24/7 Tue The tide is now essentially un-usable either early or late so I take a day out. And it’s too hot to do anything else anyway. Except shopping, which is essential. Check with Google which says that there really is a (several) supermarket in town and it’s a Carrefour and it’s about –> (wherever that is). Walk in, get to the indicated spot & the corner shop clearly isn’t a Carrefour so keep looking. It’s WELL hidden: turn up a side-street & you can just see the entrance sign for the car park. It’s painted on the wall so only visible if you’re standing in front of it. Follow the alley and find an interior courtyard where: behold the Carrefour! The courtyard does have an entrance tunnel from the promenade but again you can’t actually see anything unless you go in. (I think it must have inherited the curse from Scheveningen.) Struggle back across the Sahara Desert (seems like) to the YH.
25/7 Wed Decide that the final half of the morning tide will now get me to Nieuwpoort and do that.
26/7 Thu Dunkerque is a bit further but there is just enough tide showing to get me there. Flaked out from the heat: can’t get any further than the clubhouse for supper.
27/7 Fri Wake in the (really) early hours, check the weather forecast: mixed news. Dunkerque says easy, light ESE; Windfinder he say “No way, José”. Since start time is 04:00 (= about 02:10 real time), I go back to bed. When awake again, walk into town (Sahara again), find the Tourist Information Office who have a Map and know where the Supermarché is. Hurrah! Struggle on and feel so faint from the heat I have to stop at a café to recover. (I haven’t even started the shopping yet.) Find the Supermarché, who can’t sell anything that isn’t pre-weighed (& no weighing machines), spot an advert for a cartoon film (The Incredibles #2). Since the Map shows the cinema, I check & it’s actually on, this afternoon! The heat is killing but I get the shopping to the boat & me to the cinema. On exitting, I’m surprised by loud crashing & banging: thunder? despite the brilliant, hot sunshine. Yes, and a shower falls as I walk back. The downpour scarcely wets the pavement and steams off again in clouds with a weird smell of newly backed cake. I rush back to the boat in case it really comes down. (Rush is a relative term here, I’m still wacked out by the heat.) Grab a waterproof jacket & totter to the restaurant & make the wrong menu choice (Potjevleesch is AWFUL). But I don’t care because the the heavens have now opened for real and everyone who was eating on the terras is now inside (never seen it so full).
28/7 Sat Of course, the downside of calling off the Friday crossing is that Saturday is a definite No-No. But the stinking heat’s gone, the humidity’s gone and I don’t care–I’ll get back sometime.
29/7 Sun Windfinder forecast: SSW 5. After sailing happily along for 2 hours, Dover CG. comes up & changes it to S5-7. Divert to Calais. This is a terrible fate as anyone knows who’s been there. You arrive at low tide and take a waiting buoy. Then you wait…. Then you pass the bridge/ecluse into the charmless marina basin. Then the fun?-fair starts up & blasts loud music till 24:00.
30/7 Mon A touch of the Calais-wobbles crosses Monday off.
31/7 Tue And the other side: exit the marina at 06:10 and crack a rib getting onto the buoy to wait for another 3 hours before crossing in a lumpy sea and notable SW breeze to Dover & the right country with the right language and the right currency (at least, when I remember to change over)!
01/8 Wed I like Dover and the rib is uncomfortable and the tide is wrong, so stay for a day (I’m on holiday).
02/8 Thu The rib is still uncomfortable and the tide is still wrong, so stay for another day (I’m still on holiday).
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