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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Disappointing but predictable
09/04/2010, greece

Well, I thought I'd be able to report that we are now the proud owners of a catamaran, but if I am honest, it didn't surprise me that it didn't happen first attempt. It should have been fine - the money is transferred, the owner arrived from Athens, we had lunch, the broker was 2 hours late in arriving and then assured us it would be a smooth transaction. The problem came when the registrar said he didn't believe that the owner wouldn't have to pay tax as he was selling it within the EU. Despite the fact that the owner's lawyers and accountants had reassured him this would not be the case becasue Jersey is not in the EU, he (understandably) didn't want to go ahead until it was DEFINITELY definite that he wouldn't have to pay tax. It could have been worse, the broker's previous client had sat in a 4 hour deadlock with the owner refusing to sign the bill of sale until he had the money in his account and the broker refusing to give him the money until he had signed!
However, I think it's all for the best because now Mark and I can both sign and own the boat and, also the owner has given me the keys to the boat and I am now sitting on her, pretending she's mine. I have even had a shower and cooked myself dinner. Mark and the kids arrive tomorrow - I just hope the rain has cleared up by then - don't want them getting cabin fever on the first day!!
Love Catherine

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SSB radio queen
08/31/2010, Southampton

So, as I was saying, after much research (admittedly a little bit late in the game) I find that the only place I can get a ship's radio licence in the UK - or for that matter in Southern Europe - is Southampton, UK. That's South. Having abused Ruby the car enough by driving her up to Glasgow from Jersey, I wasn't sure I could rely on her to do a return trip. What's more my AA membership had run out. 6 changes on the overnight coach didn't appeal so I find myself flying down for £240. Yes, you heard right. With the course costing £350, the exam £95, I was lucky that I had family there with whom I could stay - thanks Anna and Richard! Put on top of that the cost of the modem, radio itself, grounding plate and accessories, membership with sailmail, and this free email malarky is sounding anything but. However, what price can you put on letting your loved ones know you are safe??!!! Aahh. Seriously, though, last time I went across the Atlantic 10 years ago I had no way of letting people know we were OK even though we were taking 10 days longer than anticipated, so it is peace of mind for all, and hopefully brownie points for me.
And I passed the exam which means I have infinitely more wisdom regarding radio communication than I did a month ago. I have also been promoted from scrubber to communications officer. No change in conditions or pay unfortunately. I'm now in Greece, but the blog's getting a bit long and Mr Shah warned me to keep them short, so more about the boat in the next entry!

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Touring the UK
08/17/2010, Glasgow

So, we arrived in the UK, and have had a wonderful couple of weeks meeting up with as many UK friends as possible before heading off to Greece [for those who didn't know, boat unavailable until end of this month, so our trip starts in Greece, rather than Mark sailing it back to Jersey and starting there]
Overnight ferry was great as we had a good night's sleep before breakfast with the Haywards and lunch with the Denyers. Camping and custard fights the order of the week before heading off to Atlantic College for my [whisper] 20 year reunion. I didn't even swim in the Bristol Channel when I was a student so I don't know what I was trying to prove this time round. Whilst I was in Wales, Mark and the kids hit legoland, before heading down to Haywards Heath to see colleagues, and to meet baby Alexander. Then we went to Ledbury for the Big Chill music festival with Jess and the boys and onwards and upwards to Glasgow. Ruby (our car) was so heavily laden that it was touch and go as to whether we would make it up the hill to Scotland but she did us proud and we are now celebrating Lochy's 6th birthday, before I fly back down to Southampton (bad planning on my part) for my SSB radio course.

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Leaving Jersey
08/03/2010, England, UK

It's taken me over a week to update since arriving in the UK - it feels like our feet haven't touched the ground! Leaving Jersey can be summed up as emotional and manic, not necessarily in that order! The kids had all their leaving assemblies, sports days etc and then the day after they broke up we left on the ferry. The state of the house mid-week could probably be judged by the estate agent's comment "and you have [pause to distainfully scan the lounge floor] 2 days before you leave??" my response "well, three, if you count the fact that we are leaving on the 9pm ferry!" But it was touch and go! Even the new owners admitted that they didn't think we would have done it, having visited us 2 days before the off! I'm not sure we could have done it without mum (thank you, Mum!) who took the directions of "charity OR dump OR your attic OR greece OR car" with every thing she waved in front of our noses for the last week magnanimously. It was mid morning when Mark broke it to me that we would probably need two pallets to ship to Greece, rather than the one we were planning. When the cargo man arrived, we were still chucking things on the pallets and wrapping them all up in cling film, including kids' bikes and toys - very precious cargo indeed! When we eventually drove off to the ferry, new owners were waving us off with a smile, despite Mark leaving an electric moped in their garage and asking if they didn't mind dumping it for him! Lochy, having not expressed much emotion either way for the last month, said "I feel a bit sad" which promptly made me cry.....again.
Just want to say to all our Jersey friends and family, thanks for all your support and best wishes and don't forget, there's space on the boat for visitors, so looking forward to hearing from you, love Catherine xxx

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08/04/2010 | Fiona Vacher
How lovely, a blog to keep in touch with the Jacksons. Got a lump in my throat re: Locky's "I feel a bit sad". What an amazing adventure you're all on. Can't wait to hear more about it. with love Fiona (& Mike, Isobel and Ollie)
Packing up home
07/11/2010, Jersey, Channel Islands

Finished work on Wed 30 June 2010. Thursday 1 July finds me running up and down the stairs in my home wondering where on earth to start packing first. UP 'right, I'll start sorting clothes i don't need - oh, hang on, need to clear a space to put the clothes into' DOWN 'oh, hang on, need Mark to help me dismantle the wardrobe' UP DOWN UP DOWN. Finally realise I've spent 30 minutes having a good cardiovascular workout but doing nothing about packing the house up. Kettle goes on, surf the net, give up for the day.
10 days later and I have started to cross jobs off the list I made. A new home has been found for the goldfish - thanks Katya - our SSB radio and radar have arrived after exciting bidding on e bay - and some progress has been made in the form of hospice shop runs and furniture donations. Now the TV has gone however, I have Lochy hassling me for the computer so he can log onto moshimonsters. I'll have to break it to him gently that we won't have internet access 24/7 when we are away!!

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Hurrah for PEGASUS!!
06/17/2010, Jersey/Greece

So, the house is sold [tick] the notice has been handed in at work [tick tick] and a deposit has been placed on a boat [tick]. I have 9 working days left, Mark has already finished and then kids finish school on 22 July 2010. On 23 July 2010 we 'll be on the ferry to the UK with our bags packed, our house empty and our car boot full to the brim. After a trip down to Greece in May by Mark, we decided to settle on a 39 foot catamaran. The good news is it is on tip top condition. The down side is that it is not available until the end August due to a pre-booked charter. However, our flights are booked for Greece at the end of August and then we can spend a leisurely/frantic [delete as appropriate] 2 months kitting Pegasus out for longer sails (radar, solar panels etc etc)
In a way, it is good that we are not being waved off from the marina in Jersey only for the inevitable return an hour later because something has snapped! Going over to UK first is less permanent and more gradual (for us any way!)
Kids are excited, Mum and Dad are excited - I just can't finish work fast enough so I can concentrate on the trip ahead!
More details once I have finished work!!

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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