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    Re: Channel Islands
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2010 Nov 26, 20:40 -0000

    Andres wrote-
    "I'm really interested in hearing experiences of sailors in the Channel 
    Islands or �les Anglo-Normandes.
    Something about Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderney, The Minquiers or Chausey. 
    (See the charts).
     Perhaps Antoine or George H. sailed there.
    Yes. With my wife Joan, we've taken the Channel-Isles as part of the Summer 
    playground of our 8-metre sloop, most years since the early 70s, though no 
    longer since the millennium turned.
    Sometimes as a destination in itself, or in the days when that was 
    important, to collect duty-free booze. Alderney is only a day's sail from 
    our home-port of Poole. More usually, as a stepping-stone to the delights 
    of Brittany, or other parts of the West Coast of France.
    We've become very familiar with visiting (or sometimes avoiding) all the 
    islands Andres mentions. Usually we choose anchorages rather than marinas.
    Antoine describes it well. It's the enormous tidal range, 40 feet and more, 
    that gives the Channel Isles (with the rest of the Baie de Mont St. Michel) 
    their special spice. (I've never sailed in the tideless Med, but by 
    comparison it must be very boring.) You can find yourself sailing over a 
    patch that dries 25 ft or so, and working out whether there's enough rise 
    for your keel to clear. Or you can be doing 5 knots through the water, but 
    12 knots over the ground, in the Alderney race (which the French aptly name 
    the Raz Blanchard, the washerwoman's race). The tide dominates everything 
    you do.
    As with other parts of that French coast, you sometimes have to cut through 
    narrow channels between pinnacle rocks, which the tide often sluicing 
    diagonally across your path. A real hazard is Summer fog; I've lost count 
    of the number of days stuck in St Peter Port, waiting for a clearance with 
    the siren blaring away. Never visit that area if your time-schedule is 
    Only in the last couple of years did we have GPS, and we have never had a 
    Decca receiver. Mostly done by seat-of-the pants, old-fashioned, 
    navigational chartwork, together with those beloved, long-departed RDF 
    I don't know what sort of information Andres is seeking, but I am happy to 
    help where I can. As it's a bit parochial for most Navlist users, I wonder 
    if we should take the discussion off-list? If anyone else shows an 
    interest, I'm happy to continue on-list. Whatever suits best.
    Yours, George.
    contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK. 

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