Day 32 – 36 of Summer Trip 2014 – Boulogne

Our stay in Boulogne has been a pretty chilled one

Well when I say chilled, it’s mighty hot!!

Every day we see gigantic boats come in droves. They all seem to arrive at the same time cruising in at about 100mph. The Dutch have taken over most of the marina, and watching these guys fit 60ft boats into tiny spaces is awe inspiring!

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I’ve made a new purchase, Ted the trolley! There’s no way we could carry all the wine, I mean food back to the boat without Teds help. Excalibur has got another friend onboard called Alfred the autopilot as well. Useful items around the boat have slowly started to acquire names.

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Ted the trolley is orange with white polka dots as you can see. He also has reflective wheels fitted as an added safety feature for those long dark nights…

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The chandlery was a fun trip, everything I asked for came with a response ‘errr non’.

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On Thursday we heard that the UK was experiencing some pretty epic thunderstorms. Well while Ruth and I finished off our dinner with a cup of tea in the cockpit, we watched the clouds in the distance and pondered if they’d miss us. All of  a sudden like something out of a Ghostbuster movie, black dark clouds appeared from over the harbour wall. I think our neighbours saw the fear and surprise in our faces, and with in a few seconds it dawned on everyone in the marina show time was over and it was time to pack the f*ck up. We raced to get everything inside as the wind picked up and howled through all the boats rigging. I tied the boat down further, and checked our mooring lines, like everyone else was doing. After ducking inside we watched a pretty awesome lightening show, and then put on 28 weeks later to the sound of thunder and lightening.

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Ruth’s boyfriend Benny turned up at the weekend and we hit the town for some drinks in the evening, and after a few more drinks we followed a group of locals into the ‘Whiskey Club’, which is a club with one of those knock knock, shutter opens, bouncer squares you up and down, opens door and lets you in policies (if all goes to plan). We kept it casual and just followed in with the locals pretending to be one of them. The Whiskey Club turned out to be one of those electro neon er whiskey bars that didn’t sell very much whiskey.

Benny found a Durex vending machine conveniently located outside a C&A.

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Before Benny left Ben turned up and we went out for more seafood…there’s really only so much seafood one man can take I’m sure! What made this restaurant so special was what was on the menu, from salmon with rust, to crunchy goat and shrimps in the virgin, this restaurant catered for all tastes going by their menu…

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After Benny left for blighty, me Ruth and Ben went for some PGA style golf. The course was a traditional 21 holes, with varying levels of difficulty, just like the real thing.

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We’ve seen lots of Twingo’s in France, some old, some new. You don’t normally see Twingo’s anymore so its a pleasure to see so many of them around. Such a versatile well styled car.

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Before we left we did a bit of boat maintenance, my main sail had come away from the track in the boom at one end. I don’t have a proper outhaul ever since I installed a third reefing line. Both Ben and Ruth are avid climbers and have a wealth of rope work knowledge. Within no time the main was re-threaded, and some fine knot work was produced to keep the main snug in its track. Cheers guys, those knots look gorgeous!

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Finally it was time to leave Boulogne and head for Dieppe. We slipped our lines, and headed out around lunch time, expecting to be there for late evening.

Mother nature had different plans, and as we headed out the wind was gusting to 35-36 knots at times. We concluded this would not be the fun trip we had wished for, and headed back in, opting to try again the following day.

Trip Stats
Miles: 0
Total Miles: 221
Expenses
Dinners / drinks and groceries £173.71
Marina fees £77.95
Summer trip total expenditure £1836.84
Author: Tim Butler

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