Thursday, 13 February 2014

Guernsey :)

I have two Guernsey stories, the first one is a sailing one and the second one is a shorter post.

Guernsey cruise:

There were three of us on this cruise, me, another lady a bit older than me, and our skipper, who was a sage and experienced sailor, both the other lady and I were quite inexperienced at yacht cruising.

We set out on a Saturday morning, and the skipper put the report over the radio and told us what had to be said and done on a report as you left the harbour, you say your destination, boat name and who is on board etc.

we set out, and us girls learned from the skipper about how the tides in the Bay of St. Malo were strong and swift and if you didn't know what you were doing, you could spend a whole day sailing and get nowhere.
As it was, on the tides, it was going to take us until late afternoon to reach Guernsey.
The sea was not too choppy but not calm, there was enough wind, and we had a long but peaceful sail over to Guernsey.
The skipper taught us to be observing all of the sea all of the time, and I naturally became a helm, because that job always seemed to suit me, whereas my co-ordination was never spot on for doing the sheets.

Anyway, we arrived in Guernsey and were met by someone that the skipper called 'an officious man in a dorey'.
We were told where to moor, and presumably paid our fees. We were moored on a floating pontoon in one of the harbours, the one closest to the ferry, I think.
We had to wait a long time for any water taxi, and in the meantime, those photos that I treasured, of me folding the mainsail and sitting on the foredeck, were taken.

Eventually we got the water taxi or a lift from a passing dinghy, I can't remember.
We went for an evening meal at a restaurant in St. Peter Port, and I recall that it was good.

After that, we headed back by water taxi, and bedded down for the night. I didn't sleep deeply, because I wasn't used to sleeping on a boat, but I felt safe.

We woke to a glorious early morning, sunshine and clear blue sky, we had an early start due to the tides, and we also hoped to go over towards Sark just quickly, to see the puffins, before hurrying to beat the tide.

We hit problems.
Over towards the rocks off Sark, my fellow crew member managed to let go of the mainsheet as we went about, and the sheet managed to totally dislodge from it's track and go out over the water, with the mainsail, we were close to the rock, the boat was not under control now, and she couldn't grab the sheet, I grabbed the helm and helmed us off the rocks, while our poor skipper managed to grab the sheet.
We were all a bit shocked, but sailing often brings the unexpected, so once we were under control, we headed back towards Jersey.

We had an uneventful voyage back and were moored in time for evensong.


Guernsey photography:

I was a keen photographer, and spent many hours taking landscape pictures on Jersey.
One Day I decided to have a day out to Guernsey for some pictures.

I went over on the 'fag packet' Aurigney plane, sat up front, lovely views.

I had my swimsuit with me, and I had a swim in one of the tidal pools before making my way round the Island, getting pictures, pictures of gorse and Lihou Island, boats and harbours.

Eventually it was time to go back.
I lost my way and had to run to get my plane. Ha, at least I escaped.

Sark photography:

This was a lovely day out, my day on Sark, I went to do photography, but also to learn more about Sark and it's history and way of life.

I went over on the small ferry that runs between Jersey, Sark and Cartaret. A little green and white creature.
I think the Ferry may have been the Jacques Chartier :)
The windows were all misty with spray, so the views on the way were not too clear.

We arrived on Sark, and some people got the tractor ride up the hill, I think I walked. The Tractor pulls a pedestrian trailer called the 'toast rack'.

Anyway, I enjoyed exploring Sark to the full, I must have had a map or guide book, and I went through the woods down to 'the window in the rock', which is an amazing tunnel through the granite on the cliff, you have to see it to understand it, but I got some great pictures.
And on I went, Sark is quite wooded in places, where the window is and down to the harbour as well, very peaceful too.

The Gorse was in full bloom, and the cliffs blooming with gorse against the awesome green-blue mineral sea made some great pictures.

The centre of Sark was so old-fashioned, like time standing still, with a teeny little NatWest Bank, and a few shops, there was also a church, and I went to a service there while I was there, but the people were not welcoming really, it surprised me, maybe they thought I was a grockle.

I learned a bit about the Sark tin mines and about how Sarkees spoke French until tin miners from Cornwall had to come over to the Sark Tin Mines, and then English had to be learned.
I learned about the Sark ambulance, and I looked in the window of the little Estate agent in the centre of Sark, and dreamed of living there, in such a quiet place, where everyone was presumably safe.

Anyway, I went over La Coupee, to 'Little Sark, and while I was on La Coupee, which is the awesome bridge cut in between Big Sark and Little Sark, I got a lot of great pictures, the sheer sides down to the sea.

On little Sark, I had a cup of tea at the cafe, and got more photos, I got some photos of Brecqhou and Herm-Jethou across the water, all shining and beautiful.
I gather that the Barclay brothers are not too keen on their island being photographed, but I figured they wouldn't mind an innocent hobby photographer.

I headed back eventually, a quiet walk through the silent, traffic-free lanes, past horses and carts and bicycles, signs offering boat trips and ice cream, and I walked down through the woods to the harbour.
I had had a lovely day on my own, away from the stress of Jersey, and I had hundreds of good photographs, I got more photos down at the harbour as I waited for the ferry, only a few people were waiting for the Jersey ferry, which had to come over from Carteret to collect us.

It was a lovely day out from Jersey, and I sent the Lihous a card of Sark with the Heather or Gorse in bloom, because they loved to play one-upmanship about the channel islands, so I thought they would like that.
Jill said they did like that, I was still in contact with them at that time.











2 comments:

  1. Makes me want to visit Sark even more now. Sounds like it's so peaceful!

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  2. Sark is lovely and peaceful, more so than Alderney, and I preferrred Sark to Herm, because the Lihous were always boasting about Herm so I didn't like it.
    Sark was a lovely photo shoot.

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