Boulogne Trip for Small Boats

Rye Small Boat Fleets Boulogne Trip

Eighteen small boats from the Port of Rye tied up in Boulogne Harbour over the Whitsun holiday and their crews enjoyed a few days on French soil. The small fleet left Rye Harbour in the early morning of Whit Saturday and set off into the stiff wind heading for Dungeness Point and then on to Boulogne.


On the cross channel journey, somewhere between Dungeness and Boulogne, tragedy struck the eighteen foot boat “Rosina”. No other boat was near her when she ran into trouble. The crew of  two, Mr. Gibson, a grocer of Ferry Road, Rye and his brother-in-law, Mr. Skinner were lost. When the “Rosina” was reported missing a full scale search was mounted but despite the clear weather the damaged boat was not found until the following Tuesday, one body was recovered by a fishing boat. Several of the boats turned back at about the half way point on the outward journey but 18 boats, including the “Little Robert” with our camera team aboard, continued on course and safely put into Boulogne Harbour.

RX 257 Leaving Boulogne Harbour
RX 257 Leaving Boulogne Harbour
'Little Robert' in Mid Channel
‘Little Robert’ in Mid Channel

“Little Robert” the smallest and slowest of the boats to complete the trip, was at sea for seven hours. The wind was still fairly strong when the time came for the return trip but with favourable tides and currents the Rye fleet made good time. All 18 boats were safely in Rye Harbour by 6.30 on Whit Monday evening. “Little Robert” took only 5 hours for the 40 mile return crossing. Boats to complete the trip were — Sariki, Waterwitch, Atlanta, Scoter, Zingara, Shelduck, Chiloe, Inverurie, Condeline, Goose-Girl, Dove, Manana, Red Cloverx, Alouette, Little Robert, Industry II, Veritas, Sagapo.

From “Rye’s Own” July 1966 Issue