Sark – again

The summer seems to have flown past in a haze of excellent sea kayaking The Channel Islands experienced week after week of warm settled weather and so the paddling opportunities have been endless.
One of the most memorable trips was to Sark, that unique island which lies approximately 12 miles north of Jersey. Stunning coastal scenery, entertaining tidal streams reaching 8 knots in places and fascinating history combine to produce a unique destination.
Sark viewed from about 4 miles to the south, details of the coastline are starting to emerge. In the distance behind are the smaller islands of Herm and Jethou.
The 11 nautical mile crossing is almost over. The small island of L’Etac de Sark is just in front of my kayak. All that remains to make landfall is a final ferry glide across the inshore tidal streams.
Dixcart Bay, our final destination for the day. All that remained was the long walk up the hill to the campsite. What was surprising was not the number of yachts at anchor but the number which were Dutch.
La Coupee, the narrow isthmus of land which joins Little Sark to the rest of the island. This road was rebuilt after the occupation by German prisoners of war under the direction of the Royal Engineers. Either side the land falls away steeply for several hundred feet.
Last winter saw a major rock fall which has prevented access to one of the islands most popular beaches, La Grande Greve.
Sark is one of those places which is full of surprises, including this old prison which was reputed to be the smallest in the world.

If Sark has not featured in your kayak plans in the past it is a destination which is well worth considering for 2011, combined with a visit to some other of the Channel Islands.