Thursday 4 August 2011. Il Pleu

Slightly slower start to this morning, resulting from being a bit achy after a 36 km bike ride yesterday.  Even though the batteries helped a great deal and the land here is flat, cycling into a head wind makes the going a bit tough AND we are trying to get a bit fitter.

Today’s plan is to move the dinghy and start wielding planks of timber about, to make the support frame for our masts.   On our ride yesterday we noted a yacht with mast on a frame and other boats with far higher  ‘air draught’  (height of boat from surface of water to highest point.)  We are able to have an air draught of a maximum 3.5 metres and we aim to be at least one metre lower than that.

Phoned the Departement de la Somme to pass our information prior to entering the canal system and then what happens??????

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!!!!  the nice man on the other end of the phone announces that there is a reduced depth at the other end of the canal de la Somme to 1.2m and we will not be able to get through.  He did say that if we wanted to try we would have to sign a form first, acknowledging that he told us of the reduced depth.   After a few minutes of agonising and another couple of calls to confirm (even the head office was not aware of the reduction)  we have decided that discretion is the better part of valium and that we will head on up to Calais (Plan B) and go in there.

Hey ho,  all part of the learning curve.   We could sit here calling ‘what if’s) from now until domesday but nothing is likely to change.  The answer?   drink heavily,  eat more baguettes and then sail to Calais.   It is amazing how much work we have done in preparation.  At least we know where everything is and that it comes apart and goes together easily.

Tomorrow we aim to get as far as Boulogne in order to have a fair tide around Gris Nez and up to Calais.

Pics to follow.

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