Pembroke Haven Yacht Club

Hobbs Point, Pembroke Dock

Well, what an adventure. Set a course from Salcombe for Guernsey (a straight pencil line embossed on a chart) and off we go. Well flipping heck, we had a terrific sail, sun out, and joined for a short time by a large fat dolphin and porpoises all together in a small group. Who was the fat dolphin? Very different from the smaller porpoises. After a few hours we were joined on the horizon by another sailing yacht heading in the same direction as us. Race on!! Throw our entire belongings overboard came the cry from the skipper, in the quest for more speed.  But why was this yacht heading to the West of Jersey and not the East where St Peter Port lies. After about an hour of studying the charts, tide flow charts, and every other type of chart we realised that he was going that way due to the huge tidal race operating around Guernsey and there was absolutely not a cats chance in hell that we were going to get to St Peter Port without going around three quarters of the Island to get to the Port.   A 5 knot tidal current heading North passed the port, when we want to go South into the sheltered haven. Ok admit defeat and go the long way around or wait hours for the tide to turn. We followed our guide in towards St Peter Port and eventually gained access to the Victoria marina, and rest.

The crossing to a headland on Guernsey took 9 hours (63 miles) which for a fully laden floating caravan wasn’t too bad, if I say so myself.

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St Peter port is lovely and a day spend walking around the town was enjoyable. Tax free status prevails and all purchases were without the dreaded VAT!! The tidal range in Guernsey  is about 12 metres. The marina has a cill (sill) at the opening and when we arrived, near high water, the gangway was inclined downwards  and we had to walk down to the quayside. The next day in order to go to the loo and with the tide out we donned crampons and ice axe in order to climb up the steep incline of the gangway towards the quayside. I jest not. The difference in height was amazing.

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We walked to the Victorian tidal pools with every intention of swimming…..one of us enjoyed the facility however they were much too cold for Judith.  What a great facility when there is such a tidal range.  Enjoyment can still be had even at low tide.

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The fat dolphin was later identified in a book as a Risso dolphin. What he was doing hanging about with the porpoise guys we don’t know. Maybe we stumbled upon some previously unknown dolphin cross breeding programme in the English Channel. Who knows!

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Posted by ALISTAIR LINDSAY 02 August 2017 21:09:26

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