Position Report: Jersey 25th June 2004

Suckin' Diesel spent three nights in Plymouth, being ripped off by the UK south coast marina fees. But it was time to say goodbye to Derrick, who was blessed with the best continuous sailing conditions of his career. Needless to say, Harry the horse would be glad to see him back, but then that is another story !!!!
Donal flew in from Castletownbere to start the next leg as far as France. We started with a pleasant 4 hour spin along the coast to the pretty port of Salcombe, nestled in a meandering inlet.
The weather again blessed us as we headed off the next morning for the cross channel spin to Guernsey. Sadly, light winds did not appear, so we motored on flat calm seas as far as St Peter Port.
Guernsey is a beautiful island and the hills around the harbour are spoiled with breathtaking views. The continuous traffic reminds us of the wealth the islanders have and the strength of their economy. We headed off to the neighbouring island of Sark one day in gusty conditions, only to find that, though there were landing places, it was a steep hike uphill to get anywhere. So we had lunch in La Greve de la Ville Bay and returned to St Peter Port.
From Guernsey, we headed off in light winds to Jersey. We tried sailing twin headsails for the first time. It was hard work setting it up, but we did get it working(ish!). Then the wind changed direction and strengthened a little so we were back to a beam reach in a rolling swell as far as St Helier.
Donal's sister lives here and her and her husband Denis kindly took us on a driving tour of the island the next day. It is obvious why the island's reputation for opulence comes from. The houses are beautiful and no expense is spared in their appearance. But then the locations and views combine to make the island of Jersey a place you would want to live in.
We booked into the marina for a week to allow Donal to spend some time with his sister, but also to avoid a gale that was forecast to come through a few days later. As I sit and write, it is raining hard just before the gale hits. The marina was a hive of activity today as Prince Charles paid a visit to unveil a new memorial to something or other. Sadly, I was otherwise occupied and could not attend!! But the big brass band let all around know that he had arrived.
One interesting social feature of Jersey is the large population of Portugese working here, mostly in the hotel and restaurant trade. They seem like the subclass of people the Irish were when I first worked in London, seen but not heard. That all changed the night Portugal beat Spain th qualify for the quarter finals of Euro 2004. The car horns and cheering around the harbour was even louder than when England won the following night.
So, from here the plan is to head to Saint Malo for yet another crew change. I just hope this gale passes over quickly and doesn't make for a rough trip over.

Have fun all !!!!
Donal (the real skipper !)
St Peter Port
Havelet Bay beside St Peter Port with the islands of Herm and Sark in the background
Salcombe again
Donal O'Driscoll
Wing and Wing
Castle Cornet, Guernsey