Jersey Sailing Trust

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Second Edition

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Thursday 26th July

Three crew met in the Radisson Coffee bar at 09:00 and were soon joined by the fourth member at the Marina Gate just on 09:30. The sun was already very strong and a very warm breeze gave a hint as to the quality of the day to come.

Derek T was offered the job of Helm while everyone else found a mooring rope to "let go" and the ketch motored out of the marina without the often delay due to the marina gate control lights.

The ketch motored towards the Elizabeth Castle Breakwater and turned to face the NE breeze while very special care was taken to raise the Mainsail from the new "sail bag" which is currently being installed and is relying on experimental "jackstays" based on the original available mast fixings. The Main went up smoothly and the two crews members who installed the new canvas bags congratulated themselves.

The Genoa was unfurled and the crew diverted their attention to the Mizzen sail. Several trivial issues were encountered with both the new temporary "jackstay" preventing the sail reaching full height and the fact that a Backstay, that is sometimes released to give the Mizzen more room to arc, had to be strenuously "un-jammed". But all was well and the ketch headed SE on a heading of 120degrees.

The crews attention was then attracted to the sound of a warship on the eastern horizon that was maneuvering to Port then to Starboard, giving off customary blasts on its Siren, along the south east of the island. As it approached the Demi De Pas Lighthouse it appeared to be very close in and noticeably turned sharply away from the rock strewn coast to pass within half a mile of the ketch.

The navy sailed on a parallel course with us across the entrance of St Aubins Bay and, while the Navy headed west, we eventually turned north in the direction of Beach Rock and then East past Vrachiere to the north of Elizabeth Castle to approach the Elizabeth Marina Gate. This course was cautiously undertaken with a very close eye on the depth gauge which scarily indicated a depth of only 4.3 metres. As a future guide anyone passing Vrachiere Beacon should only do so if just the beacon rock is exposed and not two rocks.

The ketch for the second time that day sailed straight through the marina gate without delay and the crew were ready to go ashore at five minutes to one o'clock.

(Note the clear cockpit windows, the new horsehoe lifebelt and the new yellow Danbouy )


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Last modified: 06/21/16


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