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Everything posted by kenw

  1. Thanks, Colin I think you're right. Have since seen a couple of other mentions, and a friend who lives round the corner says it is the "supporting wall of the exterior assembly area"[his transliteration] shown with the arrow.
  2. Dear all Four months of engineering works are starting shortly at Ouistreham. designed to "guarantee the sustainability of the embankment and thus secure the road approaches" This is reported in today's local news from Liberté. But I can't work out where the works will be? Is it the "sea wall" alongside the entrance and check-in lanes? Not sure if it's new, but thought I would onpass. https://actu.fr/normandie/ouistreham_14488/terminal-de-la-brittany-ferries-a-ouistreham-quatre-mois-de-travaux_39207185.html I'm not sure what the significance is, if any, for anyone [?] trave
  3. I've also met more than a few interesting people in both the bars and self-service restaurants on Normandie, Mont and Armorique. Including well-known musicians, a couple of helicopter pilots and a superyacht skipper with all of whom I'm still in touch two or three years later. [2020 was a no-go year for me – my own serious health issues quickly followed by the Covid confinements.] But there were several interesting and educational conversations.
  4. Apologies at continuing the digression, I thought this might be helpful to anyone who is uncertain about how anchors work. Although Tristan is a superyacht skipper, and is replying to comments on a previous post, his explanation is simple: it's the length and weight of chain that matters. HTH - and Happy New Year
  5. I suppose PleB has his own private supply of marmalade. Or does he only eat Breton confiture? Methinks we should be told… Just before I go, a heartfelt Joyeux Noël to BF crews, shoresiders and friends. And of course everyone here who supports France's premier passenger shipping line – and largest employer of local seafarers. Take care <em
  6. Just been looking at the SuperU website - this week's special offer is 20% off frozen food. So I've earmarked some calamars, some coquilles and some tartelettes. All of which can make a contribution to a Galicia buffet. And I can rustle up some mini-pizza if I put aside some of the dough I'm making this afternoon. Add a dish of olives and some crudités, with a bottle of Cava to mark the Spanish connection, and voila, the instant celebration. And if the Mac Mini's internet connection in the salon is working we will be able to watch the event on the big screen TV. Cheers Ken
  7. Sorry if I've missed something… do we know if there are any events at Cherbourg tomorrow to welcome Galicia to her new home port? Or do we have to wait until she is ticolor-ed? Could be a bit difficult for the largest employer of French seafarers to welcome a ship flying the "red duster"? I've had two builds in foreign parts; the first we flagged her in on the morning she first hit British waters (offload from a big carrier at Tilbury as it happens) and the second the night before she left Dutch waters on her inbound delivery trip. In both cases the Flag surveys were undertaken
  8. Can't help with eye drops, but my insulin has survived Eurostar from London, 3 nights Paris hotel and 2hrs Intercités using one of the mini-fridges from Amazon. And I can confirm that BF have a system in place to store meds in fridge. My friend who is more heavily insulin-dependent than I am routinely goes Portsmouth-Santander and hands over his stock when he boards, and reports that on collection it is always cold to the touch – "too cold for immediate use" he says.
  9. For anyone still planning a trip to France [returning home?] note that masks will be required on Caen's city centre streets from 1 September.
  10. Have to say in the days when I was flying around the planet, the airline I tried to avoid was Sabena and the airport was Brussels. [That was long before Eurostar gave a sensible alternative route London-Brussels. That was of course the late and much lamented Dover-Oostende ferry.
  11. When I did a lot of US travel [work-related] in the 70s, I would always look for a Ten-eleven if possible. A smoother flight than any other aircraft – I'm sure straightfeed can remind us what the technolgy was. Such a shame that it was not bought by more operators, but Boeing was able to offer better financial terms because of its range of different models. Later I worked on PR and marketing with the engineering team behind the RAF tanker conversions, although I was never able to fly in one. These days I've had my fill of airports and air travel – rail and sea are my preferred mode
  12. Bring back the train ferry. All is forgiven. True confession time, I thought it was magical: meeting up on Victoria's "international side" before departing at 22:00, waking briefly for the shudder and clank as we rolled on board, then waking properly to see the French countryside passing by. What's the nearest rail connection to any BF ports in the UK? Surely the PM's building budget could fund the rail spur – and maybe someone can find either an existing train ferry in need of some TLC, or convert an unloved ro-ro? 😇
  13. Thanks, Chris. That's the photo I'm longing to take. And of course the matching pair – departing Portsmouth and arriving back here. Sorry, I should have responded to your original post. I think I read it, went away and tried two or three different dates in September and October with different results – unavailable / full / not responding as well as a some good dates. But at that point I was distracted – had to head out for a physio appointment. Thanks again. Ken
  14. Back at Ouistreham today (en route home from a seaside stroll and lunch at Lion sur Mer) thought I'd try some pix of the incoming Normandie from the West side – ie just by the entrance to the ferry terminal. Not as successful as my pix from the East a couple of weeks ago, but for the record, here's a shot of her completing the turn into the berth. (Apologies for the fisherman's line which you can see crossing the BF logo. I did spend a couple of minutes trying to remove it in Photoshop, but at 20:00 it's still warm here in Caen and the balcony beckons for the last hour or so). I
  15. Footies update? Statement from CEO dated yesterday 3 August, quoted on F/book [my emphasis] Statement on BF website [UK site as linked from here] at 10h00 today 4 August when I went looking for availability in September and October Does M Mathieu's "small number" exclude Caen-Portsmouth? How can zero in late October to available in November – so, more or less overnight – be seen as building / adapting / learning ???
  16. I'm told by transport/logistics folk that the wagons used by the primeurs service need "much work before reintroduction to a new service" [I think that's their transliteration and summary for my benefit] although without any detail. In railway technical circles there has apparently been some discussion of whether they can be overhauled / rebuilt or should be replaced. If it's "only" the reefer systems that are obsolete then that could be straightforward – but if the bogies and/or suspensions are life-expired that would be a different story on technical, timescale and financial grounds.
  17. Poole (with the exception of Poole Harbour itself) and Portsmouth "hardly breathtaking" ?!?!?! Sorry, Sir/Madam, but I don't understand. From landfall to berthing both offer compelling views as the finale to your trip. One of my friends, a regular to/from Portsmouth reckons he is always last man to reach the car deck because he can't tear himself away from sightseeing on the open deck whatever the weather.
  18. Le Havre is actually very interesting and with some well-directed and well-targeted promotion could and should appeal to the UK market, particularly weekend / mini breakers. Great beach, with a wide choice of refreshments, much for the "culture vultures' – modern art and of course the postwar architecture – plenty of shops (including the Docks) and sightseeing (boat tours, the funicular etc etc). To say nothing of the surrounding area – think Deauville, Honfleur, Fecamp and Etretat to name but a few.
  19. Thanks for that. One surprising point in the PM's statement – which I think was made at the rail-served Bonneuil container port on the Marne – upstream from Paris is that the rail authority will not charge operators fees for use of these routes in 2020-21. Or am I mistranslating my blend of the spoken and written texts? [Which also wouldn't be too surprising.] Yet M Castex said that the govt was expecting proposals for the three projects by the end of the year. I presume he means "proposals" in the sense of requests for development and launch funding, since AIUI the project planning
  20. Just delete "German" and insert "– with the possible exception of those in China –" after "shipyard". Look around the world and we see yards closed permanently, others shut or with limited working because of Covid-19, and most of the rest cutting back on people, hours or scope of work. At least one well-known group is quietly doing the rounds of former competitors, asking if they can take on subcontract work ranging from block fab to fittings and fit-out. Maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention, but I'm not clear how much of the E-flexers is in-house and how much bought-i
  21. Never mind Le Bar, do we see Pierre LE BEAR ??? Or is s/he still in confinement?
  22. After all the months in confinement, I haven't quite got the timetable back in my head. Today, after a birthday lunch for MrsW in the port (La Marine in Place Gen de Gaulle) we went for a stroll past the lighthouse and along the jetée. I thought that we had missed seeing the afternoon departure, so it was a thrill to see Normandie heading up the channel. The camera was handy and it was the first time I'd had a close-up view of the approach and mooring manoeuvre. Which, btw, is a smart bit of seamanship. Here's a quick slideshow. I've deliberately downscaled the images to fit as
  23. Thanks for that. We saw a pic the other day showing that the town centre was packed. We'll probably head for the Ibis at the Port de Plaisance and just have a stroll around then spend late afternoon and early evening sitting on the terrace with a glass or three until dinner. Do you have any restaurant recommendations within walking distance? If we don't want to venture further there are three or four restaurants within 500m of the hotel, so we can hopefully avoid the crowds.
  24. Latest info appears to be no footies "for the foreseeable future". So we've abandoned the idea of an autumn trip back from Caen to Portsmouth. BTW our "back of a spreadsheet" maths was that a four day trip – two nights in Ibis / Premier Inn – would cost about £350 plus meals, cab fares etc for two of us. (Assuming footie fares at similar prices to last year). One of the errands we wanted to do while we were there was to collect some bits of hifi kit from my cousin who lives at Lee on the Solent. But another bit of maths tells me we can get a door to door delivery, including the
  25. At least she looks like a ship rather than a skyscraper office block that's fallen over. My wife, who was a purser on the old Oriana and Canberra, has only one comment to make about most modern cruise ships: "The good thing about being on board one of those monstrosities is that you can't see how awful it looks!"
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