TRAVELLING TO JERSEY
TRAVELLING TO JERSEY ON THE FERRY WITH THE DOG
We were all very excited about going on holiday with The Dog. She loves going on trips with us – every time we start packing the car up she sits right next to it, refusing to budge as she doesn’t want to get left behind. Even the sighting of a squirrel within reach in the garden is not enough to tempt her from her mission of not getting left behind.
However as we got closer to the date of travel, I started getting a little anxious about taking The Dog on the ferry. We were travelling on the Condor ferry from Poole to Jersey. The crossing is 4.5 hours and it stops first at Guernsey then carries on to Jersey. Dogs have to stay in the car throughout the crossing, but I had read that you could go and check on them during the journey. We were now in the middle of a really hot July and social media was full of stories about poor dogs being left in hot cars and how the inside of cars can turn into furnaces in no time at all in high temperatures.
I bought a cooling gel mat for The Dog to lie on in the car, a non-spill water bowl and two window vent guards for the back windows (a concertina type thing that you can fit in the car window so you can leave it a bit lower than normal – the guard wouldn’t stop anyone getting into the car, but that was not my worry, I didn’t want The Dog to try and get out and these guards looked like they would do the job...).
After some more google research about the ferry car deck (it’s amazing what you can research when lying awake at 2 in the morning consumed with anxiety...) I realised that the ferry we were going on – the Condor Liberation was quite a new ferry and had an open car deck which meant that there should be quite a breeze going through. OK, anxiety slightly reduced, now off on our journey. We arrived at the ferry check in and had to wait about an hour to board the ferry. There was a small grassy area where the cars queue so you can let dogs have a last comfort break before boarding. We were onto the ferry quite quickly and once you are on they like you to leave the car deck without delay and go up to the passenger deck. We had sorted the car windows out before going onto the ferry so a quick ‘see you soon’ to The Dog who was looking a touch confused at this point and then up to the passenger deck.
On the ferry you can travel in standard seats in the Ocean Traveller section or pay a little bit more to upgrade to the Ocean Plus or Ocean Club lounge. I think I paid an extra £7.95 a person to upgrade to the Ocean Plus section which was well worth it. It has great views and is nice and airy and we had booked table seats so The Child had ample space to spread his stuff out. The ferry set off and it was interesting to look at the scenery leaving Poole. You can go outside onto the top deck and there was a good breeze up there so I was reassured that there would be a good breeze going through the car deck.
I had asked about checking on The Dog. I was told that if you go to the information desk there would be a notice up about what time you could check on pets - the time to meet was 1.5 hours in. This passed quite quickly and at the allocated time, someone came to meet the dog owners waiting, to take us down to the car deck. I crept up to the car as I didn’t want to disturb her unnecessarily and peeked in and she was fast asleep. I stuck my hand in the car window to check on the temperature inside the car and it was fine. Phew, anxiety over. Back to the passenger deck to relax and enjoy the view. It was a gloriously sunny day and the sea was as flat as a pancake. The ferry is great, very comfortable with power pints at the seats, free wifi for half an hour and decent food on offer. There is also a shop and movie room for the kids.
We arrived in Jersey and went back to car to find The Dog awake but looking quite happy. Hoorah. No stress, no drama. Our return journey went much the same. It was hot again but calm seas. The Dog was so tired after two weeks camping (she doesn’t get too sleep much in the day like she normally does) that I think she was actually looking forward to the ferry crossing for the opportunity for some uninterrupted sleep! I checked on her twice and each time she was fast asleep. I am really glad that all was good as this means we can definitely all go back to Jersey again!
Condor Ferries: www.condorferries.co.uk/