Colin & Belinda Laidlaw
Wed 18 Jun 2014 12:33
Lesson learnt #3: Never, under any circumstances, fall to the delusions associated with Marina-Fever. Having for 3 days checked the weather morning, noon and night and seen strong north to north easterly winds we concluded that it would be folly to leave Boulogne and spend 20 hours beating into F4-5 occassional 6’s in a moderate but highly confused sea. That is until we had been tied up in the same marina for 4 days and craving a change of scenery. “F4-5, occ 6’s – they’ll soon blow over and look the weather’s much better the further north you go... and we’ll have favourable tide for the hardest parts.... so lets go.......”
Eeurgh! Last night was horrible!!! We left just before 4 – even leaving the Port we should have guessed what it was like “out there”. Still the tides for the first 5 hours meant we charged around Cap Gris Nez only to have to dodge Ferries and Cargo ships leaving Calais. The seas were horrible, the winds were worse and then the tide changed and we were lucky if we made 3.8kts SOG. Running up the outside of the Traffic Separation System was fine, then that ran out and we were back to dodging commercial traffic off Ostend and Zeebrugge. We counted 22 large ships at anchor off Ostend. There were so many lights it looked at first like the coast!
So we reached Breskens at around 1000 – neither having being able to grab more than an hours sleep all night – and in poor visiblity and fine rain we anchored at the end of a shallow channel which could very easily be a nature reserve with the amount of different birds around. Then after coffee and a French baguette the sun came out. Ha! Troublesome trip? No, it was no problem at all..........