The coastline of Jersey offers a variety of paddling opportunities at a range of different levels. There are a number of preferred departure points, which are described in anti-clockwise direction, starting from St Brelade’s in the south west. For each location information is given on parking, refreshments, possible paddles, tidal flows and any relevant historical and geographical information.
Paddling around the Island from headland to headland, leaving from Corbiere, is a distance of 29 nautical miles but within this short distance there is a life time of kayaking waiting to be discovered. I started paddling in Jersey in 1969 but still enjoy every time that I get on the water and particularly enjoy sharing the coastal waters with visitors to our beautiful island.
For the person visiting the Island the key source of information is Visit Jersey, the website of Jersey Tourism. Clearly if you are a sea kayaker visiting the island another source of useful information is the Jersey Canoe Club. The members of the Club are out on the water several times each week throughout the year and welcome new locals and visitors alike.
Transport: If you are bringing your own kayak the only option is to arrive on Condor Ferries. They operate fast ferries from Poole in England and St Malo in France whilst a traditional ferry crosses from Portsmouth.
If you are visiting for the weekend the only real option is fly and then rent or borrow a kayak. There are regular flights from many UK airports with the main airlines being British Airways, easyJet and Flybe.
Accommodation: As you would expect on a popular tourist island there is a wide range of accommodation options. From top hotels to camp sites. Some of the more unusual places to stay are some refurbished buildings, mainly military in origin, which are available to book with Jersey Heritage.
There are numerous sources of weather forecasts but the first port of call for the majority of sea kayakers in the area is Jersey Met. There is a significant amount of information on their site including tide times.
St Helier is the Standard Port for the Channel Islands and tide tables are available from a number of sources including the local newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post. What often catches people out when visiting Jersey for the first time is the size of the tide. On the bigger Spring Tides the tidal range can reach 12 metres. Clearly with this amount of water moving there will be significant tidal flows, particularly off the headlands.