Attracting canoeing and kayaking Club’s to paddle in Jersey has always proved a challenge. The concept of flying to a weekend’s paddling has been difficult to promote, although over the years Tower Hamlets Canoe Club have become annual visitors. This year at the Spanish Sea Kayak Symposium we fell into conversation with Jim Krawiecki and suggested that a group from Manchester flew south to warmer waters and experienced some of the paddling which Jersey has to offer.
After a quick paddle along the south coast yesterday using equipment courtesy of Absolute Adventures, today’ s focus switched to the north coast of the island. Meeting at St Catherine’s, were the Jersey Canoe Club has its premises, the plan was to head west on the ebbing Spring Tide before returning back to St Catherine’s as the tide started to flood. Along the way we hoped to be able to introduce the Manchester Canoe Club members to the delights of some of the Jersey tide races.
Remaining the tidal flow during the morning, we paddled from point to point, which meant that we were a significant distance offshore. The advantage was that our speed over the ground rarely dropped below 6 knots. St Catherine’s, La Coupe, Tour de Rozel and Belle Hougue, one point after another, passed quickly.
Lunch was on the beach at Bonne Nuit. The last of the ebb tide was still flowing west when we started our return paddle so we stayed close to the shore initially, passing things that we missed whilst heading in the opposite direction.
Our final play of the day was in the moving water at Tour de Rozel before we jumped on the tide and hitched a free ride back to St Catherine’s. Sprinting off La Coupe we managed to reach 8.3 knots over the ground, not a bad speed on what was supposed to be a relaxing days paddle, introducing some of the members of Manchester Canoe Club to the variety of sea kayaking that Jersey has to offer.
Today was one of those days when it would have been so easy to stay in bed or to go to the gym, but it was well worth making the effort to head out in to the rain. With strong winds from the south blowing the north coast was the only really viable option. Bouley Bay to Rozel and back. A good run out for my first paddle of the year.
Kate inside Rozel Harbour. Just about to head back.
Kate trying to get a bit of help from the following wind.
The north side of the harbour wall provided some shelter from the strong offshore wind.
Relaxing paddle back, not rushing as the thought of getting changed in the rain wasn’t too appealing
At times the rain was so heavy that it obscured the finer details of Bouley Bay.
Water was running down the road with some considerable force and then amazingly after we had tied the kayaks on the cars the rain stopped and we were able to get changed in the dry!
Water pouring down the steps and onto the beach had discoloured the sea.
After a Christmas break away from the Island it was good to get a quick paddle in today. The south easterly force 6-7, which was forecast, plus the rather large westerly swell reduced the options but Bouley Bay on the north coast seemed ideal for a couple of hours out on the water.
For the last paddle of the year it proved to be a pretty reasonable choice.
The small pier was constructed in 1828, although there had been earlier plans to construct a much larger harbour in the area. This project was dropped due to the lack of available flat land to build on.
The heavy rain of recent weeks has resulted in a few seasonal waterfalls appearing along this section of coast.
Alex approaching Tour de Rozel, the wind was pushing us along quite nicely.
Tour de Rozel is one of the iconic landmarks of the north coast of the Island. On the flood a delightful tide race develops, which has provided hundreds of hours of entertainment to local kayakers, over the years. Here are a few pictures taken 5 years ago.
Fort Leicester dominated the western side of the bay, rebuilt in 1835 it is now available for hire from Jersey Heritage, as a rather unique place to stay.