July 6

The official end of my British explorations by boat. I arrived in Shotley Marina, on a peninsula between Felixstowe’s container port, and Harwich’s ferry terminal, which is the site of the former boy sailor’s training school, called HMS Ganges. More than 100,000 boys attended this establishment over the years, providing the Royal Navy with many trained sailors. Now disestablished, the marina is the site of a wonderful museum about the school.

The passage from Lowestoft to Shotley was one of the roughest I have experienced, ending in force 6 winds. Not a pleasant trip, but I at least had the tide with me to hasten the voyage.

yellow 2016, purple 2017, dark green 2018 to complete journey at Harwich

Nick and Chris arrived, and after re-provisioning, we set off on July 5, five years to the day from when I started my British explorations by boat. Harwich was the last stop on my circumnavigation of Britain (except for northern Scotland, where I crossed by the Great Glen and the Caledonian Canal). A wonderful experience and I have learned a great deal about the history, people, and places. Thanks.

Crossing the channel was absolutely easy with calm seas, and a beautiful day. My crew were less enthused, finding the gently rolling swells providing discomfort! However, ever wanting to give me a challenge, we made the last 90 minutes in fog, thick at times, and especially as I was entering Dunkirk harbour. Navigating by chartplotter is an experience! Encountering a tacking sailboat within the fog obscured entrance added even more to the tension. However, we arrived, safe and secure without sinking either ourselves nor the sailboat, to moor, breasted up, in Dunkirk (now Dunkerque!)

Nick harvesting mussels from the huge lock wall

moules (mussels, fresh and done in garlic and white wine, with creme fraiche) Delicious!

Now, on to explore the continent, starting with France.,

About Ed Mortimer

I'm a retired school teacher, now living on my Dutch cruiser in France. I'm touring as much of the canals and river systems as I can. This blog describes what I do and where I've been. I did spend 5 years on first a narrowboat, and then this boat, in Britain.
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