Friday, 17th July 2015 – This Is All Getting A Bit Fraught!
It is now four weeks since we were on board Emjaytoo and a lot has happened in that time. Firstly, we have bought a trailer-tent, secondly Kim has got a new car, had a tow-bar fitted to it and we have had a long weekend away trying it all out. The upshot of all this is that the shuttle crossing we had for last weekend was cancelled so we could try out the trailer tent. We were already aware that it was proving difficult to use our pre-paid “Frequent Traveller” crossings in the peak summer period, but it is now apparent that it is impossible! Our next booked crossing to go to the boat is the 26th September!
Last night we spent a couple of hours trawling the shuttle & ferry company’s websites only to find that the cheapest we could get a crossing was over £200 and getting on for £250, just to have a two day weekend on the boat. That is totally out of the question!
We have a four day weekend towards the end of August and if we go out at about 8.00pm on the Thursday night, coming back Monday night, we can get a ferry for about £90, which is acceptable. The problem is that it would be gone midnight by the time we got to the boat, but if we want a trip before late September, then that is our only option.
The last month or so, for various reasons – strikes, incidents with immigrants and other unspecified reasons, the cross channel crossings have been severely disrupted with Operation Stack becoming an almost permanent feature. So not only are cross channel trips becoming impossible to book, the likelihood of actually getting there and back without a load of delays, is disappearing rapidly! It is also apparent that both the Shuttle and the ferry companies have put their fares up considerably over the last couple of years!
July and August are becoming no-go periods for trips to the boat! This then puts a huge amount pressure on the viability of keeping Emjaytoo in the Netherlands. This is particularly disappointing given that the Euro exchange rate is the most favourable since 2007, making the cost of keeping her there cheaper than ever! It’s just no good if we can’t get to use her!
We will just have to see this year out and then try to work around the problems next year. If we can’t, then we will have to reconsider the viability of keeping Emjaytoo over there. We had thought that the day would come when we would give up Emjaytoo because we no longer wanted to pursue that sort of past time. But it now seems that our hand may be forced by circumstances beyond our control!
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