Heading South

In the last two weeks we sailed around 400nm. Starting in IJmuiden we made our way to France. First stop: Calais. After 26 hours of sailing we arrived in front of the harbour. We had to announce our arrival on the VHF and were given instructions from the local port control to wait for several ferries coming from or heading to Dover. When allowed to enter the harbour we hurried and could get through the next bridge opening. We slept a long night and continued our way to Dieppe on Thursday.

As we reach the outer buoy of Dieppe I knock on the window behind me. Underneath my father is supposed to be sleeping. Regarding we will arrive soon he better wake up and help me finding the harbour. There are dozens of lights at the horizon, but I just can‘t make out which of them is marking the harbour entrance. Just half an hour later huge walls are surrounding us while we enter Dieppe harbour at low tide about 4 o’clock in the morning. We take the first free spot we see and dock even though a boat twice of our size would probably fit too. In the morning we transfer to the right berth and stay another night.

The wind is increasing. It‘s night and we want to arrive with the tide in Dover early in the morning. According to the weather forecast the wind would slow down from wind force 4 tonight but instead it‘s increasing to 6 or 7 Bft. We decide to turn starboard instead of crossing the shipping lane on high reach wind and enter Calais, where we stayed three days ago so we knew already knew the entrance.

Two days later I watch the calm water and the wind decides to leave us to our beloved engine.
It is about 7am when I spot a dinghy only a few miles away. There are about 30 refugees onboard who probably just left the French coast. They wave to us happily. After we informed the coastguard we spot three other dinghies. Later on we hear on the VHF that a cargo ship had seen an empty dinghy with floating objects around it. One of which we saw earlier was nearby that very ship so was it that one?? We are shocked but too far away, so we didn‘t hear anymore information. After this intense experience we reward ourself later on in Oostende with delicious Chinese takeawayfood.
We used the next day to get some rest, shower, doing laundry and visit the city. We reached Belgium so of course I had to try Belgian waffles. With homemade chocolate sauce. Delicious!

On Wednesday we had to go back to the Netherlands because we are getting new crew on Friday. In Vlissingen we did many groceries because we finally had a big supermarket quite close to the harbour with a wide range of cheap foods.

Now we are waiting in Veere for the rest of the family to join us and continue our trip together in Zeeland and slowly sailing back to our home harbour in Woudsend.

Your Garfield crew

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