A mere 40 mile passage today would see us safely across the channel and arrivant en France, so we opted for a leisurely diesel-saving 10 knots, and enjoyed another flat calm cruise. Boisterous Mistress preferred a later start and a faster passage, so we planned to rendezvous at Boulogne on arrival.
There's always plenty of shipping to watch out for in the busy Dover strait and there was a steady stream of ferries coming and going. The SpeedOne fast cat caught us up as we neared the French side, showing us the way to Boulogne, although he was on his way back by the time we arrived at the pierheads.
We spent the latter half of the trip researching our forthcoming canal cruise - having had little time for forward planning prior to our departure. Our grand plan to make it all the way to the Med has been somewhat scaled down, and we are now anticipating a more leisurely cruise around the northern half of France, before a return to the UK in mid-August.
Our arrival near high water in Boulogne meant we could make a stop at the navigationally-challenged fuel berth, which lies at the far end of the small boat pontoon, within metres of rocky obstacles which dry at low water. We topped up with just 88 litres, enjoying the upside of a slow passage. Boisterous Mistress (a lighter boat with the same engines as ours) used twice as much to do the trip in half the time!
After a long overdue boat-cleaning session, we took a walk up to the Haute Ville, stopping at our favourite fish restaurant, Aux Pecheurs d'Etaples, to book a table for the evening. We were not disappointed, on this our third visit, by the excellent service and good value fresh seafood menu. Vive la France!