After a Skippers’ Briefing on Monday evening rally crews were all ready for their crossing to Jersey yesterday morning. With Westerly winds forecast, an array of different coloured downwind sails started to be prepared ready for the leg ahead. At 12 noon, as the gun sounded, Sun Kosi slipped their lines and reversed out between the rafts. The fleet then followed in turn, Darryl and his crew made the decision to turn Fenris, a Calypso 42, sideways so they could come out forward, a very sensible choice given the small space and wind direction.
Out of the harbour and a low mist started to come in, giving everyone a great opportunity to see the ferries appear out of the fog. Once lifted the boats were set for a fabulous sail with a 10-15 knot WNW wind pushing them gently to Jersey. The downwind sails were all flown, with SunKosi managing to read 10 knots boat speed as they surfed down the waves. Arriving along the coast of Jersey was interesting experience, at points there were rocks either side as they sailed towards the entrance to St Helier.
As is now tradition on the ARC Channel Islands the lead boat enjoyed afternoon tea of homemade scones and fresh Guernsey cream, as they motored into St Helier harbour!
Once inside the harbour it was clear how busy the marina would be. With rafts of 6-7 boats the fleet found a spot next to another yacht on the pontoon and rafted out. Once the marina gate was open, the almost military operation started, with boats mid raft leaving to go into the marina, there were at least 10-15 boat milling around waiting to be given their instruction. Once the majority of boats had moved the operation began to slip the boat on the inside of our raft so they could enter the marina. With careful line handling they managed to slip out and the rest if the raft was pulled towards the marina. A new experience for a lot of the crew. With shore lines attached across the raft of 6 crews headed off to their various dinner reservations.
The participants have got a day to explore and enjoy Jersey today, with a couple taking part in the optional seabed walk out to Seymour Tower.