Day 15 – Holland

Fate saves the best 'til last as the MBM crew has an arduous journey home

I’m writing this the morning after the day before. Yesterday was the last day of the cruise and as planned we were all ready for our 6am departure. Unfortunately the RIB was not. When Claire and John went to leave she wouldn’t start. So began one of the longest days of the cruise.

WithTime Fliesout of action our only option was to tow her, all the way from Nieuwpoort back to Port Solent. Claire and John rigged up the tow ropes and we set off, with the rest of the fleet passing us as we were only able to go about 10 knots.

As if crossing the Channel at this speed wasn’t painstaking enough, once we reached Dunkirk we were boarded by the French police who wanted to see all of our paperwork and passports, plus search the boat – adding another hour onto our trip. It just goes to show that however rare you could be boarded at any time, so it’s well worth being prepared.

Once they were satisfied we weren’t dope smugglers we pressed on across the TSS. The sea was relatively calm for most of the crossing but once we reached Dover and tried to move along the south coast the winds picked up and the RIB was getting thrown around. There was nothing for it – we changed route to Ramsgate where we left the RIB before getting back on track to Port Solent.

We finally moored up in Port Solent Marina at 9.30pm, shattered and feeling a little forlorn at having to leaveTime Fliesbehind. We will be making arrangements this week to pick her up and get her looked at.

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Before leaving Nieuwpoort Neale asked the fleet to contact us once they had reached their first port of call across the Channel and I’m pleased to say everyone made it safely, with no major dramas reported.

It’s been a good but busy couple of weeks and once the MBM crew has cleaned Blue Fin we are looking forward to a short rest before we’re back in the office the day after tomorrow. Until next year.

Caption:Mam’selle leaves Nieuwpoort and quickly overtakes Blue Fin

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