Monday 25th May
Left Weymouth for Portland Marina ready for our early start Tuesday morning.
Tuesday 26th May
Leaving Portland marina in a light breeze we set sail for Guernsey; the light winds meant we would be motor-sailing most of the way. Our aim was to reach Alderney at High Water Dover -1 ready for the tidal change. Having reached our waypoint early we decided to go outside Alderney. This is the first time that I have seen The Casquets rather than just hearing the horn which marks these rocks. We did not have sight of Guernsey until we were about 6 miles out. The island was shrouded in cloud.
Later on the same evening, this is the floodlit Castle Cornet. We were now waiting for the tide to rise enough so we could get over the sill into the inner harbour at St Peter Port.
We arrived in St. Peter Port at about 8 o’clock in the evening. We could not enter over the sill until about 01:00 the next morning. I woke up about 01:00 telling Martin that there were boats about. He radioed the Harbour Master for entry. Bleary-eyed as I was, a lady with a very plummy voice said something to me that sounded something like “throw me a rope”; which I did, only to have it coiled up and thrown back to me. (This completely confused Martin!). In actual fact she had asked what our draught was. How did I turn that into “throw me a rope”? Anyway, in spite of me, they let us into the marina.
Next day (Wednesday 27th May) we started a tour of the island. This is relatively simple as all bus rides were charged at £1.00. We did, however, find that there was a visiting cruise boat every day and they, apparently, knew that you could go all round the island for £1.00. Consequently we went off-route away from the round island trips. The weather was quite pleasant. There used to be a big open-air market in St. Peter Port but most of that has gone.
I was searching for some good sunglasses; tried a few shops then went into Boots. “Yes Sir, these are £130.00 and these are £99.00”. I was ready to march away when the assistant said “you can have these for £30.00 or these for £10.00. So I snatched them out of her hand.
We had a quiet dinner on the boat, then an early night.
Thursday 28th May
All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after a good night’s sleep. We went off to find a M.O.B. instrument that can be attached to a life-jacket. I am sure Martin thought that maybe I was going to chuck him overboard! Then coffee and a day pass for the buses so we could get on and off as we liked.
First stop, L’ANCRESSE BAY in the North of the island. We walked all around the bay, examined one of the old forts, then of course we had to look at the rubbish dump with lines of pipes exuding some form of gas. Then we walked around the golf course and of course the wild flowers at this time of year were beautiful. One looked like a Gladioli but neither of us could identify it.
Of course my hunger pangs were now causing me to moan so we continued round to ST. SAMPSON (det) until, on the headland, a little café where we could eat, drink and be merry (tea of course).
Refreshed, on the bus again passing Cobo Bay, Vazon Bay and Perelle Bay until we came to L’EREE BAY where you can walk out to an island at Low Water. This area was the best part of the island if you like sea side. Lovely countryside, beaches and safe bathing at Portelet Harbour. Of course tea and cake then on the bus again to St. Martin in the South of the island.
Friday 29th May was a nice gentle walking day (only about 5 miles). We went along the coast and up to a gun emplacement. Out at sea it was quite rough and we watched a yacht which was obviously doing some training. We found out afterwards that it was a UKSA boat with girl crew training.
Back into town I pointed out to Martin where we used to eat when visiting. It was a Moores Best Western but inside you eat at a place called The Library.
There was a weather window in the forecast for the next day so we decided to go to Moores that evening and then moved the boat into the outer harbour later in the evening when the tide was right.
Saturday 30th May
We had decided to go around the bottom of the island. So we set off at about 5am. It’s the first time I have been this way and once round the point of St. Martin we headed west. It is quite rocky along this part of the island and was blowing about 17kts with short steep seas. The forecast started at 17kts, dropping to about 3kts. However, the wind stayed up to about 8-10kts and we had a lovely sail back hardly using the engine.
We arrived back in Dartmouth at about 8pm. Two hours later the wind was howling and it was pouring with rain.
Martin Pascoe & Vic Hopkins