Channel Islands Cruise 30 Aug – 7 Sep 12

Day 1 Sat 1 Sep 12 Poole to Braye –

After a full safety brief and details of the the forthcoming Cruise the evening before Noel, Bing, Andy, Norman & Clive)  had an early night in readiness for our planned 0600 departure on Sat morning from our berth in Cobbs Quay. This was to be one of the better Channel Crossings with the weather forecast W or NW Force 4 or 5, we were not to be disapointed.We arrived in Braye harbour at about 1800 which made the crossing under 12 hrs. After a welcome meal the crew again had an early night ready to explore Alderney on Sunday morning.


Day 2 Sun 2 Sep 12 Braye to Herm –

On Sun morning after breakfast the dinghy was inflated and outboard motor got ready to go ashore for a shower and see the delights of Alderney, first stop was the hotel in the harbour to sample their excellent coffee and to take in the views of the harbour and coast line. Time and Tide waits for no man as the saying goes so after an earlyish lunch we made ready to depart to our next destination of Herm, this wasn’t in the original plans but seemed an opportunity not to be missed, 4 hours after departure we anchored on the eastern coast of Herm off Belvoir Beach, again a dinghy trip ashore saw us cross the Island to the Mermaid Tavern before walking back to the beach to rejoin Ultra. This wasn’t as easy as it seemed as Bing’s hesitation to push the dinghy away from the beach and the surf caused  Noel to get a soaking, eventually I saw the funny side ( 2 days later ).

Day 3 Mon 3 Sep 12 Herm to St Peterport

– Early to Rise, the plan was a quick cuppa and then breakfast in St Peterport, through The Alligande Passage to cover the 3 miles to Guernsey, a cruise ship Thompson Spiriit was moored outside St Peterport as many do visit The Channel Islands. This was rest day to give everyone the chance to visit and look around Guernsey however this was not entirely the case. Whilst on passage from the UK a sharp eyed Andy had noticed that the lower shrouds had started to fray, we took remedial action to give them extra support but thought it wise to send for replacements. This was in the form of Christine coming over from Poole with new lower shrouds which we fitted on Mon evening, this was good experience for everyone. That evening we had a crew meal out at La Perla in St Peterport, I think that everyone agrees it was a welcome break from my cooking.

Day 4 Tues 4 Sep 12 St Peterport to Sark

– This is a short 10 mile trip which is normally quite straight forward however Andy and Bing decided that they wanted a bit of a challenge and so chose one of the many inshore passages between the rocks of the Island of Herm so prepared their pilotage plan. Andy had just qualified as a Day Skipper and Bing was preparing to take his Yachtmaster Offshore exam so this is just what the doctor ordered. The passage went to plan and we emerged from the other side unscathed, Bing consistently had this desire to go as close to as many rocks as possible. We arrived to pick up a buoy in Havre Goslin on the west coast of Sark at about 1300, had lunch and then went ashore to make the 100m climb to the monument, the highest point on Sark. After a brisk walk to Little Sark we enjoyed a Sark cream tea in Sue’s Tea Garden before returning to the Yacht for the night.

Day 5 Weds 5 Sep 12 Sark to Cherbourg

– This was a very early start as we had to ensure that we hit the Alderney Race at Slack tide to do this we needed to punch the foul tide for the first three hours, the only way to acheive this was to motor against the North Easterly wind, once we were close to Alderney we were able to bear away and sail the remainder of the passage. It took us about eight hours which is what we expected, passing through the race was quite rough but not as bad as it could be due to our early departure. The marina in Cherbourg was quiet and we easily found a suitable berth, that evening we dined ashore at La Commerce a favourite restaurant.

Day 6 Thurs 6 Sep 12 Cherbourg to Poole

– Morning was spent with the crew visiting the Maritime museum and looking round the only nuclear powered submarine open to the public, they all enjoyed it very much. After lunch we set sail for the UK, in fact we only sailed for about an hour and then the wind died and we motored the rest of the journey. However as the sun went down we were treated to some remarkable sunsets. We arrived back in Poole at about 3am, had a couple of hours sleep before coming back into Cobbs Quay through the 0800 Twin Sails bridge to refuel and clean the boat up.