Friday, July 24, 2009

Channel Islands Holiday - Conclusion

On this trip the solar panels were a great success - 4 Unisolar/Spectraflex 32 Watt flexible panels from Midsumer Energy if anyone is interested.

These allowed us independence from the generator. Whilst our Honda genny is very quiet it is a nuisance and faff to set up and run. We rigged the temporary panels at the beginning of the trip and left them plugged into the Morningstar Regulator for three weeks. Result - batteries topped up - we can sail in the day with autohelm and fridge on and still be charging. 3 days at anchor several times and the engine was never started and we still kept up with our needs. They work surprisingly well even in dull conditions and with them placed over our cockpit cover we never move them. Zero effort - I like that ! We do have a separate solar powered "shed light" which does for a lot of our cabin light needs rather than using the main lights - but of course it wasn't dark until 9:00 PM or later anyway. Our anchor light is also independant and solar powered. Our fridge is still a nightmare and sucks up loads of juice - 40 Amp Hours every 24 hours just by itself. Its on the (long) list of items to replace/fix...

We were in "holiday mode" rather than "liveaboard/voyage" mode as we both had jobs to go straight back to so within reason I didn't care what we spent. (Hence a Lobster thermidor in St Aubin) but even when money isn't the issue as we prefer "out of the way" spots instead of plastic marinas, we didn't spend that much. I didn't even count food/restaurant expenditure but fuel and mooring was as follows.

Lymington 1 night - £14
Alderney (Way out) 2 nights- £28
Sark Buoy- we stayed three nights but they only collected for two - £30
Herm was a voluntary donation for the season. I gave £10 for three nights including royal visit!
Alderney (Way back) 1 night - £14
Yarmouth 1 night £6

Total £102 for 20 nights away - an average of just over a fiver a night.

We picked up water in Peter Port but the dory man wasn't bothered about charging us. We picked up an Anchor on the St Helier waiting pontoon and the man didn't charge us but wanted to if we hadn't been going soonish.

Everywhere else was free. We didn't buy any petrol as the Solar panels worked so well and we didn't dinghy far.

We did buy some diesel in Alderney and back in Southampton to top ourselves up again- 27 litres for £21.33 in Southampton and £16.27 in Alderney - Total of £37.60
We probably had a little more diesel on the way out than when we had topped up on the way back - but not much.

Grand total of £37.60 + £102 = £139.60

This conveniently ignores a grand on solar panels, another grand on a new main etc etc ;-)

Best "new to us" harbour was definitely St Aubin - we really like it, some fab restaurants. Tamsyn still really likes Herm. The Ecrehous were definitely a unique experience.

Dodgiest moment had to be coming out through the breakers at Portbail with only just enough water to get out.

Some good sailing - especially with the new main back across the channel when we were hitting 7.5 knots through the water even without any surfing ! (before we reefed ;-) )


Ocean Escape said...

Just been catching up. Great photos, as always, and write-ups and thanks for sharing the info above.

The more I read your blog and look at the pics of Talia the more convinced I am that a cat is the only way to go. I'm mainly torn between the Quest 33 or the Snowgoose 37. The Snowgoose seems to offer a little more headroom in the saloon, more weight-carrying capacity for longer voyages and higher average speeds, but with a cost penalty in terms of purchase price and upkeep costs. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts, and your longer-term plans.

Can't wait to start shopping for real in (hopefully) the not-too-distant future.

Mark said...

I think you have pretty much nailed the choices and compromises. Load carry capacity is key. Talia actually sails fairly well but too much wait and performance becomes dire. A bigger boat may more easily take the loads required for "grander" voyages than we have undertaken so far. But then I do so love fitting in to all those tiny harbous. Above a F4 the snowgoose should romp away from us - below that she has a lot more wetted area to contend with. Longer term plans - sail this for 4/5 year and see what we think then.We know we could easily live aboard Talia for 6 months (in a summer!) but a bigger boat and bigger load carrying capacity would enable more comfort. Our experience on Talia allows us to "assess" the good and bad points of cats we might consider for a RTW voyage.

Ocean Escape said...

'The good and bad points of cats - our experience so far' would be an excellent title for a new post. I'm just saying... ;-)

Mark said...

Article requests ! ;-) OK I will give it a go but it might have to wait until the winter as I am sailing/busy most of the other times.