Captain's log, star date 7 June 2013 - Alkira in the Channel Islands 49 27.9N 02 27.3W

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Fri 7 Jun 2013 09:48
We spent a long weekend in Maidstone with Matt & James before heading back home to once again put the cottage and the car to bed.  The hire car arrived Wednesday morning of the 29th.   We loaded up and set off to Mylor arriving around 5.30 p.m.  The wind was still blowing strongly, which seems to have been the case ever since we arrived in Mylor in April, we
just needed it to turn to a favourable direction for our first destination, which we decided would be Guernsey in the Chanel Islands.  We still had plenty of jobs to be done and with no time to waste, we dug deep and hoped we would be ready for our Sunday departure, optimistic of good weather and the forecasters predicting good north easterly winds which meant we'd finally get a chance to set the sails and see how Alkira sailed.

Hooray, the final fling of things have been done and at long last, we leave Mylor in Cornwall and look forward to the Channel Islands.
James, youngest son, joined us on Friday and will spend a week with us.  As we've seen so little of him over the past two and a half years, it'll be lovely to have him with us for a few days.

Saturday dawned with beautiful blue skies but as ever, a strong and rather cold wind was blowing.  To save time on Sunday morning,  we decided that we'd move out of Mylor Saturday evening around to St Mawes, that way we'd be ready for an early start come Sunday morning.  

Sunday dawned with clear skies, but where was the wind?  Wouldn't you just know it, for the first time in weeks, it was unbelievably calm and only a gentle breeze could be felt.  Still, it might pick up a bit later on, surely, wouldn't it?  We dropped our mooring around 6.15 a.m. and set a course for Guernsey.  The day got warmer and the wind dropped completely, we were in mill pond conditions for virtually the whole of the crossing.  The sails were put away shortly after leaving St Mawes and there was nothing else for it but to motor - the whole way!  We couldn't believe it, NO WIND ... the one day we really wanted it!  We finally arrived in St Peter Port around 11.30 p.m. rather weary and fell into our lovely comfortable beds around midnight.

Monday morning brought more blue skies and surprise, surprise, a force 5-6 wind.  Does someone 'up there' know I don't like lumpy conditions on long passages and was that a message from him yesterday to say "he'd" been listening?

We had a lazy start on Monday, which included receiving a couple of visitors, one of whom had been the previous (shared) owner of Alkira who had sailed her down to the Mediterranean a few years ago, small world isn't it?  We went ashore around midday for a stroll through the lovely old town of St Peter Port; it's been several years since we were last here and it was so nice to see the town is as delightful as we'd remembered it to be.  Guernsey ranks high in my top ten of favourite places in the world.   

Yet another surprise was in store for us when, walking back from the town, past one of the marinas, I spotted a familiar small yacht named Freya.  Good heavens, could it really be the yacht we had owned several years ago?  Darned right it was.  Obviously we had to walk down to see her and how nice to meet up with Martin who'd bought her from us some 8 years or so ago.  The world shrunk a little bit more.  It was great to see Freya looking so good, although she seemed somewhat smaller than we remembered.  Her present owner is treating her well, she meant a lot to us and we have very happy memories of our times on board.  We were back on Alkira around 4 pm all feeling rather weary, but yesterday was a very long day, so after spending a quiet afternoon tinkering, we decided an early night was required.  

More blue skies are forecast for Tuesday but cold winds too, so James and I have planned to go for another stroll in the morning and after lunch, when the tide is right, we plan to sail to the delightful island of Sark, no great distance, but well worth visiting.  There are no cars or "real" roads on Sark, just a tractor or two, otherwise you either walk or cycle.  We'll drop anchor and laze,  if anyone wants to go ashore, it's a long climb up many steps from the beach to the top of the cliff but a pleasant walk awaits.

A lovely evening spent on board, eating, wining and dining, but early to bed as all this fresh air completely knocks us out! Into Guernsey again tomorrow to do a little more shopping and await the arrival of Ann later in the afternoon.

Ann arrived at 4.30 p.m. and we spend a pleasant evening alongside in Guernsey marina.

Thursday morning and the sky is clear blue, still a chilly north easterly wind but very pleasant nevertheless.  Charlie stayed on board to continue working his way through the list of things to be done and Jamie headed off into the town to find a gift for girlfriend Kirsty.  Ann and I head of for the supermarket, via various 'boutique shops' and stopping off for a necessary cup of coffee.  Taxi back to boat.  Jamie comes out to the pontoon to pick us up and we take everything back on board, we are now well stocked up with provisions.  Charlie takes us ashore and comes alongside the pontoon 'badly', Ann unexpectedly goes swimming... Funniest thing ever, why oh why didn't I have my camera rolling?  A French man hurries to her aid, yelling, photo, photo! I am helpless with laughter although busy trying to grab her handbag as she has her camera, telephone etc., in it.  Handbag is saved and Ann promptly goes in up to her neck.  Three men haul her out - the hussy!!!  Bag saved, shoes recovered and hasty trip back to the boat to get changed.  Priceless ... at 8pm we're still laughing about it.

Left Guernsey around  2.30pm and motored over to the island of Herm.  Found a lovely anchorage and settled in for the remainder of the day.  James caught mackerel and we enjoyed G & T's followed by a good bottle of wine with dinner.  Lovely sunny evening and sat in the cockpit sheltered from the wind, turned in early as all tired.

We need to head back to Guernsey Friday morning to drop James off in the town, sadly it's time for him to go home.  We shall miss him so much but it's been lovely to have him with us this past week.  Goodness only knows what awaits us with Ann on board?   As of the 11th, Charlie's sister Lottie joins us, who is even more prone to things happening!  Watch this space...