|Our last North Sea crossing in 2011...|
They will be travelling by ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg, then by train to Sønderborg. Booking the DFDS ferry was even more excruciating than last time (when I ended up booking Stena), partly because I really couldn't expect all the crew to share a four-person cabin, and each two-person cabin cost £320. DFDS operates a policy of the-later-you-book-the-more-it-costs, and I only booked a couple of weeks before departure. Two cabins plus four single fares, and no car, cost me over £800 - as much as it would have done to take a car and four people there and back in June/July when I first started looking. Still, the alternative was Ryanair to Billund, and since the crew will all have substantial bags that would have been quite expensive too (at least £400 altogether), very inconvenient (an 8am flight from Stansted, and a long bus transfer and then two trains in Denmark), and it would have meant giving the money to Michael O'Leary, which I prefer not to do if possible.
Anyway I've spent the last few days finalising delivery notes, which I began while we were on board. OK, they are a bit of an epic, but hopefully will be useful. Ben and I put together an inventory of everything on board, by location, and it occurred to me that it would be quite easy to turn the list into a table and then sort it so we have a spreadsheet listing every item on board and where it is. (Not every single item, obviously - there are a number of entries for things like "useful bits" and "Ben's stuff"). Even if none of the delivery crew ever refer to it, it has been very useful for me to recall, or learn, where everything is, and if or when we need to sell the boat it will be very handy.
There's a delivery pack coming together, including an update card for the GPS chart, various boat papers, a handheld GPS, the atlas for the Dutch standing mast route (although if they go that way it will add about a week to the passage time) and a few things we accidentally brought home which need to go back.
Guy is currently away, ironically doing a delivery trip to Germany, although this particular trip is delivering children by Ryanair, and he's at the wrong end of Germany, 800km from Augustenborg - which I think is further away from Augustenborg than we are in Suffolk. He'll have about two days to sort out everything, wash clothes and repack before heading off again.
We've spoken to Jonathan Dyke at Suffolk Yacht Harbour, who has very kindly said he will find us a temporary berth this autumn and a permanent, reasonably accessible one next year. I think Sam had signed us up for the waiting list in 2012, which probably helped.
What else have I forgotten? Aaargh....