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.
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