.
Deadline was May 15th – We may accept a few additional participants until Friday June 16.
For security reasons and to comply with police regulations, we will be required to submit a passenger list with the following details of each participant: surname, first name(s), nationality, date of birth, place of birth, document identity number [identity card or passport], country of issue).
Hendrik Baelskaai , 36 8400 Oostende.
Our boat , “The Albatros” will leave Ostend harbour at 14.00.
However, participants are expected to arrive at the embarkation point at 13.30 at the latest, as embarking will close half an hour before departure !
By car: from Brussels take the E40. At Ostend take the R31 ( direction Knokke /Blankenberge) and then the N34 ( Dokter Eduard Moureaux-laan) and take the first street to the left after having crossed the 3 harbour bridges. There are plenty of free parking places on the quay opposite the ship.
By public transport: from Ostend station take the tramway to Knokke and get off at “Weg naar Vismijn” (1st stop). From there it is a 8 minutes walk to the embarkation point.
There is no organized lunch. However, participants can bring their own food/snacks and drinks (no alcoholic beverages).
Hot and cold drinks as well as light hot and cold snacks can be purchased on board.
Please note: The number of pre-ordered packed lunches did not reach the required minimum, so no packed lunches are available.
According to the latest weather forecast, the weather conditions for our boat trip look excellent. We can therefore expect that our excursion will be made in the best conditions. Don’t forget your binoculars, sunglasses and sunscreen.
In the very unlikely event that the boat cannot sail out due to adverse weather conditions, the trip will be canceled and participants will be notified by email or telephone no later than the day before. In that case, the trip will be postponed to a later date within a period of 12 months.
Participants who are prone to seasickness can ask the captain for appropriate medication when embarking.
Please note: to reduce the risk of seasickness, participants are advised to eat well before and during the trip. The fuller your stomach, the less sick you become, strange as this may sound at first glance.
Joris Surmont, our qualified guide, is a former Navy Officer with a broad maritime background and an extensive knowledge of sustainable and modern fishing techniques. Before enlisting into the Belgian Navy, he gained fishing experience on trawlers fishing around Iceland and in the Celtic and Irish Seas.
He will initiate us into the secrets of the North Sea, its currents , tides and prevailing winds, coastal navigation, port signalling, buoys and beacons, international shipping routes and assist us in exploring marine birds and mammals (e.g. seals and bottlenose dolphins).
Finally he will immerse us into the techniques, know how and secrets of offshore wind generated energy and tell us about major future projects such as the Ventilus power line and the planned construction of the Princess Elisabeth Island, an electricity hub which seeks to connect wind farms from the sea to the mainland and create new connections with neighbouring countries including the UK.
We will be a group of 40. Name list of participants will be communicated by private email.
Since our boat can carry a maximum of 58 people, we will probably be joined by some additional passengers, who, although not related to our association, will be all the more interested in an unique shared experience with us.
We will be back in Ostend at about 19.00
Enjoy your boat trip and see you soon