Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Counting our Blessings
Sunday 26th May - Aarques to Bethune

It was almost too windy for comfort when we left, and while the forecast was for more of the same, with the operative word in this instance being “more”, we knew we had only the two giant locks at the beginning of the day to overcome, and then more or less forty kilometres with nothing to run into until we reached Bethune and all day to worry about what we might run into when we got there.  Not that Bethune was too concerned about the impact of one tiny polyester boat against its quay, having been completely destroyed in 1918 by far greater.

When we did get there, the conditions had reached the “not all that pleasant” stage, but thankfully the owner of the only other boat on the visitor’s pontoon, (the aptly named “Bumper”), was there to catch us as the gusts swept us ashore.  Before we could even tie off he very enthusiastically issued an invitation for us to stay until Thursday, the Ascension Day Holiday, when all the ships both commercial and private would be gathering for a procession and a “blessing ceremony”.   There would be food and fireworks as well, he promised.

We have a rule aboard, that when we are invited to attend, visit or participate in something, we accept.  Today however, we divided the distance we have yet to travel by the time it will take and multiplied that by the wind forecast for the next week, and in the face of a worsening weather window after tomorrow, reluctantly declined.  We are indeed grateful for the blessings we continually receive though and hope our absence from the ceremony will leave just a few more to share out among those who did take part.   

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