Trouble at sea

all at sea

Do those cars look safe to you?

We’re booked onto this ferry, for an Easter weekend en France.
We booked for Thursday evening, straight from work.

But I got a call yesterday – from HD Ferries.

Having been out of service since November last year, and having advertised their summer timetable as starting on Thursday, they called to tell me the sailing has been cancelled.

This is the company whose ferry became a laughing stock last summer.

It just couldn’t seem to negotiate a harbour, particularly one with other boats in it, without scraping the odd hull on its way out.

But the company has had 4 months to sort itself out.
There have been training programmes, engine repairs, licence agreements, cheap offers…

And yes, we were lulled into a “how bad can it be this time? Surely they’ve got their act together now” sense of security.

So now, instead of a four day break, we’re down to a three day one.
We do get a free trip later in the year, but should I risk booking time off work on specific dates which may, or may not, coincide with a working ferry?

By Thursday, we may get another call informing us that we’re off to France for a night, or even a day.

I did enquire as to whether we could get to France on Thursday evening using another company.

“Yes,” they said, “but there’s space for passengers only. Your car would have to go the next day. On HD Ferries.”

We may end up staying here for the weekend at this rate.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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4 Responses to Trouble at sea

  1. Georges says:

    I am very happy to see HD is back even if the first sailing for 2008 had to be canceled.

    What I do not find fair is the Condor prices… and some articles in blogs that seem biased and probably written by Condor itself!?

    Competition in Channel crossings is great for us travelers and very welcome.

    Wish HD will manage well in 2008.


  2. mid-lifer says:

    How frustrating!! Hope it turns out well for you. I can’t be worse than what we have lined up which includes seeing the aaaaaaarrrrggh in-laws! nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  3. How I love the Eurotunnel. You need a branchline there. Hope all is well – I see you have an interesting situation of your own there nowadays….

  4. Beta Mum says:

    Georges – competition would be great, if the competition were up to the job. In the end we had to cash in our tickets with HD and go on Condor, as HD never made it from England to start their service. Let’s hope they get it together by this weekend.

    ML – it’s life on an island I’m afraid. Weather can curtail the best-laid plans. We did get there in the end, albeit a day later than hoped.

    SAHD – how lovely to hear from you. I’ve been worried to see your silent blog. I hope all is well. A tunnel would be even better than competition. At a recent conference someone suggested a bridge could be the solution… and yes, the “situation” continues.

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