Plan F Succeeds
Having missed the sailing season in 2020 – we were keen to get Carra out of her shed and into the water so she still felt loved – boats don’t like to sit doing nothing. Our intention was to move her to Denmark – so that we could her get her back to the Uk in 2022 before the 30th June to avoid paying VAT twice on Carra – a joy of Brexit.
Having jumped through various sizeable hoops – finding care for my mother so in an attempt to make me feel not quite so guilty about leaving her and getting vaccinated – the question was still could we get there?
- Plan A in 2019 was to drive back out to the boat as we had taken some pieces of equipment back including the saloon cushions that needed a repair. But given that we couldn’t drive through Germany, NL or Be…..
- Plan B – fly – but we couldn’t fly into Sweden as it had banned people entering from the uk….nothing looked possible.
- Plan C – In June, entry to Sweden via Iceland was allowed – but not really that appealing. Later Sweden allowed entry through Denmark – but we couldn’t get into Denmark without a worthy purpose.
- Plan D Later Denmark allowed double jabbed Brits in and it was debatable if you needed to quarantine. We wrote to Anders ( Marina Manager of the Yard in Denmark) to tell him we were definitely coming out and could we get a berth. But only if he managed to sell a boat he would have a space for us. We were hoping the Danish market was as buoyant as the British boat market.
- Plan E – Fly to Denmark and get the train to Sweden but we really needed to get the stuff out to the boat that we had brought back…..
- Plan F – We would drive to France, stay in with Mags’ brother and family for 10 days so that we could drive through Germany – we still couldn’t drive through Be and NL. Plus we weren’t suppose to leave the UK but we were able to get travel insurance that covered us.
So we had a plan, and we would leave on 15th July…… But then it was clear that the Delta Variant was running rampant in the UK and Angela Merkel was trying to persuade the rest of the European leaders to ban anyone from the UK. So we needed to get there as soon as possible – we left my mother’s on Tuesday afternoon following a hospital appointment and by the afternoon of Wednesday 30th we had driven home, packed, had our lateral flow tests to get into France and we were on the Chunnel train bound for Calais.
After 10 enjoyable days in France with Sandy and Corinne, and a PCR test by nurse whose party trick was to make the majority of the swab disappear up your nose whilst counting to 5 very slowly – we were off.
By the time we got to the French/ German border it was raining – “biblical quantities” as I texted a friend. It was to continue raining like this for the next 4 days resulting in those devastating floods in Germany in the area that we passed through. We passed into Germany – without any controls. The Danish customs man wanted to see our PCR test. The final crossing was across “The Bridge” scene of the Nordic noir into Sweden. The cheery customs official wanted to see our passport and we were in. 1900 miles later and twice our normal mileage we arrived at the Marina with a sigh of relief and disbelief that we had made it.