DAY 3 – Saturday 24th
After enjoying a rather eventful breakfast at our hotel(the violent orangejuicethirsty stabbing of a carton of orange juice at Mollers’ and Jim’s table being the highlight) everyone made it down to the yacht club at the agreed time, our motley crew of Ribbers and ribbers wives returning from various hostelries and campsites on the island, along with the few who spent the night in highest luxury on their Sunseekers
Without having a definitive plan already prescribed, we all began to discuss possibilities for the day, the options of going round the island in the boats and then taking a train ride and visiting the bunkers in the afternoon eventually coming through as the strongest candidates. Within minutes (ahem, sorry hours
) we all jumped to our stations and made our way out to our craft, Martin got out DizzyIzzy and ferried us all out to our boats. Once ready I pottered over to the Yacht Club pontoon where Paul and Gotchidad where waiting to be picked up, making a bit of a dogs breakfast of the approach, skilful reversing saved the day, and soon they were both safely on board.
As we began to motor towards the breakwater, we found Keith and Martin in their ribs and we motored alongside for a chat and bit of a photo shoot. Gradually all the ribs bar Martini II were itching for the off, Matt having to hold back to pick up Tim and the others who had decided to hitch a lift instead of challenging the swinge or the race in 40ft Princess =D Once Martini II was fully loaded, we headed out in convoy, the dark and ominous clouds being betrayed in their sinisterocity
by calm seas and a weak swinge. As we rounded the breakwater running alongside Mollers and Jim, the mirror like conditions where perfect photo opportunities and many shots were taken of our respective Ospreys. We pressed on, all the boats maintaining an easy 35-40knts, Martin and Keith in the lead as the navigating boats. As we approached the swinge, the clear delineating line between the flat calm of everywhere else and then the sudden overfalls and white horses was stark. By this time we were running alongside Martin in his Ocean 5m, probably running within 20ft or so and it was very interesting to watch how each spray rail and each feature in the design of the hull worked to do their respective jobs. Obviously I have no real idea about hull design (like most other things
) but the little boat seemed to cope admirably with the conditions. A very interesting insight into how our hulls work, something that we all take for granted.
With Matt now having taken the lead, we pressed on out towards Burhou to see the Puffins...only to find a distinct lack of them when we arrived, possibly the sight of 6 high powered ribs mostly boasting throbbing two strokes scared them off
Undeterred however, we pressed onto Casquets lighthouse, Matt taking the Arctic right round the back to show Tim and the others the incredible feats of engineering required to build a lighthouse in such a treacherous area and on a tiny little outcrop of rock. The five other “sensible” ribbers amongst us remain just off the rock, the four Ospreys forming a tight gaggle or flock or pod or whatever the name for a pack of Ospreys is =D in order for photo opportunity (as shown above
) and organised the night before, to be sold to Roy Bishop =D Once the photos where all taken, we headed on towards garden rock, running at 40knts+ to catch up with Martin who had skipped the run out to Casquets in order to remain at the prescribed 16knts as required by Jack! Keith led us right up to the rock, home to a large gannet colony which has led to its repainted in bright white... unfortunately this change of paint scheme has also resulted in a rather powerful pong radiating from the rock!
Up until this point, Martin had been the one chiefly giving the directions over the radio pointing things out and telling people when they were too far from the lines required to clear the rocks; however as we picked up speed exiting the little channel past the gannet colony, Keith took over the airwaves and gave us all a great insight into the different sights around this part of the island. Atop the hill to the left sat a large mansion, long believed to be used for money laundering and possibly pirating activities, we learnt from Keith. Continuing on, we passed the rotting corpse of some German landing stages other German fortifications and buildings. Pressing on, we passed the scars left from the time when the islands rubbish was simply dumped into the sea, other large houses and interesting rocky outcrops amongst other sights continued to pass by, until we came upon the race. The race of Alderney is formed by the channelling of fast moving water by a combination of surface rock as well as, and probably mostly by, underwater ones. By this stage we were running up front with Blue Ray and DizzyIzzy, a little way ahead of Jigsaw and then a fair way behind him, Martini II, Hey Joe and La Frette bringing up the rear. As we, the forward group, went through the race, we noticed little bar the sudden advent of slight white horses and a little roughening of the sea, highlighted mainly due to the flat calm conditions that we had experienced for the trip so far, bar the swinge naturally. However, once through the main patch of rough water, ourselves and Blue Ray came to a halt in order to wait for the others to join us. Whilst stopped, the weirdest sensation occurred to us, stationary in the water as we were, the world began to move whilst both boats maintained their positions relative to each other. It took a good few seconds for the crew of each vessel to realise how powerful the currents were and that we were being dragged sideways at over 10knts by the currents! Realising what was happening and seeing that if we did not move we would be most likely dashed on the rocks which surround the race, we tried to motor off to continue the tour, for by now the others had caught up, but it took (well for us at least) over half power to make headway back towards where we had started from, our speed through the water was most likely over 20knts, but the ground speed was startlingly slow. We did however manage to get out of our predicament, and with the others having pressed on further, we floored the throttle to catch up, blasting up past Martin, Matt and Mollers, until we were running alongside Jim in Jigsaw. History put aside, we both throttled up to maximum power, Gotchidad, not known for his maximum speed runs, pressed on; by his side I continued to play with the trim in order to achieve maximum speed, 50m behind, Jigsaw too was powering on, catching us gradually, our 70hp advantage apparently outweighed by our extras length and weight. I continued to trim out, until, with a violent leap, something unheard of so far that day thanks to the mirror like conditions, we lurched into the air causing the prop to cavitate and us to loose all speed
By this stage however Jigsaw had stopped gaining, I think we just managed to hold him off though! Having broken off from the others due to having to give maximum concentration to the boat in order to extract every possible knot, we turned back since by now we had actually overshot the harbour! After motoring back together, picked up our buoy, and took a lift on the water taxi back to the pontoon. Lunch for most was agreed to be staged at “The Moorings” but we had to go to the airport to pick up Gotchimum and therefore did not manage to join the rest.
Thanks to a very kind lift from Keith, we arrived back at the harbour and joined the others for coffee before Jim and Mollers (worried by the poor forecast for the following day) headed off, accompanied by wives, to refuel their Ospreys. Not an easy task when obtaining petrol means borrowing fuel cans from the chandlery and walking up to the petrol station to fill them
The rest of us minus the hardboaters (who had also decided to take the initiative and fill up) embarked upon the only railway on the Channel Islands. Our “slim” group of ten or so rode the London Underground carriages over to the quarry, wondering how much fantastic the railway could be if the line along the breakwater could somehow be pressed back into service. Trundling along through fields, people’s back gardens, over level crossings and even the school, we eventually arrived at the other end of the island.
A most exciting tour of the delights of theotherendoftheisland ensued, the lighthouse and the story about its foghorns, a tour round one of the German fortifications erected as a lookout post to watch for any allied invasion, now pressed into service as a telecoms tower and other sights. Following on from this we enjoyed a “refreshing beverage” –LOL- at the Old Barn Inn, opposite the golf course, from where we made our way in a leisurely fashion back towards the Yacht club. By now, time had marched on and we fully expected the arranged barbeque to be in full swing. Having met “Krysee” the day before, we knew what to expect, in a traditional American manner, everything was running a little late, but even more predictably, everything was over the top. As we took our seats, plenty of black bean dip was passed around, copious nachos and other nibbles before our orders were taken in a fantastically charismatic manner. To collect our steak burgers involved a trip to the kitchen, an experience not to be missed not only for the view of Krysee in a hectic fashion trying to organise everything at once, but for the table that sat outside. This table of accoutrements was incredibly varied, peach flavoured salad dressing made using milk from her own farm, raspberry vinaigrette and other unusually flavour sauces abound. Following the steak burger came the chocolate pudding “chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate” was the motto Krysee told us that she had used in its making, and indeed it was delicious..full of... chocolate... Having once again retired to the Divers with Martin, Matt, Jim and Mollers, we continued to discuss varied topics regarding boats for another couple of hours, before heading back to the hotel, the prospect of a run over to France for lunch the following day being foremost in our reasoning for an early night.
Again, sorry its a bit verbose
Here is an album of all the pictures, a more complete selection than Martins I think. Taken from Trevor, Keith, Paul and of course ourselves http://s911.photobucket.com/albums/a...20July%202010/