Where was I......oh yes, we had just arrived in Ramsgate, I have never ever chosen Ramsgate as a port to visit other than as a refuge to avoid the heavy weather and seas that batter those shallow shoals around the South East Coast of England.
It does seem that almost every time we set sail for Oostende we invariably end up running for that safe haven that is the Port of Ramsgate.
Imagine how important and secure that Port was to those brave souls in flimsy, lightly planked and totally unsuitable boats 70 years earlier as they gathered and waited for the 'Nod' to head off towards Dunkirk.
The Sea during that time was maybe the least of their worries.
We hoped to be berthed in one of the inner pontoons however, there was a dredger working inside and we were instructed to 'Raft up' alongside one of the old little ships on the outside pontoon, it was a lovely white hulled heavily varnished gentlemans Yacht so very typical of 1930's design.
I made sure I put every fender down that we had on board as steve brought us alongside assisted rather quicker than we wouldve liked by the still strong easterly winds.
Directly in front was an old wooden ferry/trip boat
Eventually the dredger finished its work and we shifted position to the inside pontoons. The rest of that evening was spent on board Mary Jane
The next day the winds were still easterly 5-6 so it was a no go for Oostende, That meant we were going to be late as the festival was due to start the following day but as things turned out we were able to enjoy the celebrations laid on in Ramsgate for the 70th Anniversary of operation Dynamo
This entailed a few breakfast bevies aboard Mary Jane then a visit to the shops to stock up on supplies and then to watch the parade of the Dunkirk Vets and Fly Past by the Battle of britain memorial flight
That evening we spent in the Yacht Club which sits on the cliff overlooking the harbour and gave us an excellent view of the firework display which exploded into the skys from the Harbour breakwater.
The Dunkirk Ships were due to leave the next morning so all eyes had been on the weather reports during the day. Anything above a force four and it would be likely that the 70th Anniversary Run wouldnt go ahead.
There would be a Go or No Go descision made at 7am the next morning