Published: 18:50, 07 August 2020
| Updated: 21:27, 07 August 2020
As hundreds descended on Dover beach to bask in the sun on the hottest day of the year, scores of migrants, just metres away, took their first step on British soil.
In a designated corner of the marina - inconspicuously separate from the beach, the ferry berths, and Dover's celebrated cruise terminal - Border Force speed vessels ferry boatload after boatload of foreign nationals in to the harbour.
The migrants have attempted the perilous journey to the Kent coast in self-piloted inflatable boats and this group is lucky enough to have averted tragedy by being rescued by Border Force and taken into the safety of immigration authorities.
One small child, wearing a standard issue Border Force life jacket, is seen clapping his hands in relief, as one of the government agency's rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) pulls up at the dockside.
The RHIB is carrying what, from a distance, looks like women and children only.
They arrive in numbers far fewer than the horrifying videos we've seen in recent months, where up to 18 people are crammed into inflatable crafts, with waves lapping mid channel over the dangerously weighted down hull.
The voice of a crying child carries over the hum of traffic and boat engines towards the cargo terminal where I stand watching with a press photographer.
Border Force personnel work quickly to disembark them and the women walk with the children up a white steel gangway where waiting officials meet them.
It's a scene I've seen countless times, in pictures and videos taken by sailors and media, but this is my first time seeing with naked eyes migrants entering the country.
Minutes before the RHIB had entered the harbour, another search and rescue speed boat CPV Speedwell prepared to leave the marina from where she was berthed next to Dover Lifeboat Station.
Her skipper waited for sister ship CPV Hunter to arrive.
Hunter came in towing a small red dinghy, and on board were a number of males, all in orange/red life jackets.
As the men prepare to disembark from the safety of Hunter they show more restraint than the clapping boy.
Still I suppose the moment their foot touches the tarmac a sense of achievement, triumph or catharses must be evoked after possibly months travelling from their country of origin.
After all, this successful attempt might not have been their first.
In recent years the small boat crosses have overtaken daily attempts to break into and hide in HGVs.
At first the clandestine boat trips were under the cover of darkness, facilitated by gangs of people smugglers charging thousands for passage per person.
Now migrants with means are choosing the more brazen route, in calm seas and in broad daylight. Without the traffickers enlisting experienced men to drive the boats, the groups are risking passage alongside one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and sometimes they try in kayaks and makeshift rafts.
We've reported before how the French are accused of watching on as the small boats power into British waters and into the interception of Border Force without first apprehending and returning them to France. Video and radar images would certainly suggest that.
But the Home Office replies to each of these claims by explaining that the priority at sea is to preserve lives - thus our authorities take responsibility for the boats in our waters.
This, and the operation inside Dover Marina is a cycle that repeats itself with no sign of stopping.
Predictably it intensifies when the weather is fine - this week's figures are proof of that.
Today's operation, which I observed for little more than an hour, follows a new record set for migrants yesterday.
"Its not surprising that so many people, including children are coming across the Channel in these flimsy and dangerous boats..."
The Home Office revealed 235 cases had been intercepted.
Border Force cutter Seeker and patrol boats Speedwell and Hunter intercepted 17 vessels, one of which was carrying 26 people.
This new figure is up 34 from the past record of 201 set last week.
Today 130 migrants in 13 vessels were intercepted.
And weeks after Home Secretary Pritti Patel met with her counterpart to arrange for more migrants to be returned to France, we await the figures of how many of yesterday's and today's arrivals will be returned.
Ben Bano from migrant welfare charity Seeking Sanctuary this afternoon attributed the influx to the conditions in Calais and their treatment in police clearances.
He told KentOnline: "Its not surprising that so many people, including children are coming across the Channel in these flimsy and dangerous boats.
"The conditions for hundreds of people in Calais are appalling, with daily clearances by the police and no access to water and sanitation during this heatwave.
"This is a situation in which the traffickers who exploit vulnerable people can thrive.
"This situation would stop if the British and French authorities work to create safe and legal ways to claim asylum in the UK.
"It cannot be right that people make dangerous trips in order to exercise their legal right to claim asylum once in UK territorial waters."
Yesterday KentOnline reported how an activist was arrested while filming migrants being loaded into coaches which he claimed, were taken to four star hotels.
I followed in his footsteps today and found three coaches waiting at the dockside. I wasn't challenged as I approached and filmed.
From what I saw at the Marina today Ms Patel's threats that Royal Navy assets may be deployed have had no impact on migrants' momentum.
It seems despite threats of Naval intervention, and the perilous 23-mile journeys across the world's busiest shipping lanes, the small boats will keep on coming.
And as fine weather continues, that cycle will carry on.