Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Island hopping

Is it the size that defines an island? This question springs to mind when you look at some of the inhabited rocks in the British Channel. They are tiny, really tiny, but today they present themselves like emerald green jewels on  blue velvet. In the morning we approach Sark, the car-free, tax-free, carefree oasis, one of the places with rather complicated legislation and very, very friendly people. And today we have the rare privilege to use our Polar Cirkel Boats. 

Now, that’s more like it! After a short while everybody has entered the small, fortress-like harbour and marvels at the steep cliffs. The very old geological history of the Channel Islands has left the rocks and slopes in quite a chaos, but still pretty to look at.

With a tractor we get shuttled up the hill and since cars are strictly forbidden here you can hop on one of the picturesque horse carriages or walk the unpaved roads on foot. Nobody can get lost easily, every path inevitably ends on a street you recognize. After a couple of hours spent in the sun, maybe a coffee in the beautiful garden of the Seigneurie, or a walk along the steep, ocean-swept coast, we make our way back to our vessel. But only for lunch, as we drop anchor again only half an hour later. This time it is undoubtedly an island, there are buses, cars, hotels, supermarkets: Guernsey, the „capital“ of the region, invites us. And again, we „have“ to ride the Polar Cirkel boats, for FRAM cannot go to pier here.