For many sea kayakers their first open crossing can be quite a daunting prospecting, cutting the tie with the shore and heading away from the security of the land requires a different approach to when you are just paddling parallel to the shore.
For many Jersey sea paddlers their first visit offshore is to the Paternosters reef which is nearly 3 miles off the north coast of Jersey. 3 miles isn’t that far but when combined with cross tides up to 5 knots an the exposure to the Atlantic swell it becomes a bit more challenging than your average paddle.
At high water landing can be a problem, if not impossible, if there is any swell but as the tide drops a number of sheltered lagoons are uncovered which allow access to the reef.
I first paddled to the Paternosters in early 1979 and every year since I have visited on a number of occasions but have never encountered any other people on the reef, it really is the ideal place to get away from the crowds in Jersey.
Peter Wrigglesworth arriving at the Paternoster’s after a crossing from Greve de Lecq. The rock is gneiss, a metamorphosed granite which isn’t found anywhere else in Jersey.
One of the great aspects of the Paternosters is that it is the site of one of the best jumps in the Channel Islands. John Richardson and myself are taking full advantage of the warm water.
A few sea kayaks on the reef on a bitterly cold January day. There was ice on the beach when we left and it was still there when we arrived back a few hours later.
At low water rocks and boulders are uncovered with a few isolated sheltered lagoons. At high water just a few isolated heads are exposed generally catching the full force of the North Atlantic swell.
Looking back towards the north west corner of Jersey. The island looks like distant in these conditions.
Heading south towards Greve de Lecq, on sunny days it is always difficult to identify specific locations due to the angle of the sun.