Gravelines to Blankenberg

Tuesday 23rd May

Gravelines to Blankenberg

Our next scheduled stop is the Festival Ostend at Anchor but 17 gaffers from the Dutch and Belgian OGA will be attending a much smaller event the same weekend a few miles up the coast at Blankenberg. Many of them are friends of ours from our years of sailing over here and some will be arriving there today.

So we sail out into the sunshine just after 9am, set as many sails as we can (no topsail due to further issues up in the rigging) and pass Dunkirk West just after 10am (not for yachts). Even with the tide helping us along it is 11.30 before we pass Dunkirk East so we could do without having to skirt the firing range at Nieuwpoort. But skirt it we do - 4 miles out is what they request so 4 miles out we go. After all we don't want holes blasting in our sails.

We don't think we have ever sailed past Ostend before - always gone in - but this time we do, at 15.30, and by 17.30 we are tied up in the old fishing harbour at Blankenburg, beers in hand, greeting our chums.

Crowd of gaffers in the cockpit

Buffet supper in the saloon - everyone contributes something and 10 hungry gaffers are fed


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