Settled a few miles East of St Peter Port is the Island of Herm. Day tripper boats ply continuously across the small channel between the two when the tide allows., otherwise what was once sea water turns into a sea of sand and rocks. We motored in Money Penny to the South of Herm, around the marker buoys and up to a beautiful bay where we anchored and prepared to go ashore. We then realised that we were anchored next to a motor boat called ‘Licensed to thrill 007’ The couple on board responded to our pointing frantically at the name of Money Penny displayed boldly on the boom. We all laughed.
Our Company whilst crossing from Guernsey to Herm Our Anchorage on Herm
Herm is a beautiful, small unspoilt island and we thoroughly enjoyed our walk around the entire island which took a few hours in the blazing sunshine, capped off with a nice swim.
View from Herm across to Guernsey The Fire Station at Herm!
We decided to move over to the neighbouring island of Sark for a night at anchor. With the genoa up we used the tidal stream and light winds to effect a ferry glide across the channel inbound for the North of Sark.
At Anchor in Sark (Before the mist & rain!)
On the way over as we neared Sark I saw what can only be described as a huge castle similar in shape to Camelot. Through the bino’s I could see this edifice looming upon high on a small island adjacent to Sark, identified on the chart as Brecqhou. At anchor in a protected bay and with the wonder of modern technology and via internet I searched for the purpose and history associated with Brecqhou castle. Transpires that the island was purchased in 1997 by the infamous Barclay brothers, newspaper owners , wealthy old guys and famously reclusive. They spent millions and millions converting the island over to their idea of heaven. I’ll let you look up their story on the net, but during construction of the castle and harbour they imported 120,000 tons of building materials onto the island . When you witness the remoteness of Brecqhou you will then realise the enormity and cost of the building project .
The night at anchor on Sark was to say the least bloody uncomfortable. The boat rolled back and forth all night long in unison with the incoming rollers. Not a good nights sleep! We did eventually get some shut eye only to wake up to mist and drizzle. We are here and we are going to make the most of things commanded Judith. So it was hoist the dinghy in the water, don waterproofs and paddle ashore. Such was the aura of the island shrouded in low lying mist that it took on an eerie appearance and I envisaged the walk of the zombies on the island. You know, the packer-mac, hoods up, ruck sacks on, hiking boots, head down in a map brigade. I wasn’t disappointed, there were hundreds of them. It then dawned on me, that I was wearing my coat with hood up and rucksack bearing. The only things missing were the boots and the map.
La Coupee between Great Sark & Little Sark - the concrete roadway was built in 1945 by German prisoners of war under direction of The Royal Engineers
There were an inordinate number of girl guides on the island. Obviously camped somewhere on the archipelago, all had hired cycles and were tearing around the island.
Sark left me cold. A lot had to do with the weather prevailing at the time but everything looked in decline. The shopping centre known as the Avenue was awash with closed down shops and vacant premises. When I use the phrase shopping centre I am talking about a maximum of 15 shops. Rumour has it that them there Barclay boys are attempting to control the island and work on its decline in order to purchase at a knockdown price in the not too distant future. Only a rumour mind you!
Later that afternoon and not wishing another sleep deprived night, and with a break in the weather Jude and I decided to once again escape zombie island and head out to sea. A lively sail ensued and three hours later with the onset of darkness we arrived in St Helier on Jersey. The marina in St Helier operates on a rather odd system, there is no radio channel assigned to contact the marina prior to arrival. Having phoned ahead we were informed that the marina was closed for the night but we were welcome to enter and tie up on the first pontoon on the right as we entered. Again controlled by a tidal cill or sill, a huge brightly lit sign announced to us that there was 10 metres of water over the sill or cill. Once in we turned to starboard and berthed on the pontoon in a fair breeze and semi darkness. Tomorrow is another day.