Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Those Frenchies Seek him Everywhere

I'm just back from taking photos of 'Operation Stack' and the blockade of Calais harbour. I do feel very sorry for al those caught up in the chaos this is causing, with goods vehicles queuing for miles on the M20 from about the area of Leeds castle and P&O ferries sitting in Dover, going nowhere.

On the French side, to be honest, there is very little to see, other than a scruffy collection of French fishing boats strung out a mile or so from the entrance to the harbour, with a Coastguard vessel in attendance. Not really a blockade as I would have imagined it, more of a loose picket. I very much doubt that the fictional Captain Hornblower, Nelson or even Drake would have given them much thought in the past but these are more enlightened times and God forbid we oppress anyone or indeed recall the heroic deeds of an often violent maritime history with the poor French invariably on the receiving end!

So the blockade will stand and Dover and the M20 are at a standstill with businesses and families marooned on either side of the channel, I'm sorry 'La Manche', unless they have a Channel Tunnel fare.

Visibility was pretty dire for most of the day but better on the French side by lunchtime with a strong wind blowing. I suspect I set a new personal best with Calais to Dover in 18 minutes with the wind behind. Alright for some I know and perhaps I should be ferrying luckless families back to Dover by air in the style of the Scarlet Pimpernel?

"We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel."

5 comments:

Tony Beachcomber said...

It is interesting and very dabatable the role the people who lived on the coastal strip of East Kent and Sussex coast played during the Napoleonic wars.
The Royal Navy had very little knowledge of the French inshore waters, especially under the cover of darkness.Only smugglers would have had the most recent information of French inshore waters and they would be paid by the Navy to act as pilots or for the information. Yet these were the same people who also traded with the French that provided the Gold to help pay Napoleans army. This didn't bother the people of the coastal strip one bit.Obviously they didn't want to be invaded by the French, but at the same time life was harsh and the Goverment and the ruling classes at the time couldn't care less about these people except at a time of war when they used them. If it wasn't for wrecking, smuggling, piracy and trading with the French many coatal communities would never have survived the winter months especially in the west country.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

I think the Fisher's should be charged for all disruption their action is making. Around £1,000,000
a day should cover most discomfort.
Next Thursday is St. Georges (23rd) maybe we should run amoc and ram the bastions.(?)
Anyway, what do the Ferries have to do with fishing?

Anonymous said...

What short memories the French have,when so many of our contrymen died to free them from the German jack boot,they would all be speaking German if it wasn't for the Brits and her allies,shame on them to stop us going on holiday,If I was master of one of those ferries I would barge through them they would soon get out of the fairway if they thought their boats and means of getting a living were threatened,the Brits have got soft since the last war its time to stand up for ourselves.
Stargazer

Tony Beachcomber said...

Annon 7:04 I think you should have wrote they would have been speaking Russian if is wasn't for the American's.

ascu75 aka Don said...

well our fishing fleet is being paid off we could save the EU a bit of money sink em and make a man made reef so more fish could grow up and thenn maybe when I or if I evergo fishing again I might catch something other than a cold ........and Simon can you get done for speeding 11 minutes still talyho