Where are they now | Update on About Time, by Liesl King
About Time, the Lavranos 36 of Thomas Merlier, his girlfriend Lisbeth and their cat Gypsy, is currently in Boulogne-sur-Mer on the French coast, waiting for a weather window to sail the last stretch to Antwerp and up the inland waterways to Brussels. Thomas very kindly sent an update and some lovely photos from somewhere in the English Channel.
“We left Martinique on the 14th of May, heading towards Horta in the Azores. We got there after a 26 day upwind passage. The welcome in Horta was wonderful and despite not being allowed on land because of Covid, we enjoyed our stay there a lot.
“At anchor in the Harbour we had good views of the city and got food delivered to the boat from the local and famous “Peters Cafe Sports”. They also organized groceries for us and permission to fill up our water and diesel tanks at the quarantine dock.
“On the 17th of June a weather window opened towards the north of Europe and so we left heading for the North Sea. We got to the entrance of the English Channel about two days ago (on the 26th of June) and have been riding a low pressure system through it since then. It is 2am local time, I am on night watch and we are just passing close enough to the British channel island for me to enjoy a little bit of 4G.
“So far, the passage has been good. In a couple of hours we should pass Cherbourg and then make our way towards the Dover Straight. The low seems to worsen when we are supposed to go through the Straight, so we might pause in Boulogne-sur-Mer for a night just to let the blow pass.
“From there we will head for Antwerp harbour where we will stay another night before heading into the inland water canal. It’s 2 locks and multiple lifting bridges on the way to Brussels city centre.”
Thomas, Lisbeth and Gypsy have just left Boulogne-sur-Mer and Thomas gave us a quick update on their latest plans. “Tonight (1st of July) we stay in Zeebrugge, that’s still on the coast. Tomorrow we start heading inland (estuary) towards Antwerp and on Friday morning we enter the canal.”
We will catch up with them again once they have reached Brussels and look forward to some photos of their fascinating journey on the inland waterways to Brussels. You can follow the last bit of their journey here: