The Channel Islands a hidden treasure

It doesn’t get any better

Sailing along the Normandy and Breton coasts and to the Channel Islands is a dream for every sea sailor.

There is no better place in Europe to learn to navigate, to enter ports with sometimes eleven meters of tidal difference. An area where the current is king. World famous is the Alderney Race, a strait that runs between Alderney and Cap de la Hague. The current varying with the tide, and can run up to about 12 knots (22 km/h) during equinoctial tides.

Wind strength and direction are of much less importance here. The current determines whether you reach your goal.

There are also harbours, such as the place at Carteret, where you can see the harbor from the sea, at low tide, ‘far’ inland, like a ‘swimming pool in the landscape’, as if you could only get there by land.

Here you have to calculate exactly when you can sail over the sill at the harbor entrance with high water and also when you can leave again!

On this trip we depart from Cherbourg, Port Chantereyne. An impressive harbour, where major races start and finish, such as the Fastnet Race. Port Chantereyne has played an important role in the history of Cherbourg. In the Middle Ages, Cherbourg was an important trading port, and the construction of the port began in the 17th century, during the reign of Louis XIV, as part of his plan to strengthen France’s naval power.

Depending on wind and current, we will sail along the Normandy coast towards St. Malo, or start with a visit to Alderney. One of a group of islands, The Channel Islands, located between the coasts of France and the United Kingdom. They offer some of the most beautiful and diverse sailing waters in the world.

After Alderney we will visit Geurnsey, which is the second largest of the Channel Islands. Guernsey has a beautiful coastline with sandy beaches, stunning cliffs, and clear blue waters. The island is also home to several historic sites, including St. Peter Port, a bustling harbor town with a picturesque harbor and a variety of shops and restaurants.

From Guernsey, we will sail to the smaller island of Sark, which is known for its beautiful scenery and relaxed atmosphere. The island has no cars and is only accessible by boat, so it offers a unique and peaceful experience for sailors. While on Sark, you might explore the island’s beautiful bays and coves, or hike along its rugged coastline. Continuing our plan we will visit the island of Jersey, which is the largest of the Channel Islands.

 

London channel crossing
Mont Saint Michel

After exploring the Channel Islands we will sail to the Brehat archipelago, located off the coast of Brittany in northern France. Brehat is a group of islands and islets that are known for their rugged coastline and beautiful beaches. Sailing up the river du Trieux until the village Lezardieux can also be an option.

If we sail back along the coast to Cherbourg, the ports of St.Malo, Cancale or Granville are an absolute must. If only to eat delicious oysters and see the famous Mont Saint Michel in the distance.

A real navigation challenge is Iles Chausey, off the coast of Granville. The archipelago is composed of about 365 islands at low tide, and only 52 at high tide. The largest island, Grande Ile, is only about 1.5 km long and 500 meters wide, but it has a rich history and cultural heritage. The island was inhabited by Breton and Norman fishermen for centuries, and it was also a popular hideout for pirates.

Overall, sailing with us at the Channel Islands and French coasts of Normandy and Breton coasts  is a fantastic way to explore this beautiful part of the world. With careful planning, you’re sure to have a memorable sailing experience.

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