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Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 2: Guernsey

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Jan115

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I had read many tales of missed calls to this port. Because the ship’s need to tender passengers over to the island in sometimes choppy or stormy seas, it is all too common for cruise ships to bypass Guernsey altogether. I am happy to report that the day was mild and sunny, and the ship made it to port, as scheduled. However, some wind and high surf prevailed, making the tender ride a bit choppy.

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We watched the tendering process from our balcony and noticed that the tender and ship had trouble connecting in order to board the passengers. The captain had to reposition the ship throughout the day in order to assist the process to make it easier and safer for boarding, so it all worked out.

Since we had to be back on board by 2:30 pm, it was a very short day for us in Guernsey. We chose to walk to the next castle on our list: Castle Cornet, a very easy and walkable mile from the ship.

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We paid for admission which included a guide who was very informative and filled us in on the history of Guernsey and the castle (which is a fort, really). As an added bonus, the views are truly spectacular, including a fabulous view of the ship!

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One notable event at the Castle is the firing of the Noon Day Gun, a tradition dating back to the early days of the 19th century. We watched from the roped area surrounding the gun, but a visit timed to be at the level just below the gun at noon may make for a better view.

Added note about Guernsey: Later on that evening, we learned that the captain had nearly made the decision to cancel the Guernsey port stop due to high seas. Which makes me wonder – what happens when they tender people over to the island but then can’t tender them back because the waves are too high ….?

Motion on the Ocean! Just as we had earlier in the day, we faced rough seas Friday night once we left Guernsey on our way to Waterford. So rough, in fact, that the Ocean Princess Singers & Dancers production was canceled, replaced by comic, Tom Brisco. There were a lot of seasick passengers that evening, as well as many empty seats in the dining room and show lounges. Those souls who were brave enough donned their formal attire, stumbled around the ship, attended the captain’s welcome party, and dined to the rocking and rolling of the ship. The formal photo shoot was particularly challenging for both the photographer and the subjects. Another consequence of the turbulent waters is that the ship had to reduce speed, which could have affected the arrival time in Waterford the next morning. As it turned out, we made it on schedule.

Tonight was Jenn’s 25th birthday. OK, not really. It was actually last January, but we never properly celebrated, so we thought this would be a good way to honor such a momentous occasion. Balloons, a happy birthday sign on the door, a card from the Captain, and a cake complete with singing waiters at dinner made it all special.

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