Sunday, 14 August 2011

Fog-bound on Departure Day

Just like the last time I visited Guernsey, departure day dawned wet and foggy.  This was the view from our hotel room windows.

We knew this was bound to result in delays at the airport, but this kind of weather is part of everyday life on the island.  A quick look at the arrivals board on the internet showed that the mail had been diverted to Southampton; the newspapers had fared slightly better, being sent to Jersey instead!  As no planes were coming in, it seemed reasonable to assume there wouldn't be any leaving.  Nothing for it but to have a hearty breakfast and go around taking pictures with my new toy (a Sony NEX-5 which I'd bought in St Peter Port the previous day).

We then took a taxi to the airport.  The driver was extremely friendly, which was just as well as Harriet had forgotten to return her room key and he needed to go back and do it for her!  We shared the taxi with Alexandra Wood, who had been writing a guest blog for the Visit Guernsey website.  You can read about her previous visit here, and hopefully her most recent writings will be posted soon.

Nothing was arriving or leaving the airport; in fact, looking out of the window, it wasn't even evident that there was an airport outside.

When the going gets tough, the tough take pictures.  Amazingly there was absolutely no problem with me using the camera air-side.  In fact, a very nice lady came over to explain to me that I was welcome to take pictures in the shiny new airport, providing I kept away from the "security" area.  I wish other airports were this accommodating...

 The final picture was taken hand-held at 1/5s, which show how impressive Sony's OSS (optical stabilisation system) can be.  After a couple of hours, after which we'd completely exhausted the Duty Free shop and WH Smiths, we noticed that the fog was starting to clear.  Not only that, there appeared to be planes on the tarmac.

Half an hour later and it was possible to see some houses on the far side of the runway, and the next thing we knew was that a plane was landing.  It had originally come from Gatwick, and diverted to Jersey after getting bored of circling overhead.  Izzi then got caught out, as she'd just bought herself an enormous sausage sandwich with spicy chips when the departure board announced that the newly-arrived plane was being turned round immediately and sent to Stansted!

The scheduled journey took us via Jersey, and the plane was almost empty on this first leg.  Among our fellow passengers were some ageing "rockers" who we discovered later were part of a tribute band called Gums and Roses.  A fitting end to our holiday on Guernsey...