A few pictures of sea kayaking around the Channel Islands, mostly from about 30 years ago or slightly older. The difference in shape of the images is because the earlier ones were taken with a Kodak Instamatic camera (remember those?) before I had a job which paid enough money to be able to buy a 35mm camera.
In all the time that we spent paddling around the Channel Islands in the 1970’s and 80’s I don’t think we ever bumped into any other sea kayakers, it really did feel like an era of exploration.
Herm, is a delightful island, which lies several miles to the east of Guernsey across an interesting section of water, the Little Russel. Today is almost perfect conditions we were able to explore, not just the coast of Herm but the fascinating reefs to the north. A memorable paddle for the beginning of October. There were very strong tidal streams flowing in the Little Russel, which tested the groups navigational awareness and our moving water skills.
Thankfully there was virtually no wind so we just had to focus on the moving water as we crossed to what is an absolute delightful destination at any time of the year.
Jim just off La Rosiere Steps on Herm. Once we arrived here we knew that we were out of the strongest tidal flow and we could relax to a certain extent.
Lunch spot on the north east corner of Herm.
Laurie off Shell Beach. The Humps are visible to the north. It is hard to believe that it is the fist weekend in October with conditions like this.
Approaching Godin. This small island is the largest of the Humps, a fascinating area to explore to the north of Herm.
There are plenty of distinctive navigation beacons around Guernsey and Tautenay is no exception. It provided a convenient resting place whilst crossing the Little Russel, back to Bordeaux.
Tidal diamonds are invaluable sources of information in relation to the speed and direction of tidal streams. They are essential when working out bearings to follow on a crossing, by drawing tidal vectors.Whilst away on a paddling trip earlier this year I came across, what must be an almost unique tidal diamond?It is Tidal Diamond C on Admiralty Chart 808, East Guernsey, Herm and Sark.
The first observation is that the streams only flow in two directions, exactly opposite each other.The tide is flowing approximately SSW and then it changes abruptly and goes NNE.An exact 180° change.
Something else to note is that maximum rate occurs at high and low water, with slack water, if it can be called that, occurring at mid tide.Many a sea kayaker and other water users have been caught unawares because they assume that maximum rate must occur at mid tide and have set out to cross the Little Russel on what they thought was high water slack.
The advice is to always double check your data and to keep your eyes open for interesting and possibly unique items of information as shown by this tidal diamond.