Channel Islands and North Brittany 02-24 July 2022 - 372 nautical miles

Saturday 02 July 2022

Oli and Em arrived Friday night, but the forecast was on the nose for a channel crossing, so we decided to have a day in port. Julia read the paper and then headed off, and we loaded the water. Then Oli and I scrubbed the boat and moved her onto neighbour’s berth to do starboard. It was a bit windy so interesting. Then I did bacon butties, and it was so nice we decided to spend the day on the boat in the chairs. Oli got sun burned a bit. Then we took the Gosport Ferry and walked to Southsea and had a lovely meal at Rocka. I had the melange friture again – fried fish of all types. Oli had a steak and Em had soft shell crab burger. Got a taxi back, and another wine before early bed.

Sunday 03 July 2022

I was up at 0300 and Oli and I left at 0335 – it was already light. Made good progress and Emily joined us at Cowes as we drank sloe gin. We had the sail up for most of the morning, and then had to drop it later. It was a sunny day but the wind stayed SW so always on the nose but at least lighter than it was on Saturday. We really felt it more on the run in as we hit 8-9 knots from above Cherbourg and into Braye Harbour Alderney. The last few hours were slow with Oli and EM mainly sleeping. We got in and moored easily, and then went ashore and I bought us champagne at the Braye Beach Hotel. We sat outside in the sunshine, and we also ate there. Em had pork bites and goats cheese, Oli and I had scallops and ribs which were very yummy. Then back to the boat and all flopped into an early bed.

Monday 04 July 2022

As we were to bed so early, we were all up at 0730. I made us all coffee and we are all enjoying the early morning sunshine. Oli and Em went ashore for a swim and a shower and I cleaned the toilets, showered and some other jobs. Then we chilled for a bit and then went ashore. We walked up the High Street and went into the museum, and then into the Georgian House where we had a table reserved outside. We had a lovely long boozy lunch. I had sea bream (half fillet) with crab and samphire and chilli. Em had a pint of prawns and a salad. Oli had tempura prawns and a chicken wrap and fries. We stayed there for ages, then walked down the hill and had a couple of drinks in the Braye Beach Hotel. Then we went back to the boat where we chilled in the sunshine – Oli kicked EM’s book she was reading off the boat, so I bought her it on the iPad. We then settled down for an early night.

Tuesday 05 July 2022

I was up at 0215, and I woke Oli at 0230. We slipped at 0240 and it was proper dark. We got round the island on waypoints and at about 0330 we saw a long pre dawn. There was nowhere near as much light as when we left Haslar - further South I guess. We carried the tide all the way, and the gates were open early. The marina was full and we thought we would have to raft when a big Hardy motor boat left and we quickly slotted in easily into the space it left. Oli was very nervous but it was all smooth. We then showered and went into St Helier, but something was afoot, and over drinks at the cock and bottle, they shared that one of their horses, Lily, was not very well and at least Em if not both of them might have to go back. There followed lots of phone calls, and they decided they would both fly back, but Oli booked himself back on a flight back on Thursday, so we could leave for St Malo Friday instead of Thursday. He promised to keep me posted on that one. So we went and had lunch at the French Bistro in glorious sunshine. I had moules frites. Oli paid for lunch which was delicious. Then we went for drinks in the sunshine at the Royal Yacht Hotel and then back to the boat and they headed off to the airport in a taxi. I ate a few nibbles and spoke to Julia and collapsed exhausted into bed at 2000.

Wednesday 06 July 2022

I slept well and got up and showered, and made some coffee. I had a lazy day and took the opportunity to rest. I went to the fish market where I bought king prawns and scallops and then I bought garlic, onion, and some lettuce for dinner. I popped into Boots and then back to the boat. I made a bacon buttie and then did quite a bit of sun bathing. However, the day was on tenter-hooks because I needed to know what Oli and Em were going to do but could not get through to them. This went on into the evening, so I wasn’t sure how many drinks to have in case I needed to move the boat! I cooked my supper and in the end when Oli said he wasn’t making the next day’s flight it became apparent that I would go on my own to St Malo. So rather than wait another day in St Helier, I got the boat ready, and motored round to La Collette at 2110. I managed to moor up against another boat ok, and settled back into some red wine. Then a Halberg Rassy called Seabird hailed me and asked to come alongside. So I said OK, so long as I can got at 0600. They said fine and seemed nice. In fact they had been on my pontoon. They were Oli and Jason and I invited them in for a drink and we finished the bottle of red. It was nice to have company. Jason works in Cabinet Office!

Thursday 07 July 2022

Didn’t sleep too well, but and up about 0515, so I could get myself together. I kicked Seabird off at 0600 and at 0615 I easily slipped away and motor sailed towards St Malo in bright sunshine. Once round the NW Minquier, I turned and the wind was dead aft and light, so I dropped all sails. It then went grey and quite rolly. Just off St Malo, the GPS switched off and I had to reboot it, but it came up again thank goodness. I obviously had two other systems – the easiest being boating on my phone, but also the Open CPN, which is a bit crap. Anyway it came up, although did a freeze, which it hadn’t done for ages, so I was a little nervous. I prepared all lines well out and dropped fenders just before entering Sablon and I prayed for and was delivered a blown on port side to mooring and got one, as it was grey and a bit windy across the pontoons. I lined up and parked her and tied her up via the mid ships and then did the bow etc. All went OK, and my heart rate subsided. I had a beer and rang Julia. Then walked round to the ferry terminal and walked all over asking folk if they new where to get passport stamped. I finally found it in the middle of the entry points for cars. I had to stand outside the door for a few minutes and they stamped my passport. Then I walked back, and getting a bit tired by now as it was hot. I then had a shower – the showers were crap, and then got dressed up a bit and went into St Servan, and into the pizza place I went to with Gareth last year, and although it was 1750 and they started pizzas at 1800, they took my order – I had the Hortensia – prawns, salmon and scallops and I loved it. I washed it down with a pichet of red wine, and then went back to the boat, rang Julia and headed for bed at 8pm. I was woken by Oli at 2340 (2240 back home) and we had a long chat about how they simply couldn’t speak to a vet yet and we talked about options. I then rang Julia and relayed all of this to her.

Friday 08 July 2022

I slept really well last night for a change, and it was now sunny again. There were lots of boats leaving. I had coffee and read the paper, and then got the news from Oli and EM that they had to put down their horse, which was incredibly sad. However, it was now clear that they wouldn't join Julia in the car, so I was able to let Julia know and she then spent ages on the phone to Brittany Ferries to cancel the car. I cleared away their stuff and moved all the crap from my end down there and had a beer. Then made a bacon buttie and then sunbathed more. Later I walked around to decide whether to eat out or not - deciding to eat out again. Then I went back to the boat and enjoyed more good weather – boy it’s hot. I met Geoff and Pip in Elenor, an old Westerly, and chatted to them. I had a couple more beers and then went out for dinner at 1810, planning on galettes, but found the place didn’t open until 7, so had another pizza and a pichet of red wine. I had carne this time. Then it was back to the boat and drank the last of the white wine that Oli and Em had left, a small brandy and bed.

Saturday 09 July 2022

I got up just after 7 and showered and made coffee. It was a glorious sunny warm morning. I walked round to the ferry terminal and arrived at 0820. Julia's boat docked at 0815 and at 0831, Julia came through the gates. We walked back via the boulangerie and got croissants and some bread, and then along the beach back to the boat. We then had breakfast and settled in to some rest and relaxation on the deck. We had some rose and the odd beer. Then about 3pm, we walked back into St Malo and had to wait for the lock. Then we walked the walls and into the centre for some shopping. We bought a lovely wooden box with four superb jugs for port or similar. Then we went and ate in one of the tourist joints – Café Simon. We had 9 oysters and rocquefort moules frites. The mussels were small and the frites not crisp, but it was lovely anyway. Then we walked back, had a drink and Julia hit bed. I stayed up for another half hour and then went to bed as well.

Sunday 10 July 2022

Julia was tired and slept on while I read the paper. I shaved and showered and made coffee as Julia also showered. We then walked to St Servan and met Patrick and Blandine for lunch in the Cale Solidor restaurant and it was lovely to see them again. The service was slow, but we had so much to talk about. Julia, Blandine and I had oysters – Patrick some salmon thing for starters. For main, Julia, Blandine and I had the haddock – eglefin – and Patrick had magret in a tomato sauce. Julia and I had cheeseboard, and Blandine crème brulet, and Patrick a chocolate thing. Then they drove us over to Dinard and drove the streets seeing the gothic expensive houses. Then he dropped us at the beach, and we walked along that to a bar and had a drink, and then just caught the vedette back into St Malo. It was a long hot walk back, but nice to see Dinard. Then we chilled and heated up Cornish pasties and sausage rolls for dinner. We watched a new Netflix series called the Shannara chronicles about elves and so forth. Then bed after some brandy in our new jugs.

Monday 11 July 2022

Very lazy again and sunny again. In fact very warm. We read the papers, and Julia showered. I spent time doing new plans based on Granville. Then we chilled and went down to St Servan, had a drink met an English couple vanning and cycling, and booked one of the galette restaurants for 7pm. Then we went back to the boat and then took a taxi to Carrefour. We did a super big shop and then couldn’t get a taxi, so we had to push the trolley back for 40 minutes in the heat! Made it and had a beer and headed down for dinner. Julia had complet champignon and I had super complet, with green salad, tomato salad and frites shared. Then Julia had sorbet and I had a flambee crepe with marmalade and grand marnier. We sat outside in glorious sunshine, headed back to the boat and watched another Shannara and bed.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

We both had a bad night as it was so hot and I was so sweaty. We were up early and showered as I was so sticky and then went to get bread in St Servan which was a long walk. Then we headed to to the fuel pontoon only to find it was out of order, so no diesel !!! So we headed off to St Cast and it was very hot again. We found a berth port side to ok, and had breakfast and then went for a wander and Julia bought some shoes, and we booked a place for dinner. Then sunbathed and chatted to neighbours Tony and Helen in a motor boat who then went off to an island. We also spoke to an older couple on Tenui Matu a 44 Moody - all of them from Jersey. We then went to dinner and I had oysters, Julia salmon, and we both had entrecote which was lovely. There was a mobile live band that were very good and we got up and stood outside to watch them and even danced. We then had irish coffees and went back to the boat. We chatted to the Moody, and they went below and Tony and Helen came back from dinner at the same place having seen us dance. We invited them aboard for drinks and they bought a bottle of wine. Nice evening.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

We both had a much better night.Tony from the motor boat next door kindly delivered bread and croissants for us! We had breakfast outside and they left and soon the Moody left as well. I wasn’t feeling so good this morning – too much bread and maybe too much to drink the night before so I had a lie down, and surfaced to do some laptop. I didn’t feel great all day. It was very hot again with only a little breeze from time to time. At 1630, I was feeling a bit better and we walked into town and I bought some swimmers, and we did a shop at Carrefour. We then checked out a restaurant recommended by Tony, but we decided it was too expensive, and walked back to the boat, put the shopping away and went for a drink at the Face and ate there too. I had a fantastic beef kebab, and Julia had a burger. We got back to the boat and watched some TV and had a couple of brandies.

Thursday 14 July 2022 (Bastille day in France)

We both slept ok, and read the papers. Went up to the fish place only to discover it wasn’t open until 1030 ! When we did go back we got some cod and some prawns. Lots of folk were out promenading today as it was a national holiday. We stayed aboard and sun bathed and chilled. In the evening, I cooked up the prawns which we had in a mary rose sauce, and then pan fried the cod in butter with salad and bread. We watched some TV and early bed as an early start.

Friday 15 July 2022

I was up at 0430 and got things ready. Julia got up at 0500 and at 0515 we were on the fuel pontoon topping up. We then left the marina at 0540 with plenty of light. Julia went back to bed, and I watched the sun come up. It was a very lumpy sea to start with but it settled down after St Malo, and we made good time on the spring tide, doing 8 knots. I had to motor as the wind was bang on the nose. We got into Granville, and luckily got one of the front row slots so we could watch all the action at gate opening and closing times. I had a beer and then a doze, and then we popped into town. We had a drink in the main drag – 49cl rose. Then back for lunch and a snooze after. Then we had showers and went to Cabestan but they had booked us outside, which I didn’t want so we left them and walked to the pizza place (pizzeria Montepego) on the corner and I had etna, Julia had di-parma with an extra egg, and we had three pichets of red (25cl) - it was a nice meal. Back to the boat and although I was tired we did watch another elves thing on Netflix, and then bed at 10.

Saturday 16 July 2022

We were awake at 0800 and read the papers. Then I whizzed out and got us a roasted chicken (21 euros) and back for coffee.Then we went into town and did the whole market. We bought some stuff at the indoor market, and then back into Carrefour and back to the boat for drinks and lunch of chicken. It was a bit dry though. Then I had a snooze and we sun bathed and chilled. At 1730 we showered and changed, had a drink and headed into town for a fabulous Chateaubriand in the Parfum Poivre, washed down with a bottle of medoc. It was a lovely meal. Then back to the boat for cheese and some more Netflix and bed.

Sunday 17 July 2022

We were woken abruptly by a motor boat coming too close as they all waited for the gate and the tide was rushing in. Then the marina boat drifted into us and bashed us a bit. I didn’t think there was any damage, but she came to apologise and said she would take me in her little boat to look later. We made coffee and looked at forecasts. I got her to take me in her boat and apart from a scuff mark, it was alright. We then paid up for the three nights and went round to the border police to get our passports stamped out of France, and it was all very civilised and quick. Then we walked around town looking for where we might have lunch, and did some shopping. We then went back to the boat, and changed and went out for lunch. Another place had opened up by this time, so we chose that and both had salads. I had salmon on toast with prawns, avocado and lettuce, Julia had goats cheese. It was a lovely lunch sat out in the shade. The waiter was amusing. Then we went back to the boat for a doze. Sadly then I got a bit ill with a runny bum, and was very washed out. Julia was ok, but not too good either in that department. I continued to be ill for the rest of the day. We watched all the entertainment when the gates opened and I went to bed early. Julia watched the Open golf.

Monday 18 July 2022

We both slept fitfully as it was very hot. I got up at 0730, and checked the oil and water etc. It was very hot already at 0800. We waited for the gates to open shortly after 0900 and we got away at 0915 when it showed 2.2m and motored out. We were going slowly for the first couple of hours and wondered if we would make the gates at St Helier. However, the wind picked up a bit and the tide got going, so with some genoa out as well as the engine, we made good progress and made it into St Helier with 15 minutes to go. That said, the gauge said 3.5 metres so maybe it was going to be later because of the high pressure, but of course, we weren't to know that. On the water we had been protected by the wind, but once in we got the full force of the 38 degrees. It was hot, and tying the boat up and sorting out tired me. I was still a bit weak from not being well, and indeed still wasn't well all day. So I had a sleep and Julia went shopping and bought some nice pink shorts. I perked up a bit and we had showers and G&Ts and went out for dinner at Quayside. We both had Sea bream fillets which were lovely and a bottle of Bordeaux. I couldn’t eat it all as I was still not right, but finally beginning to feel better. We went back to the boat and enjoyed the mayhem as the gates opened, and there was a scrabble for places and then we watched another elves on Netflix. We then spent a few more minutes outside to chill and then bed.

Tuesday 19 July 2022

It was a very hot night – 29 degrees in the cabin, and at 0730 it was 30 already. We went into town and went to the fish market, bought scallops and king prawns and an onion and some lettuce. Julia went to Boots and I went and paid the bill. We got away at 0915 as planned and motored out. It soon got cooler and then foggy at Corbiere, so the radar went on. But that cleared and then it got grey and we saw thunder and lightning and later it rained. I stayed inside ! As we got to Alderney, it really rained and blew, so I had to get my full waterproof kit on. We got into the harbour and it was full – every buoy in the main area under the wall and all bar one over in the bay, but that was close to another yacht. Then a boat left so we went for that, but it didn’t have a pick up line, and it was windy, so we failed and although I had hooked the buoy, I couldn’t hold it and lost the boathook. Fortunately it floated and the water taxi picked it up and then the harbour master came and helped us onto the buoy. It was all a bit stressful. Anyway, once tied on we settled down. Then we took the water taxi ashore for champagne (tat) at the Braye Beach outside in the sunshine, which had now returned. We were chatted to by Charlize from Guernsey, and then we went into dinner. We both had a rack of pork ribs in BBQ sauce which was amazing, and a nice bottle of red. Then back to the boat for some TV and bed.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Slept well as the wind calmed down, and we were up and showered and then on the water taxi and ashore about 11. Ww walked up through the town and looked in some 'tut' shops, and then into the Georgian House early. We had a table outside and we had lots of sunshine interspersed with some windy bits. It was lovely. I had a lamb wrap and Julia had a chorizo salady thing. We stayed for a while and then back to the boat. We had planned to cook the seafood but were too full up so both had rolls. I had more chicken and Julia some pate. Early night.

Thursday 21 July 2022

It was a bad night for both of us as boat was rolling and I knew I had to get up early. I looked out at 0400 but there was not enough light, so I finally got up at 0430, and was held up by needed the loo for the first time since my bad reaction to some contaminated food on Sunday. So that kept me busy but all was back to normal. I got away at 0500 with Julia still in bed. It was grey but enough wind to use the genoa to steady the rolling sea. However, later as the tide took me left, I had to drop it and it was a slow motor rolling about until the afternoon. It was very slow, as the tide wasn’t favourable, and I had to go with light rather than tide, so it took us an hour longer than in the past. Things calmed in the afternoon, but it stayed grey. However, Julia could get about and read. It brightened by the Needles briefly, but then grey again. It was 68.7 miles and took 12 hours. We moored into M21 port side to at the Yacht Haven Lymington, and settled in. I then cooked the scallops and king prawns in butter, garlic and onions, and Julia did a salad. It was lovely. Then we watched some more Netflix and bed.

Friday 22 July 2022

Lazy morning, and then we both had lovely showers at the yacht haven. We had coffee and did some computing, and then into town to check out the shops. We bought a dress for Julia, and a sweatshirt and Clarks air sandals for me. Then to Lymington Town SC for lunch with Nigel and Suzie. We sat outside in the sunshine. Having started grey it had brightened up, if a little breezy. Julia had courgette fritters and the rest of us had peppered squid. It was yummy. We continued with drinks and then headed back to the boat for a snooze. We then had G&Ts and walked back into town to Koh Thai for dinner. I had tamarind duck with noodles and Julia had penang curry. My duck was delicious. Then back to the boat and had more G&Ts and watched a movie – the contractor which was fun.

Saturday 23 July 2022

Lovely sunny morning and we slept in until well past 0830. Read papers, and then coffee. We then headed into town for the market. I got a new watchstrap and bought an apron with sailing boats on it, we bought some flowers for Nigel and Suzie later, and Julia bought a jig saw and some strawberries. Then we walked back to the boat and I had a beer, and we then had lunch. It had now gone grey, so Julia decided to clean the boat and I had a snooze. Then we were up and chilling, and we both had showers. Then we went to Nigel and Suzie’s for drinks, and then on to the Yacht Haven Restaurant. We both had dressed crab. Then back to the boat, and we invited Andrew and Katrina the boat next door (Breagha on M20) over for drinks, and we got through a few bottles of red.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Up early as we needed to leave at 0600. I went to the loo, and we got away. But as we got into the river I realised I had left my phone in the toilet, so we had to go back and luckily someone had just found it, and I got it back. It was all a bit stressful re-mooring and it was a bit windy. Anyway, there was enough wind to sail once out in the Solent, and we got back into Haslar without any more drama. Then the long loading of the car. All the wine, then Oli and Em’s things, and finally all of ours. We got away about 1200 in the end and Julia drove. Then when back, I unloaded the car while Julia headed to the shops. We then had an early afternoon BBQ with marinaded chicken kebabs and haloumi, with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. Very nice. Then we settled down to watch TV and eventually bed.