North Coast Speed

2019 sees some particularly large Spring Tides, offering the opportunity for some rather exciting kayaking.  The February tides coincided with a large swell, which presented its own challenges.  The swell certainly created some interest during the course of the day but at least the decision to leave from Archirondel meant that we had a relatively quite start and finish to our paddle of north coast speed.
We paddled past the distinctive red and white tower, built in 1792 before hitting the main flow of the ebbing tide.  We were on our way.

North Coast Speed
Due to the size of the swell we launch from Archirondel, a beach which we don’t use that often. Perhaps we should because it was easy launching and landing.

Our target for lunch was a small beach just to the east of Ronez, we knew that we would be able to land there almost regardless of the size of the swell.  In fact we had eaten there a few weeks previously on another day with a large swell.  We arrived off Ronez in less than 2 hours.  So the options were a 3 hour lunch break, whilst we waited for the tide to turn, or head a bit further along the coast.  We chose the second option and carried on towards Plemont, the next place we knew for certain we could land.

North coast speed
The closest headland was our target for lunch, the reality was eating at the distant one. This was a result of the speed we were traveling at.
North Coast Speed
We stopped for lunch on a small sandy beach on the eastern side of Plemont headland. Due to the size of the swell this was the only suitable location along this section of coast.
Le Mourier Valley
Rachel off Le Mourier Valley. We couldn’t approach much closer to the coast because of the occasional large swell, which would sweep into the bay.
From Sorel we started to pick up the flood tide, and accelerated along the north coast of Jersey.
North coast speed
Belle Hougue, the tallest headland in Jersey. We were certainly moving fast at this stage.
North Coast Speed
Jim breaking into the tidal flow at Tour de Rozel, one of the best tide races on the Island.

As we left Tour de Rozel, the influence of a large spring tide, was having a distinct impact.  The figures on the GPS, were gradually creeping upwards.  As we approached La Coupe, the north east corner of the Island we touched just over 10 knots, fairly surprising as we weren’t putting too much effort into our forward paddling.
The tide swept us onto St Catherine’s and into Archirondel.  We have covered 24 nautical miles during the day but I can’t remember a time when a paddle of that distance had felt so easy.