Whenever there is a period of north easterly winds my mind immediately starts to think about sea kayaking along the cliffs of the north west corner of Jersey, particularly those around Les Landes. Direct exposure to the North Atlantic swell means that at certain times of the year the paddling opportunities in this area are somewhat restricted, but when the swell drops, head to the north west for some of the best kayaking in Jersey.
Although Sunday morning is the usual paddling time for the Jersey Canoe Club, it seemed like too good an oppportunity to miss so we put on an extra session on Saturday morning. We had anticipated being sheltered from the easterly wind but in reality it appeared to be following the contours of the land, resulting in almost no respite. I suppose these things are sent to try us.
Our morning paddle actually proved to be quite entertaining. A slight wind blown chop kept us on our toes but the lack of swell meant we were able to paddle wherever we liked. Caves I probably hadn’t paddled into for 5 or 6 years revealed their secrets whilst we were surrounded by history.
The most recent is the evidence of 20th century German occupation, with guns at the base of the cliffs and bunkers above. Grosnez Castle, a ruined 14th century castle, which was occupied by the French in 1373 and 1381 was visible above our most northerly point. Whilst the oldest features were at the base of Le Pinacle, early Neolithic finds dating back to 4800BC as well as Roman from 200AD.
What is there not like about a Saturday morning with some great paddling set against a varied historical backdrop, followed by a lovely lunch at Jersey Pearl. I can’t wait for the next lull in the North Atlantic swell.
Underneath Grosnez there is this delightful circular inlet, which is normally a boiling cauldron. Today we were able to relax and enjoy the rock architecture.