5 May


A smooth crossing to Guernsey

5 May, 2016

Day one of Mark Warner's engagement trip to Guernsey

Guernsey is a small Island community with a population of 62,431. Within the Bailiwick of Guernsey lie the smaller Islands of Alderney, Sark and Herm. Being an Island Community means that we are dependent on shipping for 98 per cent of our supplies. Only a small percentage comes in by air (mostly mail and newspapers), with items such as food, fuel, retail products and building materials making up the majority of “essential” commodities that come to the Islands by ship.” (8 March 2012 prepared for UK parliament select committee by Bailiwick of Guernsey.)

Here I am embarking on a trip to Guernsey on board the Huelin Dispatch courtesy of Channel Island Lines, the main lifeline for those living on the Island.

Perhaps the Guernesiases are more aware than us in mainland Britain of their dependence on the sea for their day to day life?

The Dispatch is a ship I’ve visited on several occasions and the owner, captain Frank Allen has kindly invited me aboard his well-appointed vessel to make this ministry trip to the churches in Guernsey. I couldn’t have hoped for a better day.

The temperatures are set to soar and a smooth crossing is predicted. The only problems I’ve had today were the complete closure of the A31 across the New Forest – but fortunately I had left myself with plenty of time to absorb the hour’s delay; then, arriving at the berth, I nearly jammed the turnstile entrance into Channel Island Lines compound. With a computer on my back, and a Sailors’ Society hold-all in one hand, I tried to negotiate my wheeled suitcase through with me. I had visions of being trapped and forgotten whilst the ship sailed; but with a final injection, of strength worthy of the Incredible Hulk, the mechanism yielded and I was launched out in the right direction. I was able to regather myself and check in to the offices before cautiously proceeding to the gangway, past the towering container-lifting cranes.

Once aboard I was greeted by a friendly crew member who took me to my cabin and then guided me around the ship.

Captain Frank gave me unlimited access and told me to feel at home. Being on the bridge with him and the First and Second Mate was a privilege as the ship was expertly guided astern from its berth. We were underway.

Returning to my cabin I unpacked and got ready for supper, which was a spicy seafood dish prepared by the chef. The captain says a good cook keeps the crew together. He’s right. Light is fading, we prepare to round the Needles. A great day with a happy crew on a well-appointed boat.

Share this article:

  • Sailors’ Society on Twitter
  • Sailors’ Society on Facebook
  • Sailors’ Society on LinkedIn

You might also be interested in

Keep in touch

Keep me up-to-date on Sailors' Society news, events and appeals.

Join us on social

Email: enquiries@sailors-society.org
During these unprecedented times, please contact us on: +44 (0)7718 393 380

Sailors' Society, Seafarer House, 74 St Annes Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO19 9FF, UK
Registered Company No: 86942 Charity No: 237778

Sailors’ Society collects your contact details in order to keep in touch with you and to keep you informed about issues that might potentially be of interest to you. We do not share your information with any outside parties. By providing your email address and/or mobile number you are agreeing to us contacting you in these ways.

Website created by Arc

Fundraising Regulator