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Sunday, 3rd November 2013 – Another Year Over, Where Do They Go?

It’s almost a year to the day since we last cleared Emjaytoo, so another year is over. In fact it only seems five minutes ago that we were getting the gear together for the beginning of this season!

The weather was not that great, very windy and threatening to rain hard. In fact a week or so beforehand, it had been so bad at home that we lost three tiles off the roof and our garden swing seat was blown over and broken. The boat, on the other hand was fine, but we were glad we had got the sails off the previous trip. All that was left externally, in the way of canvas, was the spray hood and whilst this was wet from all the rain when we arrived, it was bone dry by mid afternoon and we were able to get it off and in to the car Saturday afternoon.

Wendy amused herself down below with “arty things”, whilst Kim removed as much of the running rigging as he could so it could be brought home to be washed. This year he bought some mousing line so the reefing pennants could be drawn out from within the boom. These have never been taken off the boat before and whilst occasionally we have tried to clean them in situ, they were pretty green! This particular task nearly ended in disaster when Kim, having “moused” one end of the first pennant, then pulled it through only to watch the “un-moused” end disappear into the end of the boom! Fortunately, whilst it had disappeared about two foot inside the boom, some deft work with the handle of a child’s crabbing net, resulted in the loose end being retrieved! Thereafter, the rest of the afternoon passed without mishap.

We would have liked to have gone over to Iets Anders in the evening (as has been our custom in past years), but it has got to be quite expensive, so we’d taken a frozen “spag-bol” from home instead. Of course, we had a lovely, snugly evening on board with our faithful old fan heater (now in its fifth decade of service!) keeping the boat warm.

Sunday was a leisurely morning – tea in bed followed by a good old fry up for lucky Kim! We then cleared the rest of the stuff from inside the boat and were ready to leave just before one o’clock. Since we weren’t booked on a Shuttle until 20 past 7, we had some time in hand, so went back via the Veere Dam and the Lekkerbek for lunch – Chicken Saté, chips with fritessaus and salad. We had a quick walk along the beach, but whilst it wasn’t that cold it was still very windy!

On arrival back in Calais, the Shuttle was up the chute, so we were delayed about an hour, which, given we were actually early for our booked crossing, was a bit of a pain, but we still managed to get home by 8.30pm.

Finally back home it was raining heavily, so it was a rush job to get everything out of the car into the house, but we managed. Now, it will take weeks to get everything put away for the winter, in the meantime the house looks like a bomb has gone off and Wendy is getting grumpy!

Saturday, 30th November 2013 – Order Has Been Restored!

Eventually, everything has been washed, dried, aired and found a home out of sight. Now the long winter, planning a summer cruise and sorting out which weekends to put in the diary, begins.

We have decided, for next year, to purchase a frequent traveller package from Eurotunnel. This gives us 20 return crossings at £33 each. Kim has done an exercise based on this year’s usage and next year’s forecast usage, to show that whilst initially, it may not save us any money, it will give us a large number of additional crossings that we can take up as and when we feel like it. So in some cases, we have booked four or five weekends on the trot and will then choose which ones to use based on the weather. The deal only covers standard Saturday out/Sunday back weekends and there is no way we could ever use 20 of those in a year, over and above the long weekends (Bank Holidays) and extended trips for holidays, so inevitably a number of the crossings will go to waste. But we are likely to use some for simple day trips to Calais for a bit of shopping and some lunch, or whatever! Basically, it should give us a lot more flexibility and hopefully a few “bonus weekends”.

Crossings already in the calendar include Boot Dusseldorf and our now customary “inspect the boat” trip in February. Whilst we have not given much thought to next year’s Cruise, it will be two weeks again, as spending a fortnight on board Emjaytoo this year was a great success. Various other weekends have been booked and no doubt they will “move around” between now and when we finally get to take them.

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