Easter Cruise to the Channel Islands

Over the Easter Weekend, Sundowners held a Channel Islands cruise aboard Poohstix – a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 35 owned by club member Dai , based in Cherbourg.

Sailing with Dai were club members Peter, Hilde and Andrea.

After taking the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Caen, the crew arrived in Cherbourg early on Good Friday and set sail as soon as the boat was provisioned.

Heading W to Cap de la Hague and then SW through the Alderney Race, we enjoyed a pleasant day’s sailing to the NE coast of Sark – spinnaker flying.

We took advantage of the free buoys in the small bay at Greve de la Ville – a sheltered mooring surrounded by ominous looking rocks close to Maseline Harbour.

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After a good night aboard, we motored past the harbour and around the S side of Sark, looking in to Dixcart and Derrible Bays to scout for possible future anchorages.

Once clear of the island, we were able to hoist sails and continue around Little Sark to head N up the Big Russel – the broad channel between Sark and Herm.

With Hilde and Andrea having recently qualified as Day Skippers, we decided to test their pilotage skills by manually piloting up the Big Russel, around the N of Herm and S to St Peter Port via the narrower Little Russel channel.

Using the plentiful marks and beacons to track transits, we successfully navigated into St Peter Port for a comfortable night on the visitor pontoons before heading N to Alderney on Sunday morning.

Flushed with the success of our pilotage practice, we again navigated by traditional means through the impressive and fast flowing channel of the Swinge between Alderney and the rocky islet of Burhou and into Braye Harbour.

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Having already cleared customs for the Guernsey Bailiwick, we were set for a run ashore on Alderney to check out the local scenery and pubs.

After a curry on board and another comfortable night on a mooring buoy in Braye Harbour, we returned to Cherbourg and departed in ample time for the ferry back to Portsmouth.