We got up in the dark and drove out of Brussels in thick and freezing fog. At Yvoir, on the Meuse, we boarded a ten-metre motor boat. For today we spent all day on the river, taking our practical test on driving large motorboats. This is just the first step in a course we are following that will lead, we hope, to our international licences. We will also have to sit and pass theoretical tests, but today went pretty well and we are over the first hurdle at any rate. The chief challenges in Belgian inland waters are, apart from reading and understanding nautical charts and navigation signals, understanding the effects of currents and navigating into and out of locks. The counter-intuitive lesson we learned was that the slower a motorboat goes, the less control you have, since the screw at the back acts as a sort of dynamic rudder. The knack, therefore, when navigating in enclosed spaces where both control and low speed are necessary, is to give the throttle little surges when necessary so as to regain momentary control over direction. As we chugged down the river to Namur, where we had lunch, something wonderful happened. The fog and mist gradually disappeared, to be replaced by a splendid blue sky and a still-warm sun. It was still pretty cold, especially on the water, but the beautiful weather, combined with the beautiful scenery all around us, and the good humour of our fellow students, turned this into an idyllic day.