Well! I am booked into the Dunkerque marina for the duration of the D Day "festivities"! I am looking forward to visiting the old town again having last been there for those very same "celebrations" some five years ago.
It`s great to watch the old veterans, of both sides as they proudly represent their countries in the rememberance of their dead comrades. Not for personal pleasure but safe in the knowledge that we all now know that this should never happen again. The numbers of them attending get less and less each year and those that do attend, do so in a less mobile way (many wheel chairs and sticks are becoming evident) but still they come. The highlight of the "Parade" always used to be the Lanchester with a spitfire on the port and a hurricane on its starboard side flying low over the small "Dunkirk boats" fleet, dropping a million poppy leaves as a tribute to those fallen in the war. I wonder if they will do it again this year as it is the 65 celebration.
The trip, for me starts from Surrey on friday next as I am taking a boat down to Ramsgate ready to be taken across the Dover straights at the given time. I will then head off down to my own boat and bring it along the south coast to Dover, where I collect a couple of friends and we will then cross to a point just off the port of Calais and turn and head up Channel to Dunkirk, arriving some time on the Thursday evening/night.
Then depending upon the times of the Lock opening High water + - 2 hours approx we will enter into the inner Marina where all the commemorative fleet will be staying, and moor up for the weekend.
A few of my boat club (10 boats)will be joining us there as part of a formal, organised cruise so it will be good to meet some old friends, they will have attended from Surrey arriving in Ramsgate after the vessel that I delivered, and departing from Ramsgate at the same time as it.