Another Bonne Nuit Sunday ( Remembrance Sunday)

It seems as if we have launched from Bonne Nuit fairly regularly over the last couple on months, which is not a problem as it is always enjoyable.  On reflection we have headed west every time, again not an issue as there is plenty of entertaining paddling along that stretch of coast.  Today though as is the tradition on Remembrance Day we headed east to land in front of the Jersey Canoe Club cottage at Egypt.
Although we were there to observe two minutes silence we still experienced a surprisingly varied paddle and only covered a total distance of 4 nautical miles.

Bonne Nuit
Bonne Nuit harbour was the departure point. The pier was built in 1872 and today provides shelter to a number of local craft. It is the finishing point for the annual Sark to Jersey Rowing race.
Bonne Nuit
From further away the harbour Bonne Nuits location under the highest land on the Island is apparent.
Bonne Nuit
Nicky passing just to east of La Crete Fort it was built in 1834 for the magnificent sum of £971. Today it is available for rent from Jersey Heritage. It sleeps 4 adults and a child under 11, when it was built it provided accommodation for 1 officer and 30 other ranks.
Belle Hougue
Belle Hougue is one of my favourite headlands and the waves which form seem just right for sea kayak surfing. Today we had missed the best of the spring tide but still spent an enjoyable 20 minutes playing in the tidal race.
Egypt
We landed on the small pebble beach in front of Egypt. There is an interesting history in this area, which has been described elsewhere but today we were coming to pay our respects on Remembrance Sunday.
Egypt
The 17 members of Jersey Canoe Club paid their respects in front of the monument which, commemorates Operation Hardtack, an allied landing into occupied Jersey at Christmas in 1943.
SBS
This nearby bench is inscribed “In appreciation of past and present members of the Special Boat Service”
Egypt
We did take time to explore the cottage at Egypt, which is looked after by the Canoe Club and is available to hire by its members. It is just a great place to wake up and have breakfast, sitting in the warm summer sunshine.
Belle Hougue
On the way back to Bonne Nuit we did practice rescues in what was left of the moving water off Belle Hougue. No photographic evidence though as I was busy swimming. The water was surprisingly warm, despite it being the second week of November.

Egypt is not only in Africa

On the north coast of Jersey, is a small cottage known as Wolf’s Lair, which is maintained by the Jersey Canoe Club.  It is located at Le Petit Port, a small rocky cove between Vicard Point and Belle Hougue.  The cottage is located in the trees just above the small cliffs and it must be the most isolated building in Jersey. Although there is a good path running down from the cliff top, the easiest access, particularly if carrying equipment is by kayak.
On a warm summers morning there can be few finer places in the Channel Islands where to eat breakfast prior to starting a days paddling. Although the built in the early part of the 19th Century it was in the 20th Century that the most interesting events have taken place in its vicinity.  During the Second World War it was the site of a landing by Allied troops on the night of 25th/26th December 1943.  Operation Hardtack was led by Captain Phillip Ayton. Without seeing any Germans during their brief visit the leader was seriously injured when he trod on a mine and he was to later die from his wounds.  A plaque commemorating the landing has been placed close to the entrance to the cottage.
The second dramatic event occurred in October 1964.  The Jersey based motor yacht, Maricelia, left St Malo for St Helier.  She was caught in storm force winds with a gust of over 90 knots in Jersey.  In terrible conditions, near to Corbiere, the crew were thrown into the water, only Alison Mitchell survived.  She was carried by the tidal streams and washed ashore in this little bay after nearly 20 hours in the water.  She then managed to struggle up to Lower Egypt Farm, an incredible feat of endurance, from where the alarm was raised.
Today’s visitors should have a much calmer experience in this quiet corner of Jersey, which has a special place in local sea kayaking.

Egypt
Approaching Belle Hougue on an overcast winters day. The cottage is just visible in the trees above the head of the paddler in the blue and white kayak. Generally sheltered from the worst of the winter storms we paddle in this area fairly regularly during the shorter days between November and February.
Egypt
Seen from the cliffs to the east. The cottage at Egypt is perfectly located to catch the early morning sunshine. There is an easy landing place but it is hidden by vegetation in this photograph.
Egypt
This memorial has appeared close to the cottage and on most Armistice Sundays members of the Jersey Canoe Club paddle here to observe two minutes silence.
Egypt
Another arrival in recent years is this bench which overlooks the memorial. The inscriptions says “In appreciation of past and present members of the Special Boat Service”.

When sea kayaking in this area of the north coast of Jersey it is important to be aware of the historical significance of this little corner of the Island.