25/09/2020
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Dear Islander

August certainly lived up to its reputation of being a furnace with humidity thrown in, but I’m happy to say we managed to escape and spent most of the month in Galicia, France and then the UK with our Campervan! The cool evenings and fresh mornings were a delight !!

Covid is still keeping us all on our toes, and during our travels it was interesting to see the difference in compliance between the regions. Galicia, although with very few instances of Covid, was certainly the most compliant in terms of mask wearing, with 99% of people wearing them all the time, both outdoors , including  going  to the beaches, and indoors, except when eating or drinking. The farther east into Spain we went, the busier it got, and there was a definite reduction in the numbers wearing the masks, but nothing like the numbers as we reached the UK. To be honest you were the odd one out if you were wearing a mask outdoors, and there was a definite air of defiance which we found quite alarming. We stayed for the minimum amount of time necessary.

As I write this, France has been added to the naughty step by Boris, causing hundreds of thousands of Brits to either cancel holidays or cut short their visits, and whist doing this created huge demands on the ferry and Eurotunnel who seem hell bent on charging as much as they can during this difficult time for everyone. The Balearics, as we all know, have taken a hell of a beating due to the UK’s quarantine rules, brought in just as many restaurants and hotels had decided to risk opening and salvage what they could from the season. I feel desperately sorry for these businesses who will struggle to survive, and mainly due to a decision in the UK which makes no sense to me.

The arrests last month of leading figures of the Balearic Port Authority doesn’t fill you with much confidence of how our industry is being hosted, and yet in line with local political scandals over recent years it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Spain really does need to get this trait stamped out of its dna, it’s bad for business all round.

September will see the resumption of the new refit season, which for many contractors I have spoken to sounds to be looking reasonably promising. Let’s hope so.

The charter season as such has at least had a couple of decent months, but let’s hope 2021 brings better fortune to the whole industry, and society in general.

Fair Winds !

Simon Relph

Editor & Chief