Channel Islands 02-25 July 2021 - 287 nautical miles

Friday 02 July 2021

Gareth arrived about 1440 and we left at 1450 Lot of traffic, and the car park was full due to Round the Island Race. Got the last two trolleys! We then got sorted, and had dinner at Trinitys - Tempura prawns and lamb for both of us. Back on board for an early night

Saturday 03 July 2021

Up at 0320 and away at 0350. Viz quite poor and we had the radar on but didn't really need it. Grey and uneventful motor to Weymouth arriving in good time for the 1200 bridge lift. I did bacon butties around 0800 on the way. Had a beer on arrival and both snoozed. Dinner was at Enfents Terrible, which was great as ever. We had pre starters of Dorset Oysters, and Gareth had a dressed crab and I had scallops, and we both had trout. Yum! Got back and had some more wine. England won their quarter final 4-0 against Ukraine.

Sunday 04 July 2021

Change of plan, and headed for Alderney a day early due to an incoming storm Monday / Tuesday. We took the 0800 bridge lift and were in pole position. Motored out past Portland, and it was too tight to sail - being mainy Southerly and us initially being taken west. I did bacon butties. It got quite rough and bumpy and soon it was apparent that instead of 4-5, we were getting 6-7 and on the nose. Not nice. It really did get quite lumpy, and we were being rolled by waves. As the tide tuned, we were able to put out a small amount of jib, and that steadied us, but it was still bumpy. Had to drop the sail an hour out, and we got in after 9.5 hours. We were escorted over to the eastern end of the harbour, where we were in isolation until the morning to be processed. Had a beer and then cooked chili con carni with rice and rolls. Slept well

Monday 05 July 2021

Up early-ish as we had to be on standby for covid processing. They picked us up by water taxi, and until they had seen all our paperwork (through the Guernsey tracker) they were all in masks and gowns. We got dropped back and had to wait while they processed two other boats until our papers were cleared by Port Control. We then moved over to a normal buoy near the wall and well up the harbour. Never seen it so quiet ! We idled a bit and Gareth made a few calls. I cooked scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and managed to toast using the grill for the first time. Then went ashore about 3:30 and sat in the Braye Beach Hotel having beers and people watching. A grey day, and drizzling, so we sat inside. Then up to the Georgian House, walking through the rain, which was by now pouring, where we had a bottle of champagne, and then a lovely dinner. We both had ribeye steak - very nice. It was raining a lot as we took the water taxi back.

Tuesday 06 July 2021

It blew hard during the night, and the noise kept Gareth awake. I had drunk quite a lot and had extra brandy, so slept better. It was still blowing hard most of the morning, so we stayed aboard. Gareth making a call, and me reading. Then I cooked scrambled eggs and smoked salmon again, and then we both had a snooze. Grey and dull day, but it cheered up later and the sun came out. We went over and sat out at the Braye Beach Hotel, which was nice. Then marched up the hill to find the Pesked restaurant. Got to where I thought it was and it was something else. A local told us it had moved back down the steep hill we had just climbed! So we went down, and found it has moved into what was Harbour lights. Food was good, and it was packed, but lacked the atmosphere that it used to have. We both had seafood starters. Gareth had duck and I had sea bream. Back to the boat for more wine and music.

Wednesday 07 July 2021

Despite the sunny end to the day before, it was grey and dull and the wind hadn't really gone down so much. So we had another awful lumpy wind on the nose motor down to Jersey with about 18-22 apparent and a very nasty seaway. I managed a few miles with some genoa out to steady, which worked but we sagged off course, so had to drop and harden up. When we finally turned the corner at the South Western tip of Jersey, it all felt so much better and the layers of clothes came off. We motored in to try to find a space on G pontoon as instructed, but no space. Radioed up and they said to raft on F, which we did. We then troopped around to the test centre to get covid tested, and back. I persuaded the office to let us go over to E pontoon as I could see a space, and we did that. We had to isolate until negative test result. We drank beer, and I cooked tuna pasta. Julia got her negative test result and mailed Jersey immigration. Then watched some tennis, and listened to music. Gareth went to bed, and I watched England v Denmark in extra time. They won 2-1 and are now in a final for the first time in 55 years.

Thursday 08 July 2021

Woke up to find the NEGATIVE test result, which meant we were free to leave the boat. Both had showers and coffee. I then went throgh the Jersey form with Julia over the phone. Went into town and booked dinners for the next three nights. Then sat outside in the square and had beer and coffee. Then back to the boat for relaxing in the sunshine to some reggae tunes. Then a snooze. In the evening, we walking into town and had dinner at the Little Thai, I had prawn curry, and Gareth had the duck - wok fried. It was good and back to the boat for Wimbledon Today and bed after a few more tunes.

Friday 09 July 2021

Lazy start - coffee at 0900. I went shopping for essentials, and then we went into town and sat out again in Royal Square. Then back to the boat for some reading time and some tunes. We tracked Julia's ferry and I went round to the terminal in time to catch her as she came through. Back to the boat for some champagne. Then we went to dinner in town at Soy, and we shared starters and I had peking duck, Julia had a poke bowl, and Gareth had sizzling prawns - and the boys had fries.

Saturday 10 July 2021

It rained overnight and was still raining for most of the morning. Gareth went and showered and got croissants and bread. I went up and showered and Julia showered on board. We had breakfast and lazed around the boat all morning, until the rain stopped. Then Julia and I went into town. Back in time for the Wimbledon Ladies final - a cracker with Ash Barty beating Karolina Pliskova in three sets. Sun came out and we sat outside, and soon it was time for dinner back at the Little Thai. Again we shared starters. I had the prawn curry again, Julia and Gareth had the duck. Back for some tunes and bed.

Sunday 11 July 2021

Gareth was up and out at 0830 for showers and bread shopping, and Julia and I got up gradually. Gareth bought bread and croissants and Julia got the papers. Read those and chilled until lunchtime, when we went to the St Malo Bistro for lunch. A nice proper French joint. I had moules frites, and Gareth and Julia had posh (dover sole) fish and chips. Back to the boat and Julia and I watched some tennis, until it was time for Gareth to wheel his enormous bag round to the terminal. We said our farewells and back to the boat. Started raining hard. Had bread and cheese and watched the Euro football final where England – yet again – lost on penalties to Italy. Waste of an evening. Brandy and bed.

Monday 12 July 2021

Rained throughout the night. Lazy morning, and then into town for the fish market, and we also got salad stuff from the covered market and some stuff from the nice hardware shop. Then back to the boat for eggs and bacon. A doze and then back into town later for shopping. I got all the 12v bits I needed and we came back and chilled. I prepared oysters and then cooked gambas in garlic. Watched some TV.

Tuesday 13 July 2021

Lazy morning, but up a bit earlier. Weather improving but not completely sunny. Went into town and bought steak etc. and then drinks at the sangria place. Chatted to Jeremy Peel, father of the owner (Mark), who also came out to chat. He owns this place and the Little Thai. Then back for lunch. A doze and then back into town to sit outside at a wine bar. Got chatting to two couples from Yorkshire. Then back to sit outside, and then I cooked ribeye. Then a movie with Bill Nighy.

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Lazy start, bacon butties, and then off on the bikes to Corbiere. Stopped at St Aubin and booked Lazin Lizard for dinner, then on the trail. Easy on the electric bikes! Lovely sunshine today. Tide was out, so we were able to cycle right out to the lighthouse for the first time. Then back to the hotel and sat outside for a couple of hours, soaking up the sun over a couple of drinks. Then back to St Aubin, and had a drink at the end on the sunshine, and then a great meal. I had scallops on sourdough, and Julia had goats cheese, and then I had sizzling teriyaki beef with prawns and Julia had a super sri-Lankan yellow curry. Yummy!! Nice cycle back into St Helier, and we watched a couple of Orphan Blacks, before bed

Thursday 15 July 2021

Lazy start. Nice and warm for the first time. I showered and we had coffee outside. Went shopping and stocked up, and then back for egg mayo lunch. Spoke to Paul at Sumas to reserve the terrace. Followed by a sunbathing afternoon. Then drinks and off to dinner at Sangrio in Royal Square. Lovely tapas. We had salted cod, an all fish dish, pork belly and potatoes. Really nice. Mark the owner, looked after us and his dad, Jeremy Peel came in for dinner, with his wife, and next door neighbours. Chatted to them, and then back to the boat for some golf highlights, until the data allowance ran out! So early bed. Fortunately it starts again at midnight.

Friday 16 July 2021

Another sunny day. Got busy and away on the bikes by 1030. Got to Gorey at 1130. Mooched a bit and then had a fantastic lunch on the terrace at Sumas. I had oysters and Julia had scallops. We both had turbot, washed down with rose and red wine. Cycled back a slightly quicker way, and I popped into the chandlers. Then lazed and drank. Julia had quite a long sleep. Then we got invited over onto another boat – Neil and Rebecca on their new purchase Joie de Vie. Then rolls and ham and cheese and the open highlights.

Saturday 17 July 2021

Another gorgeous sunny day. Went shopping, and then back for breakfast – eggs and bacon. Tried sitting out, but it was too windy, so went into town and drank in Royal Square. Then back, G&T and V&Ts and then back into town for the Jersey Crab Shack. I had fish cake, and Julia avocado. We then both had crab tacos – although it was mainly avocado, which Julia loved, but I could have done with less. So I have renamed the place the Jersey Avocado Shack. Back for more golf highlights and bed.

Sunday 18 July 2021

Another hot day with slightly less breeze. Went to the St. Malo Bistro for lunch. Sat outside, and had galets and I also had a crepe with calvados. Had more of their Cote de Provence rose. Lovely lunch. Back to the boat for sunbathing. Found a phone on the pontoon, and gave it back to the fishing crew when they came back in. They gave us three mackerel as thanks! I gutted and prepped them ready for dinner tomorrow. We had ham and chees as planned, and watched the highlights of the golf with Morikawa winning, and the highlights of an eventful Silverstone with Lews Hamilton winning after driving Verstappen off the track. Late to bed.

Monday 19 July 2021

Another very hot day. Up and about as we met Jeremy Peel and his mate Paul for coffee at 1030. We ate a couple of croissants. Spent an hour with them and then went to the fish market for oysters and Alliance for a few things. Then back the boat and sunbathed. Lunch was a roll, and then more sunbathing and reading. It was truly glorious. Oysters at 1900, and then I pan fried the mackerel we were given with some Jersey Royals and beans. Yum. Then a couple of Orphan Blacks and bed

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Looked at weather forecasts and decided that Wednesday to Alderney and Thursday for Channel Crossing is us. It does depend on the forecast being right about the change waiting until Friday, so fingers crossed, as it would be nice to have another hot day here. We cycled to St. Aubin and had lunch at the Salty Dog. I had crispy duck salad and Julia had halumi salad. Met a nice couple who trained horses and had sailed a lot. Back to the boat, and sunbathed. I finished reading Oyster River (again) and then dinner at Quayside, overlooking the marina. which was lovely. I had oysters and we both had two fillets of sea bream and fries. Back to the boat to finish Orphan Black and some brandy.

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Very hot again. Showers and coffee and then onto town for shopping. Back to the boat and made her sea-worthy, and then did scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. then waited for the gates to open at 13:56. Got away at 1355 and the sea was smooth, and although the wind was on the nose, it was a pleasant passage. Into Braye Harbour in just under six hours, and sat outside watching the sunset with drinks for a bit, as it was so lovely. Julia cooked chilli con carni. Slept well.

Thursday 22 July 2021

Up just before six and slipped at 0620. I let Julia sleep in. Couldn’t get secondary GPS to work for over an hour, which was worrying, but eventually by many reboots, got the GPS to talk to the iPad, and things were fine. Wind was on the nose, but again a smooth sea, so motored and it got warmer. Eventually got warm enough to stand outside and the wind went round, I put sails up, but there just wasn’t enough, so in the end I left the jib up. Coming round the Needles, I went to furl the job some, so that I could see, and it got stuck. Had to bear off and go up front to free it. Put it to bed and motored in. Sat on the foredeck having drinks and then showered. Came back to find a new boat opposite. We were speaking to one of the women, until we realised it was Jilly Blake !!! (Hair up and sunglasses) Out came Patrick from below, and we chatted while we drank G&Ts on foredeck. Then Nigel and Suzie Brooke came round to share a bottle of champagne (vintage – thank you Gareth) and then they split and Julia cooked Tuna pasta, and after some music, early bed.

Friday 23 July 2021

Easy morning, and sunny. Julia washed the boat down, and I got the bikes ready. We then cycled to Keyhaven along the coast path, which was beautiful. Had a picnic lunch on the benches at Keyhaven, and then came back in by road. Early showers and drinks, and then walked up to Lanes restaurant. Julia had avocado cheesecake, and I had crab for starters, and we both had fillet of beef. Food was superb, service good, but they had put us out on a table upstairs and away from everything, which we didn’t like. Back and watched an Amy Winehouse documentary, and bed.

Saturday 24 July 2021

Cloudy today, and it rained hard and was stormy overnight. Cleared by mid morning, and we went into the market. Bought some meat and Julia bought some books for more summer reading. Then back on board for lunch of ham and cheese, and then had a lazy afternoon in the hazy sunshine. Showered and drinks, and then to Nigel and Suzie’s for drinks, and then into the Haven for dinner. Julia had mussels, which were fab, and I had a whole sea bass and fries with samphire and capers. Back to the boat and watched a Baptiste on iPlayer and then bed.

Sunday 25 July 2021

Up at 0730 and made tea. Julia got the papers, and I got the boat ready to depart. Slipped at about 0830 and motored in no wind. Into Cowes at 1000 to Lallows for fuel – big fill up! and then back out and on to Haslar. Then packed up and went home. Julia went shopping, and later, Oli and Em stopped in on their way back from Somerset, and I did a BBQ of sausages and burgers – under the gazebo – as it rained on and off. Nice to see them. Then some TV and bed