Antipole cruises

Dover to Dunkerque

We decided to hold out in Dover for better weather and caught up on rest and sleep.

Dover is today dominated by lorries trundling on and off the ferries and the centre of town is pretty miserable. But scratch below the surface and you can find its remarkable past. The Town Hall and Civic Centre is of monastic origins, and has lovely stained glass windows depicting some of the significant historical embarkations and arrivals.

We spent Tuesday afternoon exploring Dover Castle – the largest castle in all England.

It is indeed impressive. The keep, built by Henry II, has been restored to how it is thought to have been, and the visitor meets actors in characters of the time wandering around. While Henry was very successful building a vast kingdom in England and France, his family life was fraught, and in his chambers we were privy to the struggles between Henry and Eleanor over their sons favours. Certainly a case for family therapy!

On Wednesday we finally got the wind we had been waiting for – south westerly. It was on the strong side – Force 6 gusting 7, so we had a very fast and somewhat lumpy crossing of the busy Dover Straits shipping lanes. Once across, the wind eased to Force 5 for the long passage up the approaches to Dunkerque. The passage port-entrance-to-port entrance took just over 5 hours, with an average of 7.8 knots – quite a remarkable sustained speed.

We tucked up into a berth at the Yacht Club de la Mere du Nord and decided to sit out the impending gales here. It is blowing Gale Force 8 gusting Severe Gale 9, and even with extra warps out the boat is jumping around in the marina, so we are very glad not to be at sea! So much for summer!

We have been into town a few times to explore its delights!-) and topped up our victuals with French varieties. Today we went up the iconic Saint Eloi belfry, with its vast array of chiming bells. There are “mind blowing” views from the top, although we had to hold on tight to avoid being blown off it ourselves.

Once the gales moderate we shall be heading eastwards along the Flemish coast. More news later.

groetjes en liefs


PS: herewith some video taken on the passage up to Dunkerque after things got quieter.


3 thoughts on “Dover to Dunkerque

  1. Sarah G

    Amazing news and glad you have made a safe passage!! Looking forward to more tales of your adventures!!! My plans are taking shape too so hope to have more news next time we speak! Lots of love and groetjes en liefs too! Sarah xxxxxxxxx

  2. heleen

    Goeiemorgen Europa-vaarders,

    Must be wonderfull to sail your own ship across the channel:
    the first country outside your homeplace for a long trip through Europe.
    Nice to be in Brugge again (weet je nog, Ine) and enjoy it there.
    See you soon, groetjes en liefs voor beiden.

    Ine, kijk effe in je e-mail.

  3. Alison

    Thanks so much for your call, great to chat & catch up.
    Wonderful pics. of Dover Castle, & interesting to learn some of b/ground. Hope weather improves for you. Cooler here today, will just have a swim. Mark hears Tuesday if he will be made redundant from army. Is in Trooping Of colour Sat. week. Toni has ticket in the stand to watch him guard the new colours.
    Much love from us both to you both, Alison XX

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