The season is finally underway - first stop familiar grounds of The Channel Islands. 

160513 3 Does it fit160514 1 Leaving Hamble early morning start with Tom

Well not for want of trying and a huge effort by everyone involved our dinghy was finally delivered on the Friday evening at 8pm. Though our new rollers to make getting her in and out are still to arrive - they are now being hand delivered to St Malo as the creator and perfectionist Mike was not happy with what he was able to complete in time. We will be happy to catch up with Mike in France so the wait will be worth the company. 

The dinghy has simply put a smile on everyones face. It is everything and more then we had hoped. It fits perfectly in the garage with not an inch spare. Zips through the water with speed and balance. Its simply just oh so comfortable, secure easy for Lee to drive and manoeuvre and we can fit the groceries in without effort. Guessing you are getting the jyst that we are truly pleased with our purchase - and it even looks good. 

160515 2 High St Guernsey

With the dinghy secured we headed out early on Saturday 19th for Guernsey to make the most of the winds that we knew were currently blowing in the right direction but due to die out by mid afternoon. Tom Maxwell was onboard with us having arrived earlier in the week and waiting ever patiently for us to go sailing. Sail we did with the A1 until the winds simply gave up. Not only were they totally from behind but simply too light to continue to play with particularly given that we were fighting in the end up to 3knots of tide against us.

160515 7 Coastal walk for lunch at Fermain Bay with Stine and Richard

Guernsey is part of The Channel Islands, an archipelago situated in the English Channel off the French Normandy Coastline. We were last in the capital of Guernsey St Peters Port in mid April of 2015 before we headed north up the English Channel. St Peters Port is a pretty harbour to stay in with the Castle Cornet overlooking the entrance and the colourful buildings lining the harbour. An added bonus this year was the addition of pontoons linked to the shore. For the first few days we were on an outer pontoon and had to use our dinghy which brought a smile to our faces before relocating to the inner pontoons making getting to shore a task just for the legs. Tom unfortunately had to leave us on the Sunday to return to Silverstone for his Formula 3 race preparation commitments but he did get a short stroll through the High St of Guernsey and a chance to appreciate a little of its history before boarding the ferry for Jersey from where he was to catch a plane home. For us the Sunday turned out to be perfect weather to join Richard and Stine Holmes on a short coastal walk to Fermin Bay where a superb scallop salad was indulged in before walking back to the harbour. 

160518 1 Longueville House160518 9 Nigel Mansell at his Formula 1 and Indy Car Museum

Typical of neighbouring islands there exists a small amount of rivalry as to which of the two main islands is better Guernsey or Jersey. So in fairness we left Katherine in harbour jumped onboard the Condor Ferry on the Monday and headed to Jersey to take a look. Monday afternoon was spend driving the coastline of Jersey, zigzagging through farmland in the centre where Jersey Royals seemed to be the crop of the day. Overnight we lodged at Longueville Manor just out of the main harbour of St Hellier. Longueville Manor is a refurbished jersey manor that began its history as a hotel after being purchased in 1948 and undergoing major refurbishment as it had fallen into disrepair following the German occupation. A real last minute find for accomodation it proved to be a highlight of our stay in Jersey. The restaurant offered a superb dining experience with meticulous attention to detail by the staff. Surrounding the hotel are 18 acres of gardens and woodlands to explore. We managed to view The Kitchen Garden before retreating to the car as the weather became rather inclement. 

160517 4 La Rocque Harbour Jersey

With a few hours up our sleeve before needing to reboard the ferry from Jersey back to Guernsey we stopped in at the Nigel Mansell Museum. Nigel Mansell was a British Formula One and later Indy Car racer. World Champion F1 in 1992 and Indy Car in 1993 he is a legend in his sport. The museum was really well presented with a voice commentary talking you through the various display cases and of course the cars. A highlight of the visit was the unexpected meeting with Nigel who runs the Mitsubishi dealership where the museum is housed. 

Now as to our opinion Guenersey versus Jersey. Cant compare. We were happy we left Katherine in St Peters Port as the view and ambience of the harbour far out does St Hellier. Jersey does however have some simply stunning scenery along its coastline. Think both places are well worth a visit. 

A final night in Guernsey saw us catch up with Phil Babbe and his wife Annette onboard Katherine.

Then it was time to move on - heading for St Malo France. 


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© SV Katherine 2017      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Faro Portugal with Askari of Australia