Bouley Bay

The forecast for the next few days is anything but favourable so we took advantage of today’s brief respite from the storms to get a paddle in, from Bouley Bay. Towards the north east of the island it is relatively sheltered from the strongest of the wind.

Bouley Bay
With a weather forecast like this it was obvious that today was the day to get on the water, if we wanted a reasonable paddle.

The most positive aspect of paddling at Bouley Bay, though is the gradient of the beach. Being relatively steep it means that the carry to the waters edge is always pretty short, this was certainly the case today as we only had a 4.7 metre tidal range. Although large compared to most places, for Jersey it was a small neap tide.
The plan was to head east towards Rozel, hopefully for coffee and cake at The Hungry Man before returning along the coast. A fairly easy 6 mile round trip, particularly when we added a slight detour towards Belle Hougue.
As with so many places, kayaking in Jersey is set against a backdrop of historical and geographical features.  The small pier, at Bouley Bay, was built by the States of Jersey in 1829, as a small harbour for the oyster fishermen, who mainly worked off the east coast of the Island.  The lack of flat land nearby prevented the development of a significant harbour in the area, although it was considered at times.
Heading east, if the tide was lower we would be able to see the remains of the Ribbledale, a cargo ship, which ran aground on the 27th December 1926, whilst en route to Jersey from London.  Today we just paddled over her remains whilst heading towards L’Etacquerel Fort.  Constructed in the 19th century to help defend the bay, it is now available for hire from Jersey Heritage, it is ideal for visiting groups.
From here we were carried on the tide towards Tour de Rozel, or White Rock.  The location of many happy hours paddling by members of the Jersey Canoe Club, but today we didn’t hang around, we had more important things on our mind, coffee and cake at The Hungry Man, in Rozel.  Fortunately for us it was open.
The return journey was slightly longer as we wanted to get an extra couple of miles towards the British Canoeing Winter Challenge.  A very plasant 3 hours out from Bouley Bay, made all the more worthwhile when the weather forecast was updated this evening and is now showing winds stronger than shown on the forecast above.  certainly a case of “seizing the day”.

Bouley Bay
Just to the east of Bouley Bay is L’Etacquerel Fort. Built in 1836 to help protect the bay it is now available for rent as basic residential accommodation from Jersey Heritage. Not easy to access by kayak, it is still a great place to stay.
Bouley Bay
It is always worth looking backwards, occasionally. This was the view as we left Bouley Bay this morning.
Rozel
The Hungry Man at Rozel is a Jersey institution. Hot Chocolate and fruit cake were the order of the day.
Bouley BAy
One of the most significant tidal races in Jersey develops off this headland at the start of the flood tide. We had missed the fastest moving water and so were able to work away around the headland back into Bouley Bay.
Bouley Bay
Paddling around White Rock against the last of the main flood tide. In the distance can be seen Belle Hougue, which was the furthest point we reached today, before heading back to Bouley Bay.

Southerly gales

The forecast for Wednesday was for southerly gales building during the course of the day, with the main impact being felt from about 15.00 onwards.  Wednesday is the day when we try to go on day trips so we didn’t want to give up to easily.  An option appeared to meet at Rozel, head west, use the tide, tuck in under the cliffs, eat our sandwiches and make a hasty retreat to the east before the full force of the gale struck.
What was a real surprise was the stunning November sunshine we enjoyed all day, it was only on the drive home, as the wind speed significantly increased that the cloud banks started to move in from the west.
Lunch was at Bonne Nuit, somewhere we hadn’t expected to reach when we set out from Rozel.  Possibly the most interesting incident during the day was an encounter with a grey seal, close to Bouley Bay.  The toggles on my Nordkapp are carved from reindeer antlers I collected on a trip to Svalbard in 1983.  Clearly they attracted the attention of the seal, which was attempting to lick the toggles, sadly it was the rear toggle it was interested in.  Meaning that it was difficult to see, let alone photograph.  Still a memorable encounter.

Southerly gales
Approaching Egypt. A delightful cottage between Bouley Bay and Bonne Nuit, which is looked after by Jersey Canoe Club.
Southerly gales
We weren’t certain that we would reach Bonne Nuit, but it was where we eventually had lunch.
La Crete Fort now available for holiday accommodation from Jersey Heritage. 4 of the 5 kayaks in the photographs are Nordkapps. 1 is a classic Nordkapp HM and 3 of the plastic variety.
Southerly gales
Approaching Belle Hougue from the west.
Southerly gales
Belle Hougue is the tallest headland on Jersey and today we appreciated being able to shelter from the southerly gales, under its cliffs.

First Paddle of the Year

First Paddle of the Year
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.

Tour de Rozel

Thursday’s large tide and stunning weather created ideal conditions for kayaking at Tour de Rozel.  The lack of wind and swell meant that the race didn’t really develop, it was just really fast moving moving water.  It is always difficult to estimate the speed of tidal flows but I estimated that it was about 8 knots, unfortunately the photographs don’t do justice to the speed at which the water was flowing.  What we do know was that it was a great way to spend a couple of hours after work.

Tour de Rozel
Tour de Rozel, when I was privileged to see the view from the rear door of a Hercules.
Tour de Rozel
Pete playing in the run. The water is moving from left to right.
Tour de Rozel
Andy making the most of the run. Belle Hougue is the large headland behind.
Tour de Rozel
Looking back towards the headland across the main tidal flow. Great conditions.