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

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


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


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


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!!!!



Saturday, 16 June 2018

Across to France and along the coast.

Ti Gitu sailed down to the Colne river and we went up the river to the free pontoon at Wivenhoe but Ti Gitu is just too big and there we met Graham who lives in Rowhedge and helped us go there where we dried out alongside the quay and spent a couple of days looking round Colchester.

It was then across the Thames estuary in fog with torrential downpours and incredible thunder and lightning to Queensborough for a couple of nights so that we could visit family.

Queensborough is expensive for what you get mooring wise so after that we went through the Swale and anchored at the Western end for a few days waiting for the fog to clear and the wind to turn. From there it was straight round to Dover avoiding Ramsgate which we really do not like.

A few nights in Dover and then across to Boulogne where we visited the old city. We were amazed at the yachts that simply visit for one night without visiting the old city which is spectacular.

Along the coast is Le Treport which has a difficult, tidal, entry and a lock to enter the marina which is very full with just a few places for visiting yachts. It is a very 'kiss me quick' sea side town with just a few proper attractions and we have no idea how they work out the marina prices, suffice to say that the prices are 50% more than the published ones making it a very expensive place to stay.

Ti Gitu is now in Dieppe and as the wind has gone fresh Westerly we are waiting here for a few days when it should give us a fair slant to get further along and hopefully reach the Channel Islands by next weekend.

Sailing West along this coast is not the best direction, as to take the up to 2 knot tide with you means leaving at high water. That means that you arrive at some of the harbours at low tide when the entrance is dried out. In general this means that the harbours that don't dry are favoured and some interesting ports are missed.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Sailing again 2018

The end of last summer saw us leave Holland and sail along to Dunkerque before crossing and once again going into Sandwich in Kent for a week. Sandwich can be difficult but the harbourmaster is helpful and found us a berth where we didn't dry out on too much of an angle.

After visiting family we sailed North across the Thames estuary and went into the Walton Backwaters before going up to Ipswich.

After our last summer in Holland and the Baltic sea we had decided to spend the winter in Ipswich We loved Holland but won't bother going any further if we go that way again.

Ti Gitu is now 16 years old and the underwater paint had begun to fail. As she has twin keels and can be easily dried out I have been able to keep her well protected but the time was approaching when she would need grit blasting and re painting. We had intended to have the bottom blasted and to re paint in Poland but didn't manage to get there last year.

The marina in Ipswich will allow blasting and so we booked for Ti Gitu to be lifted out during April and booked the equipment to do the job, brought the grit and everything else needed and set about the job.

It was a month of incredibly hard work even with help from friends but with nine coats of paint it will hopefully last for a long time.

A nice clean bottom!
We were intending to head North to Scotland for the summer but May has seen cold North winds and so we haven't gone.

Despite Ti Gitu being really easy to sail we now don't really want to do the hard sailing that we used to especially not to windward and also prefer to day sail now. That means sailing round Britain will take about 45 days sailing from where we are and as there are only four months or about 120 days left before we want to be in a winter berth again that doesn't leave much time to see places and people.

With that in mind we are deciding where to go and the North coast of France and the Channel Isles are beginning to look attractive.

It will of course be the height of the sailing season and be busy but we may decide to put up with that. Time will tell.