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Boulogne 7th July

Yacht Quintet
Port au Plaisance
Pas de Calais

7th July, 2005

<-Boulogne 6th July Eastbourne 8th July->

Such a sad day.

It started badly for us with more torrents of rain and revision to the weather forecast from 'quite pleasant' to 'bloody dreadful' again. And then the terrible news from London that people had been mutilated or killed in the name of religion. Why are people, well, people?

We ate breakfast in silence, not even the ipod playing, depressed about not having the right weather to get on and not having the right words to talk about these terrible deeds in the name of somebody's god.

I decided to go check what the UK Met Office had to say on the internet, leaving Clive alone with his thoughts. And as I left the boat I was asked by another sailor whether we had a battery charger aboard. His AA batteries were dead and he had mislaid his own charger, probably taken by a previous crew member by mistake. I directed him to the skipper and set off into town.

On the way to the cyber café, I stopped in at a bar to watch the news from London. I just cried.

The Met Office weather was hopeful for the morrow, but had been all week, so my mood wasn't lifted much. And then I checked BBC and CNN news on the internet. It was horrible. How can people do this to other people? I realised that all this was happening in places where my friends and relations lived and worked, where I live. Now sadness, and anger too.

I went back to the boat and talked a little about the bombings with Clive and then we went off to buy the few odd things that we had forgotten on previous shopping trips, but pretty much in silence, alone with our own thoughts.

When we got back to the boat, the battery man called and we invited him in for a drink. His name is Pierre Botty. He is Belgian. He is sailing with his friend Serge DeMaertelaere aboard an Etap 345, taking the boat to the Azores from where they will be doing the two-handed TransAt in January next year.

Pierre was impressed by Quintet and asked Clive whether he might bring his sailing friends back to see her. Clive readily agreed and not a few minutes later there were five of us in Quintet's cosy saloon, Clive, me, Pierre, Serge and a third crewmember whose name I forgot. Whoever you are, I apologise.

In spite of our three guests taking lots of photographs, I failed to get my camera out to take a picture of the group. So Pierre, if you can send me one of your pictures I will add it to this page. And Clive, remind me to take pictures.

Click for a larger imageOur visitors suggested a little restaurant which we tried and found very pleasant, Le Doyen, rue du Doyen. I had some excellent fish 'assiette du trios poissons' and Clive had the thon, tuna to you.

After dinner we went to one of the bars on the square and had a huge glass each of Kriek bier. News reports from the London bombings were on the television. We talked about man's inhumanity to man. And we cried a bit.

In all, not the happiest of days.

If anybody is interested in following the two-handed TransAt next year you can find Serge and Pierre on www.transquadra.com boat no 223, Etap 345, Santa Maria. We wish them well from www.2oldgitsinaboat.co.uk

Les Sutcliffe

<-Boulogne 6th July Eastbourne 8th July->