Published: July 28th 2010July 28th 2010
Left Dartmouth on July 26th at 6.45am (later than anticipated due to Mike having to pukll an all-nighter to sort his tools and store them!) with sun shining brightly on the flat sea. Our nerves about meeting a tanker were soon tested as we found ourselves on a collision course with a freakin huge one just outside Dartmouth and had to stop to bob over the huuuuge wake it left behind! However, when we actually got to the shipping lanes, all we could see were these huge leviathans on the horizon - who'd have thought our closest encounter would be less than an hour out to sea?!
We dealt with a few hairy moments on the crossing - some pretty big rolling waves were hitting us side on for a few hours causing a lot of rocking and falling over of gear (and me at one point - Aaron if you're reading this I had a repeat of my idiocy in the dressing rooms at Panto when I leant on hanging clothing for support and fell right through, only this time it was due to a big wave rather than me overbalancing in long boots so I'm inclined to believe
that makes it slightly less idiotic, Mike found it hilarious though!) The scariest part of the crossing for me though was almost ending up falling into the props.
One of our massive fenders had been flapping about and sending big sprays up into the cockpit which was irritating ... so irritating I wrote about it (in true British style ... I think it's even worse that I wrote a complaint to and about a usually inanimate object which had only become animated because of us, but I used poetry as my writing form so at least it's creative : Flapping, floundering, flipping, flotsam freely flying, flummoxing, frustrating, fgrankly you need tying!) Mike decided to get me to untie the fenders and put them into the dinghy to prevent more water coming on board (in retrospect I preferred the water). As I was leaning off the back of the boat to do this a rogue big wave hit us which I hadn't seen coming as I was concentrating on untying. The impact against the boat sent me toppling forward, bashing my legs and very nearly going into the propeller blades beneath. If it hadn't have been for the flagpole the
ensign was on I think I would have! Said flagpole snapped as I hit it and fell inot the water - we then spent a good 5 minutes circling back around to retrieve the ensign...which we did successfully with the use of a boathook and more hanging off the boat - mum you'll be pleased to know I was wearing a lifejacket the whole time.
Other than this mini-Drama the crossing was ok - Ozzy 2 definitely proved her worth as a sea boat and powered through - at one point our direction changed to put the 1.5mtr swells behind us and we surfed at 13 knots for about an hour - great fun!! I also read the new Alex Cross novel on the crossing (must start reading more slowly!) which, if you're interested, wasn't as pacey or exciting as any of the previous novels and had predictable twists - not one of Patterson's best works I have to say.
Anyway, we arrived in Guernsey at around 3pm and were instructed to raft up alongside other boats in a kind of 'holding pen' area whilst we waited for the tide to come in and allow us over the
sill to the marina at St Peters Port. It was mad, just a sea of boats around us! At 5.30ish we were given the instruction to go into the marina. We left the brash but comical Brummies with even less boating experience than us who'd been our neighbours and headed into the marina to tie up alongside a very experienced, rich and posh family who are holidaying here - they are lovely and helped us tie up and safely go longside in some fair winds.
Our first night here we went to the Crows Nest restaurant for Scallops (me) and lamb shank (mike). The food and setting were fantastic and we spent most of dinner discussing our incredulity at finally being on the trip we'd planned for so long. After a fairly early night and a catch up on some much needed sleep on Mike's part, we explored a bit of the island. We walked out to Castle Corner which had looked so stunning by moonlight the previous night and got there just in time for the daily firing of th gun - man alive was it loud! I jumped with such a jerk at the noise that my
'trigger finger' resting on the camera fired and I got a great shot of smoke leaving the cannon. I also learlnt that I would be shit in the army and end up shooting evryone whenever there was a loud noise!
We spent the rest of the day visiting the tunnel WW2 museum at La Valette which was really interesting and jam packed with artefacts from the Nazi occupation, then the Aquarium, bathing pools, beach and Clarence batttery. We are both stunned by how beautiful the island is ... turquiose sea, white sandy beaches, beautiful flowers and greeery, historialc buildings - you could be forgiven for thinking you'd already hit the Med.
There are more photos below