Originally Posted by Jizm
Sorr that's all I could be bothered to read
Yes sorry haha I know its long but I think its an entertaining read at least it warrants the attention...I think anyways haha! this one is even longer though i am afraid!
DAY 4 – Sunday 25th
We rose as per usual, with the aim of a run over to Dielette for lunch, however during the night, foul play had been afoot
thick fog had rolled rendering the Yacht club pontoon invisible from our mooring and vice versa. The terrace of our hotel which stretched up towards the heavens and rose above the building, afforded us a panoramic view of the entire harbour and beyond. The previous two day upon ascension provided such a view, however all the was on offer today was an ominous wall of white. Undeterred however, (and filled with my favourite breakfast, fried bread
) we made our way over to the Yacht Club, meeting again at the pre-prescribed time of 10:30. As the others slowly joined us, it became clear that for the Channel Islanders this was a common occuracne, and they were therefore hardly fazed at all, even though there was an absence of radar amongst our prospective group. Richard gave me a lift out to Into the Red, and I donned full wets in an attempt to combat the harsh cold and damp that running at over 30knts through cloud can wreak. Once ready, I began to potter in towards the pontoon, expecting to pick up Gotchimum and Gotchidad, waiting expectantly for the ghostly sight of a bright red 7m Vipermax poking out of the gloom! However it was to be the other way round, Keith had kindly picked them up and it was for me to witness a light grey 6.5m Vipermax poking out of the gloom. Visibility at this time was probably at around 50m at this time, but constantly thinning and getting thicker again in turn. Having picked up the parentals, I headed out toward the breakwater at a meandering pace, waiting for Matt to join up with us, and also talking to the people on a Ribcraft that had just come in. As we began to motor out toward the breakwater, we encountered two lonely Ospreys, Jim and Mollers had discovered quite rough seas and so did not fancy 60nm of it in fog and had therefore turned back to port. (We later learnt however that after a quick chat they set out once again and made it home safely and in good time
Once Matt was ready we slowly nosed out around the end of the breakwater, looking for the others who had informed us via radio that they were stationed just of the end of it. We quickly found them, even though the fog had closed in to circa 25m visibility. We tentatively set off, Keith setting the pace on the far right flank, running a bit ahead of the pack at around 27knts. Matt however soon powered up, even his unusually large compliment of crew and his missing seats not hindering his progress to any degree whatsoever, and he gradually pressed home the power and increased his speed. As we held station out on the far left, our radio which has been a continual nuisance not only throughout this trip but “allieurs”, picked up a mayday from St. Peter Port radio calling for any available vessels to attend to a missing diver not seen for over an hour, obviously due to the thick fog he had been swept by the current too far from his vessel and those on the vessel had not ebnn able to find him. Unable to help however, but mindful of the warning that this story held about the treacherousness of the fog, we pressed on, running up at around 45knts to catch the others who had by now increased their speed up to 35knts, all the craft being of sufficient size to be able to comfortably run at this speed. As we caught up we sighted a large tanker ahead tracking right through where our current course would take us. Soon, the harbour walls of Dielette appeared, running ahead of us, La Frette slowed down slowly, decelerating down to displacement speed in a gradual manner, arriving at the required 5knt speed limit just as the harbour entrance was broached. Entering Dielette was not an entirely simple affair, for technically the port was closed seeing as it was low tide, however thanks to reassurance from Keiths mother, we knew that we could make it in, and so bravely ignored the red lights and made our way into the holding marina, a separate area from the main marina whose water is retained by a sill.
Lunch, despite being tasty, was a decidedly chaotic affair, the hoards of mussels deposited onto the table in their millions being set upon by a ravenous bunch of ribbers keen to out do one another in their numerical consumption figures, the opposite to how they combat one another with fuel economy figures!
Still, with full bellies we left the cafe (the only place to each or actually buy anything in the whole town to be honest! No wonder it was packed out with locals!) and headed out to walk out to the other side of the marina and along the breakwater in order to catch a glimpse of what the conditions would be like for our return crossing back to Alderney. A slow pace was assumed, and our group strolled around the perimeter of the marina, as we walked, a forlorn slipway reached out into the sand, the water appearing to have left it in solitude, and a deserted Zodiac stood proud on its trailer, defiantly daring to challenge the water to rise and consume it. Having reached the end of the breakwater, we looked out to sea to be greeted by a reassuring sight, (especially for ourselves and Blue Ray since we would be returning to Alderney, arelativly unknown isle to us both, sans radar nor local knowledge) the sight of a light blue sky, pockmarked with scattered pockets of cloud distributed even across its length and breadths. So to the sea had risen to the occasion, a gently rolling sea of green, not still, but calm and where you to sit and stare at it for a while, undoubtedly an extremely interesting sea to watch. Without any breaking waves, and holding no semblance to a rough sea at all really, you could see for miles, the blue sky reflected in the mixed hues of the green ocean. With such good visibility, we decided to make way back towards the boats, in order to make the most of what could possibly be a slim weather window.
With everything in order on the craft, Trevor had to make an important decision about fuelling requirements, and in the end chose to take on 50 litres so that he wouldn’t need to in Alderney, avoiding the hassle with all the jerrycans and other potentially timewasting things avoidable simply by filling in France. Once we were both ready, we waved goodbye to Keith, Sabrina and Matt, and in company, Blue Ray and Into the Red departed on the return journey to Alderney, La Frette and Martini II leaving for home in Jersey.
An uneventful journey then ensued for us and Blue Ray and we made it back to Alderney in very good time, the conditions slowly getting flatter and flatter, with only a patch of water less than a hundred metres or so in length which constituted anything resembling rough water. It must have been a race formed from the converging waters coming from either side of the island. However we continued on through it, not slowing to less than 30knts since it was for such a short patch. We soon rounded the north east corner of the isle and we’re greeted by the welcoming sight of the breakwater and harbour. Seeing as we were the only two boats left, we decided to moor together on the same buoy to free up the one we had been on previously. However, whilst we had been away something had happened to Blue Ray’s tender which had been left moored happily next to a yacht with which we were sharing the buoy but was now lying half in the water, on eof the chambers had collapsed, and the engine was half submerged
upon landing at the jetty and refilling with air, it transpired that there was no leak or obvious clue as what had happened, the only obvious explanation being that someone for some reason had taken it upon themselves to let the chamber down
a very strange thing to happen within an island community such as that of Alderney. With help from the Mainbrayce chandlery, the engine was bathed in fresh water and set to work again in no time. The added benefit of being aircooled was that Trevor could start it even whilst it was sat on dry land, a very useful feature.
With the excitement of the dinghy not weighing too heavily on our minds, Richard and I set off to go around the islands on bikes, the Goddards having rented some for the purpose of ferrying themselves and their luggage to and from the campsite to the harbour throughout the trip. We rode along Braye Bay, and essentially followed the course of the railway lines right up to the end where we had been the day before. After an hour or so of looking round the carriages and engines in the sheds, a quick look at the old steam crane that we learnt from Keith used to be used on the track running atop the breakwater when they used to simply dump rocks on either side in an attempt to shore it up, and finally a walk around of the now disused miniature railway, a fairly long loop of foot gauge track and an engine shed which if opened may well hold a hoard of exciting things (the owner having dies a few years ago.) The sun had begun to set as we rode back up towards town, the shimmering rays of the yellow orb beat down upon the crystal blue water, glinting off the railway track as we rode alongside, and blinding us each time a car drove past. We knew that we were to meet at “the Indian”, but which one?! Richard’s apparently faultless sense of direction led us left on the fork where right would have taken us the more obvious way to town, and it wasn’t until I pointed out (by this time we had climbed 300m+ up a steep hill
) that we were back in the fields and must of taken a wrong turning that he conceded that his sense of direction was highly fallible! We rode back down the hill and retraced our step along the parallel road and within 100m we encountered the our two sets of parents just having arrived on foot. As we took our table, Martin and Jack had just finished, the Poppadom monster having consumed three!
Mel soon decided to join us, and the 7 of us enjoyed a very nice meal before retiring to the hotel, (and the others to the campsite) without even gracing the threshold of the Divers
A not unpleasant, but surprisingly early night was enjoyed by all, as in the previous nights, a fresh prospect hastened the eyes to close, that of spending the following night camping on Sark, a prospect, at least for one of us, to be dreaded