Channel Islands 06-21 July 2018 - 281 nautical miles

Friday 06 July, morning, I let Julia sleep in, and at 03:25, I slipped and motored out of Haslar. It was dark, but just starting pre-dawn. Saw a lovely sunrise and the day set in to be hot and sunny like the heatwave we have been having. Fog patches had been forecast, but is was just hazy, poor viz, with blue up above. Motored all the way. Had the main out whilst the wind was West, but it came on the nose about 25 miles off Alderney and was dropped and it felt cooler. Never really got properly hot at sea. We got into Alderney at 15:45 - 85 nautical miles. Already quite full, but we got a nice buoy - number 25! Third week in a row we moor on number 25. We took the water taxi ashore, and had already booked the Braye Chippy from out at sea. BYO as ever, and a great meal of fish and (curly) chips with white wine. Back to the boat and watched Wimbledon and bed.

Saturday 07 July, we lazed in a bit, and then blew up the dinghy and went ashore about midday. We walked up the hill and had drinks in the garden at the Georgian House, then checked out the restaurant, Le Pesked for the evening, which we had previously booked. Then back to the boat for lunch and a snooze and sunbathe. Back ashore in the evening, and had pre dinner drinks outside in the garden at the Georgian again, and then a fabulous meal at Le Pesked, which was rammed, mostly with locals. We both had see bream fillets. Really nice meal and good service. Back to the boat for a nightcap and bed

Sunday 08 July, we were up a bit earlier, and set off walking. We went along Braye beach and then along the coast almost to the lighthouse, and then headed South across Longis Common, and then into the Old Barn, where we sat outside for lunch. It was a little over-priced for what it was (the salad was really a couple of leaves) but it was very pleasant. We then walked up to Fort Essex and across the middle of the Island back to the Harbour and back to the boat, where we sunbathed and snoozed. I had marinated chicken in the morning, and set about a BBQ but our Force 10 BBQ wouldn't work, so I had to cook the chicken in the griddle pan down below. Still it was a fine meal, with some red wine.

Monday 09 July, we were up early to leave for St Helier. It looked like it would be, and it did become a very hot and windless day. We left at 07:25 and the sea was like glass. We left one hour before HW Dover, and thus hit the Alderney Race at the right time. We motored all the way, and it was very hot. We got into St Helier Marina at 13:00 and Patrick was there on the pontoon, directing us to a free berth near his motor boat and that of their friends Daniel and Michelle. Mooring was easy, port side to, on E10 - bow facing back out and towards the West. We exhanged greetings with Patrick and Blandine and Daniel and Michelle, and then got on sorting the boat out. We sunbathed, and sadly one of our deck chairs died. Shopping tomorrow, so we'll add that to the list. At 18:30 we were invited to drinks aboard Carpe Diem, Patrick's boat, with the others, and had a lovely time. Blandine served so many apetisers, that we decided against cooking when we returned, and just had camembert. We had downloaded Poldark, and watched that and then bed.

Tuesday 10 July, Shopping and usunbathing. We hosted drinks for the four French at 1800, and then they went to watch France play Belgium, and we went to the Little Thai. Lovely meal.

Wednesday 11 July, I cooked smoked salmon and scrambled egg, and then we cycled to St Aubin, and checked out the club and the restaurants, and decided on the club for Saturday lunch. Back to the boat - sunbathed and then drinks on Daniel and Michelle's boat, and then I cooked pork stir fry. (England lost their World cup semi final against Croatia)

Thursday 12 July, Up and cleaned the sprayhood, and then cycled to Gorey and lunch at Sumas. It was wonderful as ever it was, sat on the terrace in the glorious sunshine. Cycled back and had a snooze, and chilled. Ate various leftovers and invited Daniel in for a drink, who by now was on his own.

Friday 13 July, we were up earlier and showered and went to Vicki for crab ,but she was unusually closed. Back to the boat and saw Daniel leave, and then to the Fish market and the market itself. I brought the shopping home and Julia went girl shopping. I did another clean of the sprayhood, and then I applied the waterproofing. Sunbathed again and then said Hi to two other Nauticat 35s. Tim in Brice, and his other three crew. He came around and had a nose. We had already looked at his. Then we all went to Tiger Blue and nosed around that hosted by Martina and Christian. We invited them all round, but only Martina and Christian came around. Then I did the seafood BBQ, which was fab, and we watched tennis until 11:00 - semi between Nadal and Djokovich.

Saturday 14 July, We were up early and got some crab from the real Vicki. Dropped that back and then cycled out to Corbiere. It was tiring and Julia's gears failed. I was able to fix them though. Lovely weather with the sun shining and the smell of pine trees. Back to St. Aubin and a mooch round the teeny market and drinks in the bar next to the club. Then into the club and a drink and a lovely lunch, as ever. In the afternoon we were chatting to Christian and Valerie on Cobus, a 37 Evasion - old boat , next to us, and the invited us in for drinks, which was nice. We got on well with them, mainly speaking French. Then back on board, grazing food and we watched the conclusion of the semi final - Nadal lost, and the womens final, where Kerber beat Serena Williams. England lost 2-0 to Belgium in the third place pay off!

Sunday 15 July, lots of boat moving as it was rammed solid last night. Much amusement. Then we shopped, and I put another coat of waterproofing on, and Julia did the chrome. I typed up the blog to date, and spent ages grovelling around the bilges, as we appear to be filling up slightly. I have identified a tiny leak in the volvo shaft seal, which we will replace soon when Lloyd does the cutlass bearing. There's a tiny drip up the front of the keel, but neither of these would fill up as we have been. It appears the non return valve on the bilge outlet is leaking back the contents of the outlet pipe.

The weather continued to be wonderful and we just chilled and sunbathed. France won the World cup, and Djokavic beat Anderson. Then when Christian and Valerie got back, we prepared some nibbles and drinks and they came over. We had a great evening laughing and chatting, and we got on really well with them. I expect we will see them again, as they invited us to their place near Paris, right in Monet country, apparently. Lovely last night in Jersey. We watched Poldark, and to bed.

Monday 16 July, it was still hot and sunny to start the day, and we were up reasonably early. I topped up the water tanks, and brought the dinghy aboard, and we said our farewells to next door. Then we motored to the Havre Gosselin bay at the beautiful island of Sark, and picked up a visitor buoy in a slight swell. It got cloudy and a little misty as we approached and I am writing this as we swell up and down in the grey at midday. It's still warm though. Julia had some work to do, and we were chilled, so we didn't go ashore until 3pm. It then got very warm and hot, with a breeze up top. Fun tying the dinghy up using nearly all the long red line. We walked into the avenue, but soon realised most places were closed already. Went into a couple of local stores and then went on to Stocks. Sat by the pool and drank, and then went inside for a meal. Very nice. Got back to the boat to find the wind had gone West, meaning it got very rolly. We watched unforgotten, as the internet was ok, but the boat was swinging about. A few other boats were in difficulties - two had rafted and had to un-raft. Not a pleasant night.

Tuesday 17 July, Bad night, so we abandoned the extra day in Sark, as the forecast was for more West, and it was grey and overcast. We motored over to St. Peter Port, fighting the tide to get around the rocks, and then had to wait a long time in the queue for fuel. Topped up and came into the main Victoria marina. We were given a tiny pontoon right down on the road, where it's shallow, but got on with it. When the man came to collect fees, we said jokingly, we should only pay for 7m to match the berth. He (Tomo) was in a good mood and said ok, if you stay for two nights, which we hadn't been certain of!! It was indeed shallow, and at low water we were just aground. We then went to both chandlers and came back for a drink on board, as the weather was improving. We stayed chilled on board, and I cooked rib-eye steaks, and then we watched the boats coming and going for a bit. Then watched the Handmaid, and bed.

Wednesday 18 July, A bit overcast this morning, but blue skies and a forecast of sun this afternoon, so jobs this morning and then chill. It came in hot in the afternoon, and we enjoyed the sunshine. Julia prepared a crab salad for supper, and we watched a rather disappointing movie - downsizing with Matt Damon.

Thursday 19 July, grey to start but with blue skies around, we finally left the Channel Islands. Sad to see St. Peter Port disappear behind us. Wind from the North and a bit too tight to sail, so motored up to the Alderney Race with mainsail out for extra power. It got warmer and warmer as we approached Cherbourg and we found it very busy, but got into P13, starboard side to, facing the office, which was the only slot that side. We went and paid and chilled enjoying the sunshine, when Julia reminded us we were now on French time and should crack on to make dinner ! We got sorted and had time for a drink at our favourite bar, Bucannier, and then into Pantagruel, which has been a favourite for years, and indeed, the translated menu into English, I did for them. To be honest, it wasn't as good as it has been, and the previous trip with Gareth, where we ate at the Yacht Club was better. But never mind, it was still good. Watched a movie after and bed.

Friday 20 July, lazy morning, and then shopping at Carrefour, and then a drink at Bucannier again at lunchtime sat in glorious sunshine again. Lovely!! Then back to the boat for a salad lunch and then more chill and sunbathing. We saw Argo come in and went to say hello, and they invited us for drinks, and we reciprocated later when they came to us. (Mark, Diana and Henry their son, from our Pontoon in haslar) I then cooked brochettes we got at Carrefour and then we watched another movie and bed. Sad for our last night

Saturday 21 July, woken at 0400 by the Dutch around us going, and dozed until 6 when I got up, and we left at 0645. Grey to start, but became a splendid hot day with glassy seas - 11 hours, 77 miles and into Haslar. No wind, so little sailing but it was a lovely day. Had a drink in the cockpit and then showers and put the roast spuds on and the chicken we bought in Carrefour. Then brought this blog up to date before serving.

This was the best holiday we have ever had boating - the weather was so wonderful - we shall always remember the summer of 2018!