Dear Diary – Page 36 (Late 1950’s – Channel Isles)

In 1959 we had our first holiday out of England. We were going to go to Jersey in the Channel Islands which was really exciting for me because of my interest in ships.

Having been told that we would be at sea for around 9 hours, this was going to be particularly exciting. As if it could not get any better, we had to go to Southampton to board which was two train rides away! We duly traveled by train to Southampton and boarded the British Railways steamer “Isle of Jersey”.

1959 Jersey_0001

The crossing was uneventful, albeit interesting, as I spent an amazing amount of time just looking over the side and watching the sea, the wake and the gulls. During this time I noticed a piece of paper had been caught on a steel strip that appeared to be anchoring a rubbing strip (?) to the hull side.

1959 Jersey_0002Every time a wave surged over the piece of paper ……. would it wash it off? Nope ……. still there! Here’s another big one…….. will it set it free? Nope………. still there!

We had a lovely time visiting Jersey and doing the “tourist stuff” of visiting places of interest which included St. Ouens Bay which was a gracefully curving bay with wonderful sand.

Because Jersey was outside of England’s 3 mile limit, everything bought there was free of sales taxes. Dad felt it his duty to stock up on LP’s rather than alcohol and did quite well, or so he thought.

Jersey also gave me my first scare of the sea. I was on an inflatable bed just wallowing up and down in the waves when I suddenly looked up (I was facing out to sea) and saw quite big waves coming towards me. My immediate reaction was to look behind me and I almost panicked when I saw how far away the beach was. I can clearly remember thinking that I must paddle backwards and make sure the waves hit me head on otherwise they might roll me and the inflatable bed over. There would have been quite a few minutes of frantic paddling. I have no recollections of ever getting on an inflatable bed again. Those things are dangerous!


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