5 years :)

Note – to give the original view from the time via Caroline’s splendid blogging I’ve added that week’s posts into the Index of posts I’ve been working on to sort my blog’s rather confusing timelines out 🙂

Technically this post – Leaving! – is from the day before, so on 21-09-09 there was a bit more of that tidying still in progress. Not much time to think about leaving the UK for an unspecified amount of time really.

2009-09-21 #03 (Custom)

It was time for a bit of a celebration that evening though. A mixture of excitement, and just plain relief to be starting something we’d been planning and then preparing for for so long. The canals were a bit of an unknown at this stage, but more appealing than Biscay in September/October. Not to say we/I didn’t second-guess that a bit at times!

2009-09-21 #20 (Custom)

We had managed to find a window of sunny, light westerly winds for heading up the English Channel towards the shortest crossing point from Dover to Calais where we would enter the canal system – we could have gone in at Rouen but making once of our first sails since the refit an overnight channel (read: motorway) crossing didn’t really appeal.

2009-09-22 #01 East Head to Littlehampton (Custom)

A quick cloudy one lest anything think it was continuous sunshine (why head south at all? 😀 )..

2009-09-23 #03 Littlehampton to Brighton (Custom)

but generally the weather was great, especially for admiring the iconic white cliffs..

2009-09-24 #01 Brighton to Eastbourne (Custom)

Some strange memories do stick out – being woken up by the boat suddenly heeling over in Eastbourne Marina in the night because we were moored near a sluice from the lock!

Looking at the nex picture, it’s slightly strange to think we had no choice about helming back then (Maid will steer herself happily at some angles to the wind, but not that one) – self steering is definitely a luxury. Mind you, when the wind’s light and it’s sunny..

2009-09-25 #02 (Custom)

I don’t actually remember much of crossing the channel from Dover – I suspect because I spent some of it getting ready to go up (and probably rather less actually up) to free something I’d got caught, and what felt like most of the rest fixing issues with the burner and pressure pump for the paraffin cooker so we could reheat lunch! (Thinking about it, the others must have got lumbered with a lot of steering on a rather less cheery day..)

2009-09-28 #02 [C&C] (Custom)

I did manage to serve lunch before we got to Calais though – and the fried supper Caroline made after we moored up still stands out as delicious.

2009-09-29 #01 Calais (Custom)

So, France! And into the canals..

(I won’t be repeating that, but I will add it to the Index of posts, as well as some more general reflections. If you can’t contain your curiosity just browsing through from the indexed posts or clicking the ‘French canals and rivers’ category on the right should do)

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