Easter Cruise 22nd April - 7th May 2011

4 Boats:

 

Talullah – Motor Cruiser – Brian & Dawne

Chelsea Blues – Motor Cruiser – Bob & Lyn

Sparkling Spirit – Sailing yacht – Tim & Jenni

Ruby Tuesday – Sailing yacht – Nigel and Kay

 

Brian’s planned pre cruise meeting on the Thursday evening was quietly abandoned, as the glorious weather was just too tempting. So Tallulah and Chelsea Blues left Haslar mid afternoon Thursday bound for Weymouth.

 

Sparkling Spirit, also managed to leave Haslar Thursday evening, bound for a night at anchor in Sandown Bay, ready for an early start across the Channel to Alderney on Good Friday.

Ruby Tuesday prepared for a 4am start cross Channel to Cherbourg on Friday.

Perfect weather for motor cruisers, but slightly dull crossings for the sailing yachts, as there was precious little wind.

 

Sparkling Spirit set off from Sandown Bay at 6 am. It was a case of, alarm went off, kit went on, and off we went, with bacon butties en route for breakfast. Part way through the crossing, as it was very calm, no ships in sight, Jenni decided to have her missed morning shower.  Appearing on deck, after her shower, all looked fine, until she turned around ! Ha ha ha Tim, very funny, there was a massive ship just a quarter of a mile away!! ‘It’s alright, I’ve altered course!’

Tallulah and Chelsea Blue enjoyed Weymouth and the weather there so much they stayed put Friday.

 

Saturday, all boats headed for St Peter Port, Guernsey.

 

Sparkling Spirit was waiting on the holding pontoon, when a boat was instructed to come alongside…it was Ruby Tuesday!! Once all lines were secured, the crews enjoyed a glass of bubbly whilst waiting for the harbour to open.

 

Easter Sunday saw the fleet all nicely settled in St Peter Port, and a lovely meal at the Ship and Crown, although slightly marred by a piece of glass on one diners plate!

The weather continued to be glorious as Talullah, Chelsea Blue and Ruby Tuesday stayed to explore Guernsey, whilst Sparkling Spirit set off to explore Sark and Jersey anchorages.

The fleet reconvened in St Helier on the Thursday, thanks to Brian and Dawne’s forward thinking of reserving berths. It was the weekend of the Jersey Boat Show, and effectively all visitors were turned away!

 

Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club provided the venue for Thursday evening’s dinner, which was splendid. We were really beginning to gel as a group of members.

 

Friday, of course was the Royal Wedding………… I think we all watched it………then met up on Tallulah for evening drinks, and onward to our individual meal plans.

 

Sadly it was early to bed for Sparkling Spirit, who all too soon had to plan their trip home, to be back in London for work on Tuesday.

 

Saturday, Sparkling Spirit departed St Helier at 6 am in the fog, taking the tide to Sark, to anchor in Dixcart Bay, whilst the adverse tide passed, to continue to Alderney for the night in Hannaine bay. Another early start took Sparkling Spirit ‘white water rafting’ through the Swinge (a strong Easterly wind, meant wind against tide – very choppy – so much so the washboard was secured in place). Coming out of the Swinge, they were presented with 30 knots of Easterly winds, gusting to 38. Oh well, at least it wasn’t Northerly, or North East as forecast. With heavy seas, and 3 reefs in both the main and headsail, good progress was made, albeit somewhat uncomfortably.

 

Slight hitch occurred when the headsail furling line snapped, hey ho, Tim (clipped on) went forward and did a temporary repair, to be finalised once in calmer water.

After a fairly gruelling crossing Sparkling Spirit entered the Needles Channel, and anchored in Alum Bay for the night.

 

Alum Bay is amazingly sheltered in an Easterly Gale. Sparkling Spirit departed Monday morning with 15 knots of wind, but once back in Hurst Passage was presented with 45 knots of Easterly wind. Not ideal to get back to Haslar!!

 

Sparkling Spirit made it back, and Tim and Jenni are now back at work, thinking wistfully, of their fellow members still in the Channel Islands, and the really wonderful 10 days they’ve had.

Ruby Tuesday departed Guernsey bound for Portugal (yes Portugal) as part of a much greater adventure. Chelsea Blues and Tallulah, having called in to Guernsey for some cheap (!) diesel arrived back in Haslar on the 5th May ready for the exellent Dean & Reddyhoff berthholders "bash" on Saturday night.

All in all a great first club channel crossing and one to be repeated next year.

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