Tower Bridge - Boulogne - Normandy - Gosport Cruise
Skipper: Steve Benham. Mate: George Molony
Onboard latest 10:00 hrs. on Saturday 18 June at St Katherine Haven marina in the City of London, although a beer with George and me the night before would be better. We'll leave as soon as the lock keeper lets us, depending on depth in the lock, probably 11-12:00 hrs. We'll have views of Tower Bridge, the O2, Canary Wharf, Greenwich and the Thames Barrier as we whizz down the Thames on the tide aiming for a pint at the pub at Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey.
Next day we'll aim to get round North Foreland and get a berth in Ramsgate. HW Ramsgate is 11:50 hrs and it's 35nm, so we'll need to time our passage to make the most of the tides. That'll be the end of the roast beef for a while because on Monday, always weather permitting of course, we'll cross the shipping lanes aiming for Boulogne. For you history buffs Boulogne is a 13th Century walled town and where Julius Caesar prepared for invasion of England. Later Napoleon was not quite as successful. He did, however, get a loser's column erected! We will have had a three solid days sailing so the crew may vote for a rest day and some tourism.
Rest of the week we have in mind hopping (references to frogs now acceptable, but you may be obliged to eat their legs) down the coast to Le Treport, Dieppe and Fecamp.
Brighton Belle knows Dieppe pretty well having hoisted the cup for the "Dieppe Dash" in 2015. We may catch up with Dieppe YC friends and probably visit our favourite restaurant if they'll have us back. Unfortunately the famous Dieppe market is on Saturdays. You'll have to join the Dieppe Dash for that. 15nm NE of Dieppe is Treport, a fishing port boasting nearby safe bathing "if you think you're hard enough" and good views over the Channel from the cliffs. If you're feeling feeble you can take the funicular up the cliffs. Fecamp is 30 nm SW of Dieppe. We'll need to time our arrival and departure in the top half of the tide and get into Bassin Berigny. We can do a bit of tourism as well with a couple of museums, a hike up to Notre Dame and a wee drop of Benedictine liqueur.
So in summary a dash down the Thames, couple of pints in England followed by washing down la bonne cuisine with few glasses of wine. Wind permitting about 200nm sailing plus a longish passage to Gosport to finish off the week.
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