We explored parts of Guernsey that we had been past on the round the island bus on previous visits. This time we caught the bus to Pembroke Bay in the morning to walk back to the marina in time for tea. It was actually good to get off the boat for a while. Guernsey does not have really interesting walks inland, so we had to put up with the East coast. The sands were good, but not in the cold wind we were having, so they were all but deserted.
The walk took us past Beaucette marina, which was rather disappointing, with narrow entrance, the pontoons were well below the top of the old quarry, so there was no view, even at high tide; there was not much space for many visiting boats, although we could have gone there. The other bays on the way back were interesting in their own way. St Sampson was not pleasant, but it is the industrial estate for Guernsey. With prior permission, we could visit one day, because it looks very sheltered.
From Right to Left: Sark – Jethou – Herm – Some German Cruise Liner – Castle Cornet
The next day, we visited the German tunnel museum, fascinating place. I think that the Brigadier Snow, who was in charge of the liberation of Guernsey, used to live in the village on Exmoor where the Skipper lived in the 50s and 60s!
This is the first time we have been to the Channel Is in the holiday season; it’s nearly full all the time with boats coming & going, and not as sheltered as we thought. As it turned out, there has always been room in Carteret, ‘cos the boat rally was cancelled! Bother, as they say in the trade.
As a treat for the last night, we decided to go into the inner marina. We had ended up with 2 boats rafted onto us, unfortunately they left about an hour later than they said. We went to get some fuel for the channel crossing and missed getting into the marina. We were on the waiting pontoon for most of the morning by ourselves, but by the time the berthing masters were letting us in (about an hour after we could have got in) we had 5 boats rafted onto us! Anyway, we got a berth inside on a finger pontoon so we could get away at 05:00 the next day. This was another reminder that we have not been here during the holiday season!
Guernsey Outer Marina whilst it’s QUIET!
The Boss on Cuchulainn on the good day before we went into the marina. (Note the inner harbour and sill!)
At very silly o’clock, we were woken up by the alarm, got ready and waited for the sill traffic light to go green; after about 30 minutes of waiting the Skipper went to see the depth gauge which read 2.9m (we need 1.4m plus a bit). The harbour master keeps it red when they aren’t around!? Off we went into smooth water, light wind for a 13-hour motor-sail to Dartmouth. This was the best forecast day for it and, for once, it was! The sun rose as we sailed up the Little Russell. Enough wind, from the forecast direction, for both the main and genoa to be well filled, but only enough to sail at 3 to 4 knots, but with the engine at a fast tick-over we were averaging 5.5 knots for most of the way. The sun was shining, the sea and sky were mostly blue, NO RAIN! We lost sight of Guernsey after 24 miles and were out of sight of land for about 2 hours before we could see England. On the last channel crossing, we saw at least 20 ships using the shipping lanes; this time, we saw about 6!
We sailed the last hour or so, making about 6 knots, which helped to reduce the crossing time to 13 hours. We arrived in Dartmouth in time for supper and an early night.