We woke up on Saturday 23rd June 2018 in the Travelodge at Portsmouth. We knew from the previous night that the sailing had been put back over an hour, so we were surprised, in fact rather alarmed to receive a text saying that boarding was commencing! Fortunately, we were very close to the port, but I did make a phone call to confirm we would be able to drive onto the vessel!
With it being a long crossing, and only having around four hours sleep the previous night, we bought ourselves a cabin in which we could relax. I put myself back to bed for some more sleep! The cabin had a fruit bowl and water which we devoured during the crossing, and a television, on which we were able to watch the World Cup matches, Belgium beating Tunisia 5-2 and Mexico defeating South Korea 2-1.
That evening we checked into the Mornington Hotel in St Helier and took a wander out for some beers and food. We had a fantastic meal at a Portuguese restaurant we found in the back streets. Breakfast the following morning in the hotel was good too. The wall-mounted radio unit in the hotel room amused me - I'd not seen one of those for 30 years!
It would have been possible to virtually drive onto Les Platons on Sunday 24th June 2018, but we elected to leave the car at a car park/viewpoint a little along the coast, and take the clifftop footpath to the summit. The summit itself was not particularly attractive, but the sea views were excellent. Jimmy was up and running first on 2m FM, and secured his qualification all from stations located in the Channel Islands.
Jimmy also worked into France on 2m FM, while I managed a QSO into the south coast of England. I mainly operated on 20m CW though, and Jimmy did a little 20m SSB towards the end of the activation. After walking back to the car, we drove around to the headland at Plemont where the old Pontins holiday camp stood. This was where I worked as a musician back in 1990, and where I met my wife, and Jimmy's mum Marianne, who was the nurse there. Since I visited with Marianne a few years ago, the abandoned ruins of the holiday camp had been removed and the land returned to nature under the stewardship of the National Trust. It was lovely to see.
Jimmy and I wandered around the site, and I showed him where the old chalets, swimming pool, ballroom etc were. It was a rather "existential" experience for him to see the place where his mum and dad met! We then needed to drive back to St Helier and board the ferry to Guernsey. Jimmy and I had two more Channel Island summits yet to activate, the next of which would be - believe it or not - Guernsey Airport GU/GU-002!