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Old 08 January 2011, 10:26   #1
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Places we've been to

I propose starting a thread that gives honest opinions and advice on places that we've visited in our ribs so that others may benefit from our experience and be better informed before setting off themselves. As we all know, the guides aren't always up to date or accurate. I'll kick off with a few destinations in no particular order of preference:

Cherbourg
A large town that’s a long way from either the UK or the Channel Islands; I’ve been there a few times over the years. The marina is enormous and is open 24/7. There are loads of shops and the hypermarket near the fish quay lets you take trolleys back to your boat so you can load your rib to the gunnels with French nan nans before leaving. The Napoleonic fortifications offshore are really impressive; the central breakwater is two miles long. The Citie de la Mare next to the marina is a ‘must see’ as it houses Europe’s largest aquarium and for dad there’s a decommissioned nuclear submarine to look around. I like Cherbourg, it’s just a pity it’s so far and the other side of the Alderney Race. Don’t forget your umbrella.

Garden Rocks & Ortac
These are rocks off the west coast of Alderney. These are home to two gannet colonies. I’ve landed on both and have helped with the ringing of juvenile birds. Don’t go there yourself unless you like swimming, the smell of guano and being pecked to death by agitated gannets. I just thought I’d mention them so you’re aware of what a way-hard sailor I am.

Sark
The little village on Sark is reached (depending on where you’re moored) either by walking up a gazillion steps or by climbing the steepest hill imaginable. When you get there, nothing will be open. The pub will be shut as will be the other pub, the bike hire shop and the post office. If you’re from the UK you’ll love the quaintness of Sark’s bucolic idyll. Channel Islanders tend never to go there. If you walk across to Little Sark, mind how you go; the cliff fell down a while back.

Brecqhou
A small island about 50 yards of Sark’s west coast leased to a couple of UK industrialists. Atop is a huge, full-on mock-gothic castle. If attempt to land you will get shot either by Hugo Drax, Auric Goldfinger, Franscisco Scaramanger or Ernst Blofeld depending who’s home that day. Don’t talk about Brecqhou if you go to Sark.
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Old 09 January 2011, 07:22   #2
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I have been to the Channel Islands quite a few times and I love it I was quite surprised how small the people were on Guernsey even the bouncers were midgets outside the local night club I went too. Then I read near one of the caves on the island that the little people took to the local women many years ago and that's why Guernsey folk are small .

No offence to any members on here who are midgets / dwarfs .

While on Guernsey we took the local ferry to Herm and called in the pub and got bladdered with some Guernsey locals who told us that they start there day on here before catching the last ferry back to continue there binge in St Peterport . What a good do . We also called on Sark and the tractor ferried us up to the village from the harbour and we were lucky , the pub was open that day . What surprised me was that they have got a rugby pitch on Sark who do they play against ??

Jersey I found to be a bit more expensive, for beer anyway but the Mary Anne bitter isn't bad at all . In all what a great place to live even better if you've got a rib .
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Old 09 January 2011, 07:36   #3
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No offence to any members on here who are midgets / dwarfs .

I could be careful mate, the sm4wl folks can be very titchy, I mean tetchy - almost short tempered in fact.
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Old 09 January 2011, 08:35   #4
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I could be careful mate, the sm4wl folks can be very titchy, I mean tetchy - almost short tempered in fact.
Sorry I should've be a tiny bit more subtle, it was very short sighted of me .
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Old 09 January 2011, 11:40   #5
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St Malo

We're based at Dinard throughout the summer, and our boat lies on a little swinging mooring in the bay. There are few visitor moorings, and only for stable yachts really. There is a navette service available on ch9, but unless you have a dinghy then it is not ideal. St. Malo is on the other side of the bay, there are two main marinas "bas Sablon" is just past the condor docking quay as this is the small boat marina. It has plenty of space and will always have a space if you ask nicely! There is a large car park although this quickly fills up in summer. There are chandlers, diving shops and basic marine yards within 50m of the pontoon. There are a couple of cages and a restaurant within 50m and a short walk around the beach a good pub. There are two well kept slipways. One by the chandlers and one next to the ferry terminal. Tw other marina is through the lock, and is pretty impractical for small boats. Only those 35ft+ should really contemplate going through into the bassin vaubin and mooring there.St. Malo itself is a short walk from the bas sablons marina and is split into two parts: intra muros is the old town which is very much alive although quite touristy, we haven't got bored after ten years. The ramparts are always worth a look, and there are multiple good restaurants pm for recommendations . The modern town is a normal commercial metropolis with multiple boat yards in the business parks and the whole town has a maritime air. Any more info required just pm me. Brehat next....
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Old 09 January 2011, 12:29   #6
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I could be careful mate, the sm4wl folks can be very titchy, I mean tetchy - almost short tempered in fact.
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Old 09 January 2011, 12:41   #7
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That's strange, I started this thread yesterday afternoon when I was bored, thought better of it and deleted it; I wonder what happened there? Anyway, here are a few more places I've visited:

Dielette
Lovely spot, the marina is accessible virtually round the clock on neaps and you can buy fuel there. Dielette itself comprises a dozen houses and a hotel or two but few actual shops. You can walk up the (rather long) hill to Flamanville where there's a small supermarket and on the way you'll pass what must be one of the last working pissoirs in France. Life in Dielette seems to centre on a restaurant-cum-portakabin by the marina that serves the largest helping of moules et frittes you're ever likely to see; tip-top nan nans available all day. The nicest thing about the place is the bloc sanitaire situated next to a little stream in a meadow; it's absolutely lovely. Another thing you can do, if you have the time, is walk up the hill heading north and sign posted for Siouville-Hague. You past through one or two delightful hamlets on the way and you can then walk back to your boat via the beach and headland where you can watch people handgliding over the cliffs. If you leave Dielette and sail south you can gawp at the nuclear power station round the corner. Don't get within 200m else you'll be shot.

Les Ecrehous
A small reef five miles north east of Jersey. There are three small islands that have huts on them: Blanche Ile, Marmotier and Maitre Ile. The last of these has an archaeological site which mustn’t be disturbed. The breeding sea birds aren’t to be given any grief either. On the chart, the reef looks a nightmare but is easily approached from the south via two simple transits. At low tide the whole area dies out extensively but there’s a kind of lagoon near the main island that your boat can remain afloat in. There are a few mooring buoys but you’ll have to anchor if it’s busy. Now and again the French invade and claim the reef for the Dauphin despite it being in British possession for more than 50 years. Personally, I can take it or leave it; one or two who prop up the huts at weekends have a “Oh, do shove orrf” mentality which I find irritating. About 1nm SSE of the reef is the Echreviere Bank. This dries at mega low springs and people go and play cricket there. Er.., right.
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Old 09 January 2011, 13:31   #8
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Braye, Alderney
A small but generally friendly island, typically the first stop off for sailing boats making a passage from the South Coast. The inhabitants are of normal stature (neither especially short nor tall ), but quite often referred to as 2,000 drunkards clinging to a rock. Braye harbour provides visitors' mooring buoys (yellow) which get quite busy in the summer when it becomes common practice to raft up, sometimes with 3 or 4 boats to a buoy. There is also the option to drop anchor in the bay itself, or for that matter in any number of pleasant sandy bays around the island.

Just as rocky as the other Channel Islands it also suffers two fairly fast flowing but sometimes benign stretches of water known as the Swinge to the north and The Race to the south. Both are best tackled at slack water which, unusually is at half tide. Worth avoiding in wind against tide conditions unless just going out for a play.

Facilities in Braye include a small chandlery (Mainbrayce) with many years experience and also a friendly Sailing Club open to members of visiting clubs. It has a bar which is normally open 1800 to 2000 each evening and also 1200 to 1300 Sundays. The Chandlers provide diesel (pump) and petrol (cans) and also operate a water taxi. Access into Crabby Harbour for fuel is tide dependant.

Alderney Coastguard operate on Ch 74 0800 to 1700 all year round but longer in the summer.

Visitors have been heard to remark ‘we’ve only been here 5 minutes and walked 100 yards and we’ve already passed 4 pubs’ Facilities near the harbour include a number of pubs, all of which serve good food, an hotel, 2 restaurants and a couple of mini supermarkets. There is also the train station for the Channel Islands only working railway.

The rest of the island is best taken in by foot or bike, with some quite dramatic scenery (by local standards) and a large number of relics from WW2 (bunkers) and early Victorian fortifications. As mentioned by GJ0KYZ, there is a gannet colony at the western end of the island and a puffin sanctuary on Burhou, a small island to the north of the Swinge.
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Old 09 January 2011, 14:14   #9
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Sounds good so far. I'll do a couple more tonight, although I'm back at school now so may be a few days if I forget
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Old 09 January 2011, 14:18   #10
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Molullnan.
Scillies.
Molullnan.
Scillies.
Dartmouth.
Alderney.
Molullnan.

No need to go too far.
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