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Telegraph

Second Edition

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28/03/2013

 

South Coast Cruise-14th April

By 10:30am a crew of six experienced sailors had assembled for coffee at Elizabeth Marina and considered the sailing plan for the day. Everyone went on board at about 11:00 and after a briefing about the onboard facilities and the engine from the skipper the ketch left her berth at about 11:30.

The Mainsail was hoisted outside the tanker berth and almost immediately the Genoa was unfurled. The initial course was towards the East Rock Bouy and because of the feint wind the ketch motor-sailed slowly across St Aubins Bay making sure to stay out of the way of two incoming Condor Wavepiercers.

The south coast of the island slid past every slowly with only the occasional gust to improve of the speed provided by the engine. Eventually as the course of the ketch approached Corbiere it brought some exposure to the rising wind but that was at about the same time as the temperature dropped and everyone agreed that it was time to head back toward St Brelade's Bay and maybe anchor up for lunch.

As the ketch approached entered the bay the skipper pointed out that the calmness of the shore line had changed and as they watched the mile or so of water between the shore and the ketch the smooth surface very quickly became ruffled to indicate that a squall was brewing and as the yacht was headed into the wind that squall was coming straight at us. With the Skipper now holding the ketch on the engine and headed into the strengthening wind it was decided, for safety sake, that the crew would drop the Mainsail and brace themselves for the thrashing.

With just the skipper on deck the crew plied him with coffee to keep his hands warm and suggested that the ketch put out to sea to move away from the darkening sky and head back to town. By the time the ketch had crossed Portelet Bay the rain had been left behind and wind did ease as the intrepid crew crossed into St Aubins Bay on a heading for the Elizabeth Castle Breakwater.  The ketch returned to her berth at about 15:30 whereupon lunch was eventually eaten and another round of coffee was quickly consumed.

 

 

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