Return from Sark

An evening in Sark is always memorable, we had a superb meal on the terrace at Stock’s Hotel and spent some time taking advantage of the Dark Sky Island status.  Staring of the night sky was very productive, shooting stars, satellites and aircraft passing overhead against the backdrop of countless stars.  We couldn’t spend too long looking at the night sky though, as our return from Sark the following morning, back to Jersey required quite an early start.
The morning dawned with perfect conditions for kayaking and just after 8.00 we were heading down to Dixcart Bay to pack the kayaks and get on the water.  Although a weekend visit to Sark is enjoyable, 3 days is much better.  A day to paddle up, a day to paddle around the island and a day to return from Sark.  The coastal waters are some of the most dramatic to be encountered anywhere.
This weekend we were only going to be able to explore a short section of the south east coast before we had to turn south and catch the tide back to Jersey.  The accepted wisdom has always been to paddle to Sark on spring tides, whilst this weekend they were neap tides.  In reality both crossings seemed to pass remarkably easily.  The 12 nautical mile return from Sark was paddled in 2 hours 50 minutes, which is a pretty respectable time, perhaps we need to rethink, which tides we select for paddling on when we visit our nearest inhabited neighbour.

Return from Sark
A welcoming sign on arrival in Sark. We spent some time the evening before gazing at sky and amazed by the sheer quantity of stars visible.
Return from Sark
Heading down the path from the campsite. An early morning start on the Sunday.
Return from Sark
Looking across Dixcart Bay and realizing we had perfect conditions for the return crossing to Jersey.
Return from Sark
We were lucky to have about 30 minutes to explore some of the many caves, which punctuate this section of coast.
Return from Sark
Paddling along the south east coast of Sark before we turned south towards Jersey.
Return from Sark
Jersey was a vague line on the horizon, 12 nautical miles away but conditions were perfect for the crossing.
Return from Sark
Arriving in Jersey. We made lanfall near Les Landes, and followed the coast south to L’Etacq.
Return from Sark
Landing back in Jersey, what was amazing was the clarity of the water. It was possible to sea the sea bed when several hundred metres offshore. Conditions were more like the Mediterranean than the English Channel.

Jersey North West Corner

The north west corner of Jersey offers some of the finest sea kayaking on the Island.  Tonight it was particularly beautiful, with the stunning light and calm seas.  A great Thursday night paddle with the Jersey Canoe Club.
 Heading north from Stinky Bay
 Le Pinacle viewed from the south.  A cave system cuts through this headland.
 Pete with the stunning north west face of Le Pinacle.
 Heading towards the Gun Cliffs.  The impact of the German occupation is clearly visible. 
 Alex heading into the bay to the north of Le Pinacle.
 Typical north west coast scenery.  The nearest land to our left is Newfoundland, this evening the North Atlantic is particularly quiet.
 Underneath La Nethe Falaise.  Even late on a May evening most of the cliff remains in shadow.  This is “The Black Cliff” in Jersey French.  It will have extra meaning for those readers who have an interest in the history of Welsh rock climbing.
 Just to the east of Grosnez, some superb rock climbing routes.
 Approaching Plemont Bay, a real gem.
 Time to head back to L’Etacq.
The moon passing close to the summit of Le Pinacle.  It is clear why there are Spring Tides at certain times of the month.