Friday, July 24, 2009

Channel Islands Holiday - Part 13 - Homeward bound

We left Portbail in some "interesting" weather - there were breakers either side of the entrance channel and we were the first boat out of the harbour. With hindsight we were pushing it a little but knew we had to grab as much Northerly tide as possible. Once clear of the shoal, things settled down and we very nearly made it to Alderney. I knew it was going to be tight and we lost the tide as we entered the "Swinge". A very turbulent tidal channel between Alderney and Burhou - it was running so fast South that even with the engine on full revs we were barely making any ground. Eventually we clawed our way of the channel and made it back behind the breakwater for a quiet night. With some nasty depressions on the way we realised we needed to make a run for it the next day back to the Solent. We got some diesel in cans as soon as the chandlery was open (we were a bit low on fuel for a channel crossing) and went for it. We sailed nearly the whole way and made it back so quickly we arrived early for the tidal gate at Hurst Narrows - the en trace back into the Solent and so were once again motoring against the tide. But only for the very last bit of what was in general a very fast passage. We left at 10:00 in the morning and were all tied up in Yarmouth by 21:00. Even better the next day I went to pay my dues and due to a midweek offer week offer we were only charged £6.00 - result !

Got some nice shots of rainbows just South of the Isle of Wight on the channel crossing and once back in Southampton water I remembered exactly how busy a commercial port is - a bit of a shock after Alderney/Herm/Portbail etc !

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