Channel Islands - Jersey

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September 1st 2015
Published: September 7th 2015
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Much nicer day today so we set off. We had another boat rafted off us and they were going on a ferry trip at 10:00 so we had to leave earlier than planned. Never mind. We fuelled up and then went to a waiting pontoon to wait for the tide. No point fighting against the massive tides and currents they have running round these islands. Finally at 1230 it was time to go. Had a lovely sail all day. It was a bit slow in parts, but sunny, calm and just so nice to be sailing. We couldn’t enter over the sill in Jersey before 1830 anyway, so no rush to get there. Around the bottom of Jersey the current really kicked in and we were doing 6kts easily. We were a bit early, but no problems..there was a very long waiting pontoon just outside of the sill that we knew we could raft up on….and so did the other 17 boats. At a quick count there were 18 boats waiting to get in. So we rafted up 4 deep and waited..but only for an hour. Then the sill gate dropped down and we were advised by a marina staff where to go once we entered. Very, very funny thing. Marina guy told us that we should let all the..and I quote….all the ‘little boats’ go in first to e finger and then we could go onto f or g finger which is reserved for the ‘bigger boats’. YAY, we finally have made it into the ‘bigger boat’ category!! Well here…tonight anyway! So we came in all tied up and settled in for the night.

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2nd Sept

Funny thing happened today, as we were walking along the pontoon a lady yelled out to us from the road and was waving her arms like mad. Turned out she was sitting with her husband, daughter and granddaughter at the table next to us in a restaurant in Amble earlier on in the year. We had chatted to them quite a bit about our travels and theirs. Then, as she and her husband were walking down the road she saw the aussie flag and recognised us walking along the pontoon. They’re over here on holidays. Mike – the OCC Port Officer here in Jersey came down this afternoon with his wife Margaret. A very lovely couple. They stayed for afternoon tea and we had a great chat. Mike has arranged with the Marina here that OCC members get 50%!o(MISSING)ff the marina fees for Monday – Thursday. A great help!! While they were here..Bob (who turns out to be another OCC member) saw our OCC flag and came down to say hi. He’s from NZ and has his boat over here in Jersey, but built in UK. He works on many of the major US reality shows such as Survivor, The great race and many others.

3rd September

Moved to the ‘drying out pad’ this morning. A marina guy was on hand in his dingy in case we needed turning, but Phil expertly reversed all the way down the pontoons to the drying pad – with no help from Leo – the marina guy. I was a bit nervous and worried about careening as we’d never done it before – we tied up to the wall and then played the waiting game. Waiting for the tide to go out and letting the lines out as boat settled down. During this time so many people stuck their head over the wall to comment and say hi. Including Duncan and Caroline from Maggie Drum..they had just come in. Finally, she was touching the bottom, we did a final tightening of the midship lines and then got off – and watched the final hour of the tide go down her keel. She sat up nicely – high and dry…and didn’t even look like tipping over (which was my unfounded worry). A Yanmar guy came down to look at the prop (in case we needed to claim for insurance) and thought it was a problem in the prop, rather than in the leg. He left – without charging us for the 5mins he was here (thank you very much Mr Yanmar man from GT Marine) So we pulled off the prop and sure enough the rubber bush was out of alignment. It had done its job properly and protected the leg drive. Got all that sorted, did some brief patch up work with antifoul and then sat back to wait for the tide to come in again. As this was going to take a good 6 hrs we took the opportunity to have showers and a cup of tea on Maggie Drum. About 8pm that night the tide was coming in fast and by 9pm we were tied up in a spare space further along the pontoon and ready to celebrate a good result!!

4th September

Moved early this morning after the exodus from the marina. We may have been touching on low tide last night so needed to move further out into the marina towards the end of the pontoon. Fortunately a heap of motor boats left this morning and gave us room. Now Maggie Drum is on the end and then we’re next. Had coffee with Duncan and Caroline this morning and then went to collect our ‘official letter’ from Piers at Jersey Ship Registration. They’ve done up an official letter stating that we are indeed out of EU waters – we need to prove this in order to not pay VAT on our boat. We have to take the boat out of EU waters every 18 mths. Then went off to explore a bit and found the indoor market place. Not much time spare, so just had a quick look – will certainly be back for a closer look at another time. Mike came down to take Phil to try to get the gas bottles filled, but once again that was a failed mission. The gas place didn’t have the right connectors…even though they were willing to fill them up this time. Oh well, looks like we might just have to get a bottle that we can swap and go in Europe. Duncan and Caroline came for an Aussie bbq – steak burgers and we had a great night sitting in the cockpit just chatting away!

5th September

Mike and Margaret took us out for lunch today at the St Hellier Yacht Club. Food was amazing and quite well priced – we will certainly bring Ian and Kim here for dinner one night.


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