Thursday, August 7, 2008

Moving on

Later this morning we’re leaving Cherbourg and heading on to Nieuwpoort, Belgium. We’ve had a wonderful time here, thanks in no small part the last few days to Sue and Laurie Stoll of Princess Sue.

Originally from the Brighton area, Sue and Laurie have been living here on their motor yacht for the past 18 months. Shirlee met Sue in the laundry room where Sue was helping the newcomers figure out how to use the machines. When we discovered we were on the same pontoon, a book exchange ensued. Then they invited us on a store run in their car, and when they learned we were thinking of renting a car to visit some of the D-Day landing sites, they offered to take us.

Getting to ride in a car to the store and cart back provisions was a much-appreciated treat, but the trip yesterday to the Normandy American Cemetery and the town of Bayeux was really wonderful. Sue and Laurie had been before and could tell us things we wouldn’t have known otherwise. For example, French servicemen from WWII visit and tend assigned graves several times a year. Sue and Laurie went with a French friend on one of his visits earlier this year. We are so lucky that we met this very generous couple and hope that we’ll see them again. In fact, we’re talking about meeting up in Amsterdam while we’re there.

Another thing I forgot to mention falls in the small world category. Between the Azores and here, we heard an American boat Dandelion on Southbound II. A few days after we arrived, I saw Dandelion come into Cherbourg, so I went over to say hello. Somehow it came out that the owner, Andrew, was originally from Eugene, Oregon. Not only that, he played in the Eugene Junior Symphony under Dick Long. Obviously, he’s quite a few years younger than we are since we played in the Junior Symphony with Dick Long. Dandelion appears to be the only other American boat here.

Andrew also brought word of the other boats we’d been traveling with: Ventura, Aphrodite, and Orinoco. He passed within VHF range of them at the entrance to the Channel, where they were hove to awaiting lighter winds. We heard a couple of days later from them that they had safely reached Falmouth.

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