Jersey, the Channel Islands 10.7. – 14.7.
After outstanding visit to Guernsey we were eagerly waiting the visit to Jersey. After all who would not have watched the Bergerac on TV in the 80s and we were just about to arrive at the prime scene.
We passed the commercial harbour and were waiting for somebody to meet us like in Guernsey. However there was nobody and water was still too low for entering the marina. Overall there were about twenty boats at the waiting pontoon and Suwena was made fast alongside the French sailing school boat. Other rafts were already much bigger. Our neighbour boat is continuing in the morning and it was a good place for us to wait the opening of the marina sill at midnight.
Andrus went to reconnaissance trip for looking at the marina pontoons and returned with a grim face. The marina was quite full and boats were rafted all over the place. In addition most rafts were made from boats of different sizes. Here and there were also "No mooring" signs, however there were boats moored at these berths as well. The marina office was equally unhelpful, their only advice was the opening time of the sill and the price of the berth.
Three more boats rafted alongside Suwena during the night. To our surprise none of them planned entering the marina. We started preparing Suwena for sill opening around half an hour before the midnight. The lines were rearranged for getting Suwena out from the middle of the raft. It can really be seen that the rafting up is very mundane activity here. Releasing our lines and rebuilding the raft was totally painless and without any drama, indeed.
Again we were surprised by no boats were departing the marina and only a few other boats were waiting for entering with us. It was already dark and Andrus was not in the mood for close quarters manoeuvring in the cramped marina and so we moored her into the first hammerhead after the entrance sill. In principle the mooring there is forbidden as it is almost at the front of the entrance. Well, there were no harbour staff and it would be much easier to change the berth in a daylight anyhow. Also the pontoon gates were already locked and we had no code. It was time to get to sleep and see what happens in the morning with fresh eyes.
In the morning we were greeted by more surprises. First of all the harbour boy was not at all interested in our location as long as we had paid the harbour fees. Secondly was the electric socket which was 32A model that we had no adapter for. Fortunately we could borrow one from the marina office. The best surprise was that next to Suwena was a boat we knew, Sweet Surrender. Previously we had met in the Cruising Association rally in the river Orwell on our way from the east coast of England towards Scotland.
The town of Saint Helier was charming. Just the surroundings of the harbour are rather commercial. The weather was windy and rainy during our stay in Jersey. We passed time by socialising with the crews of neighbour boats and whenever there was a break from the rain we made short walking trips in surrounding areas. We left with the feeling that we have nearly seen nothing of Jersey and hopefully we’ll return some day.