Welcome

Welcome to my blog. Here you will find the journeys of Ti Gtu and information that I have researched and found useful for maintaining and servicing yachts and motorboats.

I post full information that I find on the Fay Marine information site, accessed through www.faymarine.com/ and I can be emailed at paul@faymarine.com.



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Happy sailing,



Paul Fay



Monday, 10 September 2018

Portland and East


A few days were spent in Portland where it did blow fairly strong for most of the time but on one day when it was calm we went ashore and took the bus to Weymouth and then on to Dorchester. There is a museum there showing the history of the Egyptian Pharaoh 'Tutencarmun' which is well worth a visit but rather expensive.

After Portland Ti Gitu sailed along to Swanage which along with Studland bay were pleasantly free of swell, apart from the motor boats. Swanage is really 'kiss me quick' being devoted to beach holidays but strolling into the further reaches shows a town built of what I guess is Portland stone.

Next was into Poole where we anchored in Stone Island Lake. There is one small area where Ti Gitu can stay afloat at 1.5 meters draft, even on spring tides and we can go ashore to the very kind 'Shell Bay Marine' and take the bus and ferry towards Poole and Bournemouth towns.

We were going to go to Yarmouth again but I noticed that it is possible to go up the Medina River into Newport the capital of the Isle of White so to avoid the strong currents in the entrance to Poole we went and anchored in Studland overnight and left early the next morning having a good sail to the Needles and then along to Cowes and up the river to Newport.



Alongside in Newport. It dries to fairly level mud.
The river totally dries but the bottom is reasonably flat so Ti Gitu dried out just leaning slightly away from the pontoon. There is electricity and water available and all at a very reasonable price. We decided to stay for a few days and visited Osborne House, actually a holiday cottage for Queen Victoria. They had so much 'stuff' in the house, real hoarder's, I would hate to have to keep it all clean.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Sark again and then North.


After the bad weather we left fairly early and headed from St peter Port over to Sark again. This time there were no other boats in Creux harbour and we went alongside the wall. That in itself is intresting as the rise and fall of tide is high. Long ropes are needed. The bottom slopes slightly but not too much.




Alongside in Creux harbour.
Once dried out we walked up to the village deciding to hire bikes the next day to go see all of the island. It is really well worth the visit.
There are no cars on Sark but there are quite a number of tractors which seem very busy.

There were some other boats which came into Creux harbour in the three days we spent there but it was quite swelly and no one stayed for many days.

After Creux harbour we went and anchored again in Dixcart bay and then in Fermain bay back on Guernsey before going into St Peter Port marina to stock up for going back North.

Ti Gitu took the tide up to Alderney and should have had strong current with us but the very high spring tides didn't do what all the tide tables predicted and apart from going through the little Russell we didn't get much of a helping hand.

Arriving in Braye harbour it was apparent that the West swell was finding it's way in and despite deploying the flopper stopper and having paid for two days we decided that the place should be re named 'Pray' (for no swell) harbour and like many others we left the following morning and sailed for Portland back in England. That wasn't a bad crossing but the very strong spring tides did push us sideways a good ten miles and with making really good speed meant that we had to continually update the navigation so as to arrive where we wanted. Aren't chart plotters great.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

North to Sark.


Ti Gitu left jersey and headed North to Sark where we anchored in Dixcart bay. This is a very popular anchorage because it is one of the best places to get ashore. That is if you can carry your dinghy up the steep stony beach. When we landed Mo asked a group of Belgian visitors if the men would help carry the dinghy above the high water line. They did and then realised that there was a large pod of dolphins in the bay and would I be good enough to take the children out to see them. So the dinghy was re launched and Mum and three children came out and watched the dolphins for a while before the men carried the dinghy up the beach again. Mum said the experience would be remembered forever.

Mo and I walked up into the village which is rather magical. Dirt roads, no cars, pony and traps for transport with just a few farm tractors. We had a good look round the village before heading back to the boat.

We decided that without a very lightweight dinghy landing is very difficult and telephoned the harbour master who said it would be fine for us to go into the tiny Creux harbour. There is really only one berth alongside where a yacht will dry out at a sensible angle and after two attempts when there were yachts on that berth and with bad weather coming we scurried over to Guernsey to anchor for one night before coming into the marina first thing in the morning. We were really pleased to have come in a bit early as later the staff were having to raft boats up to three deep as everyone wanted to hide from the gale. Outside it was really rough and even in the marina we rolled quite a bit when the sill is covered by the tide.

We think we will go try Sark again when the bad weather has passed.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Jersey


Ti Gitu spent a few days in St Aubin drying out alongside the wall in soft mud. This is a nice harbour but the yacht must be able to take the ground. There is electric by card from the chandlers and water is freely available.

Outside in the bay is an enormous drying area of fairly hard sand. We planned to use this for one or two tides to untwist our anchor chain and give the bottom a wipe over to remove slight slime and a coating of mud from drying out in the harbour.

Ti Gitu spends a lot of time at anchor and every couple of years I need to lay the anchor chain out as it becomes twisted. Many people use a stainless swivel to stop this. For two reasons I do not like them. The first is that I just don't trust them and the second is that the galvanising (zink) on the chain is anodic to stainless which means that if used for a while the galvanising on the chain will be gone. There are galvanised swivels but they tend to be big and would make stowing the anchor difficult as there is little room on the bow of a junk schooner.

So it is out to dry out and straighten the chain.

We have cycled a lot and taken the bus to see the island. It is all nice but everything is expensive compared to mainland UK and even compared to Guernsey. A bus journey of any length on Guernsey costs £1, on Jersey it is £2.20 so to catch a bus to the bus station and then out to another place the round trip costs £8.80 for each person. On Guernsey you can actually go all the way round the island for £1.

Also a consultation with a doctor was needed which costs £64.00 a time, even people who live here have to pay over £40. Ouch!!!

One thing we did notice is that if you stand on a street corner looking at a map then very quickly a Jersey resident will approach you with offers of  help and directions. Really friendly people!!

All in all a nice place to visit but not for too long. Now on to Sark.

Friday, 13 July 2018

South to Jersey.


After a couple of days in St Peter Port marina we went back round to anchor in Petit Port. That was rolly and we decided that we must have a new 'flopper stopper' so it was back into the marina for a day and a quick trip to B & Q for some timber. A days frantic work saw us the owners of a folding flopper stopper which we haven't tested yet. (someone's law??? )

Sailed to the South of Jersey and anchored in St Aubins bay. This is an enormous sandy bay that half dries out at low water springs. After a few days went along and tried St Brelades bay where we went ashore but it is just a holiday resort so we moved back to St Aubins and after one night went into the small harbour of St Aubin which totally dries out. When queen Victoria's husband 'Albert' visited he asked 'why do you always build your harbours on dry land?'

Initially we had to moor outside another boat and the bottom slope made sleeping a problem but the next day we were able to move alongside the wall where the bottom is more level.


Dried out in St Aubin for first time.

It is somewhat difficult to understand what the problem with being independent of the EU is. The Channel islands are not part of the UK, just a dependency. They are not part of the EU just having an agreement with them. The islands, especially Jersey are very, very affluent societies seeming to do very well outside both the UK and the EU. Why won't Britain do OK as well???

We are currently cycling around looking at the West coast and St Helier. The marina in St Helier looks the pits. The visitors berths are near a skate board park and a main road so really noisy and only have high stone walls to look at. St Aubin is much more pleasant if your boat can dry out. However the marina did very kindly receive mail for me which included the sim card for my phone from the '3' group which worked straight away.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Alderney


Avery pleasant couple of days were spent in Bray harbour but on the third night the wind picked up and we found out why it is not good to be there in a North East wind. The swell came rolling in and set all the boats rolling and pitching. We ended up trying to sleep in the middle of the boat. On the cabin floor and the settee.

The next morning we left Bray and went just a few miles to a tiny anchorage on the South West corner of the island called Hannaine Bay. It has a very narrow entrance but inside is a sandy bottom with good holding for the anchor just below a castle. Not perfectly flat water but soooo much better than being in Bray and Ti Gitu is the only boat here. It appears that the wind tends to funnel round here so it is stronger in the anchorage than outside but that does keep the wind generator going well.

The islands just to the south of us are totally covered in gnu (guano) and thousands and thousands of gannets. Reminds us of Scotland.

After 3 nights there we sailed South first to Sark but with the fresh wind that was blowing did not like the depth of the anchorage and the little sheltered bay where there are moorings was full so we sailed across to the South of Guernsey and anchored in Petit Port a bay sheltered from East round to nearly West. Slightly rolly at certain times of the tide but acceptable.

We will look to go into St Peter Port soon and do a trip round the island.

Would you believe my mobile phone account with GiffGaff stopped working. It appears that to them the Channel Islands are not in the UK or Europe and so
they can't sort it until I go back to the UK. It all works OK until it goes wrong, then there is no one to telephone, you have to contact an agent - whatever that is - but impossible from here. So I made a complaint in the hope of sorting it. Useless!!! I'm now looking for a new provider.

 

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Along the French Coast


Fecamp.

Well we thought Ramsgate was bad but Fecamp is worse. We arrived in virtually no wind and a flat sea but inside the harbour there was a swell that had Ti Gitu snatching at her mooring lines and rolling around for which pleasure we were charged £35.00. If you can avoid the place then do.

 

After one lousy night in Fecamp we decided to sail the 60 miles across to St Vaast. It was blowing well from the North and we had a romping but rough sail arriving at high water which meant it was easy to enter. The marina gate is only open for a couple of hours each side of high water.

We were tired and so stayed 2 nights. Really expensive at 40 Euros a night and despite being a pretty place certainly not worth that.

It is a shame that these French harbours seem to have got onto the British type gravy train of charging the earth for a nights stay. Some years ago there was an article where many Mayer's of these places explained that the prices were kept reasonable so that yachts visited and spent cash in the towns. They do not get our cash any more. In fact after St Vaast we went to Cherbourg but didn't bother to go into the marina, we anchored inside the breakwater at the Western end where we had a really good nights sleep.

The following morning Ti Gitu took the tide along to Alderney. Reading the cruising books they say to cross the Alderney race 4 hours after high water at St Helier. If you do that it means leaving Cherbourg and plugging a foul tide. I watched yachts doing that and could see that once outside the breakwater they were hardly moving.

After examining the tide tables for ages we decided to leave with a fair tide and head well North so that when 5 miles North of Cap de la Hauge we would get the current pushing us South towards Alderney. We nearly got it perfect. We had no wind and a flat sea but were about half an hour earlier than we really wanted as the strength of current was more than we assumed from the tide tables. We ran the engine at little more than tick over giving about 3.5 knots through the water yet with the current we covered the 24 miles in just over 4 hours an average of 6 knots. The current through the Alderney race is spectacular running at 5 knots. Wind over tide here must be impossible!!!!

Anyway we are now anchored in Bray harbour where despite being open to the North East and having winds from that direction the wind is so light that it is not a problem. The moorings here are £15 a night and to anchor with use of showers etc. is a fiver, they even take just 5 Euros as well for a nights anchoring. Helps us get rid of the dam things.

I see that the Scottish Island of Ulva has finally been purchase by the local community. Good for them!!!!