Thursday 21st May Ref: 2015/7
These are the details of our cruise made on the 21st May 2015 from Ramsgate to Dunkirk, which involved cruising out of the Ramsgate buoyed channel, south to the vicinity of Calais and then along the coast via the Chenal Intermediare and then along the Rade de Dunkerque before entering the Port of Dunkirk, locking through Eluse Trystram and then tieing up alongside The Quai de Hull in La Bassin de la Marine. Lady Martina lead an initial BOC flotilla comprising Ikon (Broom 39) and Lady Maurette ( Broom Ocean 37) and then Erika (Broom 450), Santa Cruz (Broom 450 OS), left later and coordinated their arrival with ours at Dunkirk harbour. Bonny Rose (Broom Continental) went direct from Dover and helped with our arrival and we found 'Flying Visit' (Broom 33) there also who made way alone.
The overall voyage was undertaken, not only Broom Boats from the Owners Club, but also with cruisers from many other clubs that formed the escort to the Dunkirk Little Ships on this 75th anniversary of their brave endeavours that saved so many British and French servicemen. The historic Little Ships fleet wereall assembled in Ramsgate and then mustered from 7.30am to 8.30am local time in the Ramsgate buoyed channel in perfect weather to greet the fly past by a WWII Spitfire and Hurricane. They then set off at only 6.5 knots and arrived around seven hours later alongside the Quai de Hollandaise in the Basin de Commerce, by which time we had already arrived to greet their arrival there .
We had already positioned Lady Martina in Ramsgate on Sunday 17th and so our passage was planned to start at 9.00am and be around 5 hours at 9 knots through the water for some 45 nm. We were amongst the very first support vessels to leave harbour and, in liaison with Ramsgate Harbour Control, we had the chance to lead this support fleet along the North of the Channel as the Historic ships cruised in line astern along the South small craft channel. We were this able to undertake a fantastic review of their fleet passing each of them slowly in turn before turning around the final channel buoy and making our own way.
Our sea passage had the benefit of deeper calmer water and the south-going tide from Ramsgate for the first part of the passage and then the tide changed towards the end and helps us towards our final destination of Dunkerque but rather later than prediction. We arrived in Dunkirk in good time three quarters half an hour early for the 13:30 UTC (14:30 BST, 15:30 FLT) Trystram Lock. As our Broom was now the lead boat of our fleet of eight boats, we were there in good time to arrange the berthing alongside The Quai de Hull in La Bassin de la Marine.
Once tied up with the rest of the BOC escort fleet we walked over clapped and waved in the complete the Dunkirk Little Ships historic fleet when it arrived, rather like we had waved them goodbye in Ramsgate.
Weather 21 deg C→27→23 Deg C ; RH 40→32%; 1025mb steady; smooth/slight seas; good visibility; and light breezes, 4-13 knots wind (F2/3 NW-W-SWly),