Monday, 16th July, 2007 At the weekend, we had gone to Guilfest, and so had not packed. We were crossing the channel in the early evening using speedferries, and did not have a flexible ticket.
The cats had to be taken to the cattery, and we could not pack until this had been done, for fear of spooking them.
Somehow, I don't know how, they just knew - and operated a shift system whereby one would always be out of the house at a time (even setting the catflap to one-way wasn't an option, as one of the cats can pull it open - closing it completely would mean we wouldn't see the other cat all day).
It was getting desperate, so with 2 hours before we had to leave, I grabbed one of the cats and took her in. A trail of ham was left to the catflap (Set to one way now, it was the dextrous cat which had been taken) and immediately did a second trip as the other cat had been tempted in.
We packed like the wind, got in the car a little later than I wanted, and were on our way.
Going to Dover, we got stuck in traffic. Also, we didn't realise that speedferries left from the hoverport instead of the Western Docks (doh). So by the time we sorted this out, we arrived at the hoverport to see the ferry drawing away.
We tried checking in, hoping just to be put on the next one - but we were told that we'd missed the ferry by 24 hours(?). I had typoed the online booking form.
It was turning into a farce. Fortunately, a ticket for the next ferry could be bought for £17 online - compared to almost £90 for Sea France. So we rang a friend (thanks, Danny), sorted it out and settled into the cafÃ© for a couple of hours. The total cost was still lots cheaper than P&O or Sea France (who charge more for the same number of trips the longer there is between those trips - I can understand charging higher prices at peak time, but charging more for a single than a day trip return is just mad).
The crossing to Boulogne was fast, although it does take a little time to unload with seaferries, the overall crossing time still beats the ferry to Calais - the ferry does something like 35 knots. Also, going to Boulogne cuts half an hour from the drive. I should have looked at LD Lines though, much more convenient for our route!
We arrived in Abbeville at 1am local time, staying in the Ibis there, much later than it should have been.
Still, we were on our way.