It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive

John & Susan Simpson
Sun 11 Apr 2021 15:31
John remembered this quote half way across the Channel and we pondered on the sentiment.  We had already set out with the intention of enjoying the travelling as much as the places we arrive in. We're both conscious that having been in goal driven careers it will take some time to adapt, so in that respect the quotation chimed well.  Where we disagreed was that on this occasion ‘to travel’ meant to get up at 4.00 am and leave Swanage Bay in pitch darkness with a strong, bitter, northerly wind behind us and about 14 hours to our destination.  Our only hope was that we would travel without too much discomfort!  

As it happened, the journey went remarkably smoothly.  The wind direction was good and we travelled quickly across the shipping lanes in the English Channel until about 20 miles off the French coast when the wind died completely and we had to put the engine on to motor for the rest of the day.  The tides off the French coast run strongly, particularly around the headlands, and we recorded our fastest speed ever of 14.9 knots as we rounded Cap de la Hague.  For our non-sailing friends, the best way I can describe this is to think of those moving walkways you get in airports.  You walk at your normal speed but because the ground moves with you as well, suddenly you are walking at twice the pace.  We normally travel at about 7-8 knots (nautical miles an hour) so the tide whisked us along twice as fast.  It is both an exhilarating and a nerve-wracking experience as the water around the boat boils with the turbulence of the tide.

As we rounded the bottom end of the island of Jersey, the wind filled in again from the North East and some squally showers blew through creating rainbows in the sunshine.

Did I mention how cold it’s been?

So here we are in Jersey, having arrived at 6.00 pm.  Jersey has a Covid safe travel system in place for visiting yachts which means we need to check in with the Covid testing centre as soon as it opens after we arrive.  As it closed at 4.00 pm, 2 hours before our arrival, and doesn’t open on a Sunday we now wait until tomorrow morning to begin our testing regime of tests on days 0, 5 and 10 before we can be released.  We don’t know whether any of the time before the first test can be counted so we’re isolating on Casamara for at least the next 10 days, our yellow quarantine flag flying in the rigging.  We’ve saved a lot of jobs to do on the boat for while we are here so will be keeping ourselves busy.  There won’t be much to report in the blog so we will sign off until there is something new to say.  

I’l close with another quotation which seems to fit just now……sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits….