51:13.702N 002:55.403E

Colin & Belinda Laidlaw
Wed 27 Aug 2014 13:26

We left Cuxhaven at 1600 Monday so that we could take advantage of the tides and forecast good weather, even though it meant leaving the remaining uk contingent of the rally in Cuxhaven who were mostly leaving at 0400 the next morning. It was our intention to get to Boulogne before the weather deteriorated on thursday. Our trip out of the marina wasn't as bouncy as when we arrived, and we soon found ourselves in a flock of Dutch boats all in a hurry to get back along the friesian islands while the weather lasted. We had a good sail as we rounded the western Friesians, with both wind and tide very much in our favour! This didnt last as the wind changed direction and gusted 30kts turning the comfortable swell, not experienced in the Baltic, to a lumpy, confused mess. In addition, the numerous TSS's and windfarms meant very tiring watches along the journey, and having considered the forthcoming change in weather and the distance we still had to go, we made an executive decision to hunker down in Ostend for a night or two. On our way in around the sandbanks we were accompanied by a lone dolphin, so a decision well made, we think. Entering the marina involved going through a lock and two swing bridges. Due to the tying up mechanism, ie ropes tied vertically to the wall, we temporarily parted company with our boat hook. This was manfully rescued in front of a growing crowd on the roadside. So 44 hours and 307M after leaving Cuxhaven, we find ourselves in a marina in the centre of town, enjoying the obligatory beer, in shorts and t-shirts - for the first time in weeks,(attire, not drink for those who may be concerned!)