The day sailing from Newhaven to Dieppe proved to be as busy as our heads.
After a frantic few weeks of finishing work whilst planning and packing for the trip, and of not selling the house then getting an offer of the full asking price on the drive along the A27 to the ferry, both of us found the sight of the English cliffs pulling further away slightly unreal.
The crossing on the Cote d’Albatre was the busiest we’ve experienced and had a happy holiday feel to it. Families, friends and couples all excitedly vied for the best seats in the sun up on deck or by the panoramic windows from which to enjoy the big skies and sea as we bowled along on bright blue waves.
As regular travellers on this route and used to the company of grumpy truckers on the late night sailing, it was a very different experience to be amongst holiday makers. Most, like us, were avoiding the chaos at Dover caused in response to the chaos in Calais where the increasing numbers of people trying to reach England illegally had the port and channel tunnel in seeming melt down. We’d witnessed the beginnings of this concerning situation last year in Calais and the sight of so many desperate and exhausted people had been shocking and saddening.
Our late evening arrival in Dieppe gave us our first instance of ‘trip luck’. Not to be counted upon and never to be taken for granted, this particular blessing manifested itself in the last parking space at the seaside aire. Less than half an hour off the boat we were safely installed with a tipple in hand to toast our good fortune and the adventure of the ninety or so days ahead…