After a relaxing couple of days in Cherbourg, the rally awoke Monday morning feeling refreshed and relaxed.The sea state resembled a mill pond and the winds were light, to the relief of many of the crew who suffered seasickness during their passage from Gosport to Cherbourg. A couple of spinnakers appeared and Clare from World Cruising Club captured some excellent pictures. It didn’t take long before sightings of dolphins were heard over the radio. “We have a pod of 7 dolphins coming towards our bow” (Doodles of Hamble).
The sail through the Alderney Race was helped somewhat by the charm conditions, making for a different experience of the Alderney Race than some had imagined. The rest of the day involved sunbathing, dolphin spotting, gannet watching and a lot more motoring watching the beauty of the Channel Islands go by. Arrival in to Guernsey was a quick and efficient experience. The berthing masters approach each yacht to provide them with berthing instructions and customs forms. The marina is very busy throughout most of the summer and the rally rafted 5 deep on the walk ashore pontoons. An evening pontoon party was planned however due to many of the fleet being rafted alongside each other, it was decided that the party would be spread out between Doodle of Hamble, and Tessa Jane. Participants took the opportunity to pass around a birthday card for Karen from Matakana Blue who had a great day on the water celebrating her birthday.
On Tuesday participants were free to explore the island. Many of the fleet decided to walk around St Peters Port sampling local eateries, museums, and the quant cobbled streets. In the evening it was time to celebrate once again, this time for Ian from Reflections birthday. The fleet gathered on the terrace of Guernsey Yacht club with spectacular views over the harbour and beyond.
The final full day in Guernsey started with a coach trip around the island. With stops along the way at the German Underground Hospital, and Little Chapel. The largest construction in the Channel Islands at 7,000 square metres, the underground hospital was hewn out of solid rock by slave workers who had been captured by German forces during the occupation of the island during World War Two. The tour then took crew up to Plienmount point where blue skies and sunshine were met with beautiful views over the west coast of the island, followed by a stop at the Guernsey Pearl for coffee and lunch overlooking the rocky bays.
Today the rally will depart for Alderney which will be the last stop before departing back to Gosport. Conditions look good with S/W winds and participants are hoping for yet another perfect days sailing.