I believe I do have a timeline of events that you might find informative.
While working as a travel agent, Deborah uses her talent for understanding people to suggest that a couple book a holiday in Jersey. The destination perfectly matches their opposing needs, such as liking France but not French food.
She tells them that one option for travelling there would be to go by ferry. She describes it as a “proper ferry … not a silly one like the Isle of Wight”.
Cliff has never been abroad. Even though he works on a ferry and goes to France four times a day, he has never disembarked from the boat.
The two bicker about Cliff’s unhelpful answers and about what counts as a ‘distinguishing mark’.
Deborah explains that she met her fiancé on a ferry crossing to France. He was working onboard and looked after her during a storm.
Jerry is amused to discover that the man comes from Dover and is named Cliff.
Vanessa tells Jerry that, once she is discharged from hospital, she will be returning home from her service on the narrowboat.
They debate whether or not to wash beforehand, knowing that they haven’t washed for some time. Vanessa claims that it has got to the stage that she can pick out Queenie’s “note” from the other end of the boat.
Queenie asks what sort of note she means, but Vanessa points out that no possible answer to the question would not cause offence. Queenie suggests that “violets” would be an acceptable answer and Vanessa scoffs at her friend’s optimism.
They resolve to wash.
The horse driver is indignant that there is nothing he can do to move the horse if it doesn’t want to move, but Vanessa is able to get it moving by first blindfolding it.