Sunday, 17 August 2014
Nieuwpoort to Blankenberge
Another relatively short trip today as the weather doesn't look set to stop our progress and we have time to reach Wemeldinge for the start of the tour proper.
The wind as ever is on the nose, a F3/4 NE with a NNE swell of a metre plus but not as unpleasant as the last couple of passages. At least it is dry and bright although with some haze.
Alice in close company.
Blankenberge is another port with warnings of uncomfortable to dangerous approaches in strong onshore winds together with a shallow entrance that should be avoided at low water springs. With a departure from Nieuwpoort at 08:40 we are off Oostende by 10:40 and moored up in the VVW marina at Blankenberge for 12:40. But that F4 wind and swell were enough to make yet another rock n' roll session for getting sails down and running in between the entrance piers/wave breaks.
The harbour was absolutely rammed with boats given the fine weather and local holidays, but the HM fitted Hyrst in bows first on his reception pontoon - very handy.
Note the first use of the cockpit cover made up at short notice by Gerry at Solent Covers the day before I left. Needed as a sunshade rather than rain cover. An upside (for a discerning gent like me) to the sun and heat was the prevalence of some very nice deck candy around the marina, brought to my attention by the fact that swimming in the marina seems common practice.
Time available for some shopping in Blankenberge and a view out to sea from the promenade and beach. A bit touristy but another decent stopover.