December at the Ecrehous

Located nearly 6 nautical miles north east of Jersey is a little bit of heaven known as the Ecrehous. In the summer months they attract numerous visitors from Jersey and France as well as further afield. On some visits I have seen in excess of 50 boats at anchor in the vicinity of the reef. Today though there were just two boats at anchor and Andy myself were the only people ashore.
The anti-cyclonic gloom didn’t create a particularly photogenic day but it was great to get out on the water again and even better to visit this remote corner of the Baliwick of Jersey in December.
Sovereignty of the reef was granted to Jersey on the 17 November 1953 although the reef was “invaded” twice in the 1990’s by Normans. The coast of France is just over 6 miles to the east. Over the last few years they have become more and more popular and it is a rare day indeed when you have the reef yourself.
Today was the 132nd time that I have kayaked to the reef over the years and I am as excited today when I approach the reef as I was when I first paddled here at the end of August 1974. In my view and in the view of many other experienced kayakers a trip to the Ecrehous is one of the finest one day paddles in the world.
All paddlers who visit Jersey should attempt to visit this fascinating archipelago.

Arriving off Marmotier at high water. The lack of a flag indicates the lack of residents.
Andy drifting backwards to play in the small race on the east of the reef. The coast of Normandy is visible behind.
This beach can really only be used for landing during the winter months.
The shingle bank, just after high water.
The classic Ecrehous view. In the summer months there would several boats visible.
Looking along the north coast of the island as we approach Jersey. The buildings are around the small harbour at Rozel and the closest headland is Tour de Rozel, possibly the best white water playspot on the island.