THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Back to Spain
Is normality now unelectable?

Home again to the post-trip blues

I embarked on the Pont Aven in Santander on Monday afternoon after an uneventful, delightful run from San Sebastian. We sailed at 1515 CET. I have wised up to the idea that there is internet on board. There is, as advertised, but it's OAP broadband; capable of handling the odd email from an infant grandchild with limited vocabulary and a reply thereto, if typed slowly with one finger. For digital natives, it's insufferable. So I finished one book in the Kindle app on my iPad and started another. I had a bit of supper. I played a few games of FIFA offline and then I took to my bed. In the morning I breakfasted, strolled the decks, took a photo or two, lunched and read a bit more. I exchanged a few messages and ordered some groceries while we were sailing by the Channel Islands and I briefly had 4G. Soon enough after a smooth cruise it was time to return to Speranza and wait to be directed to shore. 

Return to England-4
Last sight of the Spanish shore
Return to England-3
Waiting to disembark from Pont Aven
Return to England-1
Fuelled, washed and on charge for the next trip
Return to England-2
It's surprising how much you can haul in a Ferrari (none of this was in the cockpit)

For the first time ever on a Channel Crossing I wasn't selected for a search so cleared customs at record speed. Supercars are inherently suspicious to British public servants apparently, but there was some kind of organised tour of them on board that afternoon, so mine didn't particularly stand out for once. Despite having to try hard to hold my speed to Britain's crazily low limits again, I was soon home. I ran my fuel lower than I usually do to empty the tank of the 95 octane fuel I had been forced to buy on the last refuel in Spain. I tanked her up and put her through the car wash at my "home" petrol station at the corner of my road and soon she was parked, unpacked and on battery maintenance charge in readiness for her next adventure.

This was a terrific trip and – despite brisk progress throughout on the Continent's superior roads – incurred not so much as a roadside speeding fine. I think I made the perilous run past all the speed cameras between Portsmouth and home safely too. Time will tell. Not that I exceeded the stupidly low limits of course. Certainly not, officer.

The final map of the tour – complete with the iPhone photos that provided the GPS data to plant the waypoint pins – is to be found here. I hope I haven't bored you all with my jolly burblings. Normal political service will now be resumed, once the smile has faded from my face.


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Over 65,000. And I took pleasure in every one of them!

James Higham

What's the mileage up to now, Tom?


According to the old hands on the ship, Pont Aven is the best and most comfortable ferry. Others are smaller and have fewer facilities. Comfortable or not, 24 hours is a long time to be stuck on a vessel without usable wifi so take a good book (or an interesting companion). Your cabin, unless you splash out on a deluxe one, will not be somewhere you want to spend much time awake.


I know what you mean about the road from Portsmouth having returned from France recently on the Normandie Express. We saw the Santander ferry going out due to its delay thanks to the torpedo in Portsmouth harbour. Your trip has given us the impetus to sail to Santander. But maybe we'll carry on across Spain. Or take a one-way and see our friends in France.


Thank you. Enjoyed all those posts and pictures. I look forward to your next trip.

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