of only four gathered in La Collette Marina at 08:00 on a brilliant spring
morning with a fresh north easterly wind that promised to to be fine if
not chilly. Two packs of Croissants had also arrived and someone had the
bright idea of bringing a coffee to start the day in the knowledge that
the gas supply had not yet been replenished.
The ketch motored out from the marina at about 08:30 and the mainsail was
raised in the "small roads" just off the ferry terminal where the first
frustration occurred when it was realized that in their enthusiasm someone
had attached the halyard even though it was wrapped once around the mast.
Once that had been cleared the second attempt found that a loose jackstay
( a repair job that had been planned but delayed due to bad weather) had
magically entwinned itself around the yard arm and would not allow the
mainsail to be fully raised. The tangle was ingeniously cured by allowing
the wind to unscrew the twist by making the ketch turn twice through
360degree and finally the mainsail went all the way up. (The Jackstay
was re-attached today Sunday 13th May)
The north east wind was always going to be a minor problem for the outward
trip and the danger of an involuntary gybe made the first course past East
Rock Bouy rather a delicate affair but once enroute for Demi de Pas the
sails filled securely and the helmsman steered a ESE course that was
comfortable in the current wind direction which was further south than
planned but interesting.
The yacht stayed on the ESE course until it was possible to see Gorey on
the north side of the reef known as Plateau de la Frouquiere that extends
eastward from Seymour Tower at which time the navigator felt it essential
to refer to the Garmin GPS to weave north to pass safely across the reef
in the knowledge that it was almost high tide. It also became essential to
use the engine to ensure that there was no unwelcome drift to either the
east or the west until the course intercepted the Gorey-Granville transit
line 289degree at which point the ketch followed that as the direct route
into Gorey. The remainder of the voyage into Gorey was accomplished
against agitated seas with small white crests to the waves which
underlined that the wind speed of 22mph was in fact a Strong Breeze on the
Beaufort Scale as a Force 6. The yacht arrived in Gorey at about 12:45pm.
As the attached photograph shows the ketch did make into Gorey harbour and
once inside the harbour it was noticeable that the castle definitely gave
shelter to the harbour as we all shed our sailing gear and sat "al-fresco"
outside the Seascale in very warm sunshine and no wind. Sadly, the
receding tide allowed us only time for a coffee and a Hobnob from a packet
that one the crew had smuggled ashore and we all got on board where we
found we only had about half a metre of water below the keel and a quick
departure to the anchorage just off the harbour pier was indicated. In the
absence of lunch ashore and any real hot water the crew shared sandwiches,
more biscuits all washed down with mineral water or coco cola. By this
time it was 14:00 and the return to St Helier in similar wind conditions
beckoned. The wind was forecast to drop but it had not dropped very much
as the yacht picked up on the 289degree transit line again and headed away from
The the transit line was used partly for safety, partly as a guide to the
tacking point that would lead through the channel passing Canger Rock Bouy
well away on our Port side. The tacking point proved well chosen as the
sails remained set and the combined effect of north wind and small tide
allowed the passage to be made with great ease. However, as the ketch
turned west near the turn mark the wind came round to 60degree on the bow
and WOW ! the ketch heeled slightly, settled beautifully and charged full
tilt along the south east coast at times reaching 8.4knots. In no time at
all we rounded Demi de Pas Lighthouse and came up on the "Hinguette Bouy"
from where the remainder of voyage had to be against the wind and so the
Genoa was furled away and the mainsail brought down with the rest of the
journey conducted with engine power.
But that north wind had not finished with us yet. It played havoc with the
normal rules for coming alongside a pontoon while properly headed into the wind and
eventually the ketch was manouvered sideways, stern to wind, using the
quirky "Propwalk" for which she is notorious. The crew eventually finished
with engine just after 17:00 and a jolly good day was had by all.
12th May. Day
Sail to Gorey with Raddedas
The tide is high at 11:53am meaning that
it will rising and flowing towards Gorey from 06:13am. This will help the
ketch sail with the tide from St Helier to the east waypoint and enter
Gorey for lunch while the tide is fairly high. The course north to Gorey
may well be into a northerly wind which is forecast.
Apart from the wind
this means that the ketch will have to leave St Helier harbour at 08:00
and she will have to be ready in La Collette Marina from Friday evening
after the most promising forecast for a clear evening and an excellent
opportunity for a Sundowner.
Anyone who wishes to be included in the
cruise to Gorey must be either a basic subscribing crew member and pre-pay
the cruising fee of £21.50. or already be subscribing to the equivalent
The Friday evening event is open to anyone who is prepared
to donate a bottle of sparkling wine to the evening or a small
contribution to the new "sheets" for the Genoa would be gratefully