We’ve arrived, but very little thanks to Condor Ferries who, short of not actually drowning us, haven’t done much to make us love them.
We received a call last night advising that the Ferry had a broken engine, one of the three fitted, meaning that the crossing would take longer (slower speed due 2 engines only) and so departure would be earlier, and arrival later… are you keeping up at the back so far? We got up rather too early for comfort as a result, but were rewarded with a sunrise as we slid out of Poole harbour.
Most of our clients grabbed a quick Full English on board and shut their eyes to catch up on missing sleep. By the time we opened our eyes again, most of the extended 4 hour crossing had passed, and our first views of Guernsey slid past the windows.
Our hotel is the Peninsula Hotel, Vale, Guernsey and it’s rather nice (I can feel a positive TripAdvisor review coming on). The staff worked flat out to get our rooms ready as soon as possible, given our early arrival and we were warmly welcomed. They have an old R.N.L.I. Lifeboat in the front Car Park (no, me neither) but it works in a strange way.
And the rooms are bright, clean and tidy.
While waiting for my room to be cleaned (I’m always last… breezily swanning up to your room while clients are waiting for theirs to be ready is never a good look) I went out for a walk, and this was what greeted me across the road.
The 9th May (2 days ago) is the anniversary of the liberation of Guernsey from Nazi occupation – It’s a major public holiday and celebration here. The celebrations were still continuing at the hotel, and we were able to enjoy a concert on the hotel lawn. People dressed in 1940’s clothing and uniforms and a lot of Glen Miller & Vera Lynn songs were sung.
I thought this young lady looked rather sporting draped in the Guernsey Flag.
Anyway, back to the villain of the peace. Condor Ferries passed a message advising that they have decided to make our return ferry back to Poole at the end of the Tour an hour later, and also to cancel the Guernsey to Jersey Ferry that we were booked on. Yup, its our old friend the crippled engine again, although it’s beginning to feel suspiciously like Condor Ferries have randomly singled my Tour out for malicious and wanton destruction. I spent a sunny afternoon phoning our local agents and rescheduling the entire Tour, amending hotel bookings and then writing and printing a revised itinerary for my clients. They’re taking it all in good heart, thankfully. We now have a extra free day in Guernsey at the expense of one in Jersey, but we can still fit everything in by shuffling days and times around, so nothing will get missed out. As somebody told me earlier in my career… “We don’t pay you for when things go right – anybody could do that”. 😁
We have dinner tonight, with more D-Day Darlings Liberation singing and festivities inside the hotel, so that all sounds like fun. After dinner, when clients are settled and happy, I can feel a cigar and a large Scotch coming on. In a toast to Condor Ferries engines I’ll order Three whiskies, but throw One away – that’ll teach ’em!
Tomorrow we’re off to the tiny, and beautiful Herm Island for the day.