Returned yesterday morning, 12/08/05. Had a great trip. The run out on Monday morning was great, perfect conditions. Did it in in 3hrs and five minutes from Cowes. Just had to watch out for the odd swell that suddenly appears. Onboard were me, and my two daughters Sophie 13 and Ella 10. Met up with my father on his yacht about 20 miles out, did feel like popping onboard for a cup of tea!!! He'd set out from Yarmouth at 5.30am. It meant that if any of the children were worried or feeling seasick I could drop them off.
Picked up a mooring in Braye Harbour and picked up the customs form from all in one harbour master launch and customs. Mooring was £12. per night. We got a lift from the habour taxi and had a walk round. The "mothership" arrived at six and we rafted up. This a great way to spend the week. The next few days were spent snorkelling and a few barbies on the beach. The weather was superb. The harbour has a great beach, a dingy row away. We also went around the island by rib and explored a few of the smaller islands. One small one was covered with Gannets. Best to do this at high tide, and my chartplotter perfomed brilliantly, I would be reluctant to do close shore cruising without it. They always come with such a wonderful warning at startup.
On Thursday as Braye doesn't have petrol, (unless you jerrycan it a 75mt walk to and from the pontoon) we went to Guernsey to refuel at St. Peter Port, Sophie helmed all the way, and then onto Sark through Herm. Followed a Fairline which put out a huge wake and didn't slow down for any small craft at all. Took a small pleasure in overtaking him later. Went around the island and finally anchored in Dixcart Bay.Then used the dingy to go ashore, walked up the hill and had lunch at the Dixcart Hotel. Snorkeling here wasn't so great, so we headed on back to Alderney. Bit rough on the way back, a precursor for the next day.
Next day we headed back. The evening before spent a long time trying to get a deccent forcast. Marine Call was very disapointing, I was more interested in wave height and it was difficult to get this information. Has anybody found a better provider? You can get immediate info from the mid channel buoy, but I din't have internet access.
The trip back was slow and rough, averaged about 17knt. Didn't enjoy it much, just wanted to get it over with... met my father about 18 miles out and transferred Ella to the mothership as she was feeling seasick. She promptly laid down and went to sleep for two hours. Both children had had Stugeron. Arrived back at Island Harbour at about 2pm. My father didn't make the tide and had to stay in East Cowes overnight. I think in hindsight I should have waited till later in the day for the sea state to calm down, after the front the previous day.
All the best David