The MBM Fleet make it to foreign waters at last

Tuesday 15th May

We’ve made it! Oostende at last.

The MBM fleet are in foreign waters at last. After a successful dinner at the ‘The Royal Harbour Restaurant’ last night, participants had arisen to a bright still morning in Ramsgate. Neale and Claire, aboard Calm Voyager had made their way out of the harbour towards Dover and the shipping lanes early to access the conditions, and the fleet were good to go. Time Flies remained in harbour calling out the boats one by one, the last fast boat departing Ramsgate at 0850 hrs.

As the morning drew on, on the passage south past Dover the south-westerly wind picked up a little more than expected making it a slightly uncomfortable for some but only for a short time. Once across the separation scheme, the wind was behind the fleet and they surfed up the French coast towards Belgium in the sunshine. Unfortunately there was one casualty of the today’s passage. Once over the Calais side of the channel, Bayliner 3258 ‘Little Buds’ suffered an engine failiure. Liaising with Neale over the VHF and phone they chose to take the boat back to Ramsgate.

All boats were assembled in Royal Yacht Club Oostende by 1500 hrs local time, including the new arrival Broom 36, ‘Odyssey’ who had come direct from Bradwell after sorting some technical problems that had prevented them from joining the fleet at Ramsgate. A briefing was held at the Yacht Club at 1830 hrs to discuss tomorrow’s passage to Brugge. The sense of achievement among those who had made their first channel crossing was apparent.