Living on Guernsey has a lot of advantages and I wouldn't live anywhere else however getting off the rock isn't easy.
There are ships to St Malo France and Portsmouth England but when you have to fly out of Gatwick to any destination with windsurf gear the trouble starts.
If I catch the boat then you have to allow even more time away fro the family travelling, then you have the problem of parking the car somewhere at the airport.
Flying off the island obviously tackles the time away problem however more problem creep out.
I booked my flight from Guernsey to Gatwick, checked if the plane could take windsurf boards, they could it was under a winter sports section £ 25.00 per board. To double check I went to the airport and was told it would probably be £ 25.00 per bag, OK I have 5 sail bags and board bags but at least I will be able to fly.
After all this I thought I might as well email the airline and ask if there was any chance of a discount on the excess baggage since I am flying out to represent Guernsey and GB in the world champs.
Their reply was,
Setting aside the question of cost, we are somewhat concerned at the practicality of carrying 3 surfboards and 4 rigs on a busy summer flight. Additional baggage is only accepted on a 'subject to space' basis.
I have to advise you that our Station Manager in Guernsey is of the opinion that we would be unable to accommodate all the equipment that you need to take with you. I have therefore been instructed to offer you a full refund of your flight ticket. Please let me know if you wish to cancel your flights with us and I will authorise the refund of your ticket.
Good of them to offer a refund I guess.
Next step. I phoned the Beachcomber Hot Tub importer, one of my sponsors, to ask if I can ship the equipment to their Gatwick stores and then have them deliver it to the airport. A bit cheeky to say the least but if you don't ask you don't get. They said no problem.
On to TNT to ship it, next problem Guernsey is VAT exempt, any goods sent to England are liable to VAT. Hopefully we have got over that by putting a low value on the gear.
Next problem, the cost of shipping the gear should be priced on volume not weight which will come to approx £ 400.00 one way! TNT did a deal and only charged me £ 160.00.
The gear has now left and should be in Gatwick on Friday. I wanted to make sure there was a bit of time to get things sorted if it goes pear shaped.
My flight is on Wednesday the 29th fro Guernsey to Gatwick then out to Rhodes with Easyjet. the gear is booked on Easyjet so hopefully there won't be any more problems however it is never easy travelling with windsurf equipment.
My good friend Pierre Bisson is travelling with me to take photos of the event. You'll be able to view the pics on www.gsyphoto.com
I'll keep you posted.
No wonder my hair has fallen out!