A little boat and a big ocean.

19 July 2020
18 September 2015 | Beaulieu River, UK 50’27.32N 2’32.09W – Hayling Yacht Company, Hayling Island, UK 50 48.27’N 0’58.24W via Wicor Marine, UK
14 September 2015 | St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W – Beaulei River, UK 50’27.32N 2’32.09W via Studland Bay, UK
12 September 2015 | Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W – St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W
07 September 2015 | St Peter Port, Guernsey 49’27.32N 2’32.09W – Harve Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W
01 September 2015 | Tregarvan, Aulne River, France 48’15.16N 4’14.00W – St Peter Port, Guernsey 49’27.32N 2’32.09W via Cameret Sur Mer, France & Herm, Guernsey
23 August 2015 | Ile de Penfret, Iles de Glenan, France 47’43.05N 3’57.04W – Tregarvan, Aulne River, France 48’15.16N 4’14.00W via Anse de Kerautret, River Odet, France, Englishmans Cove, River Odet, France & Camerat sur Mer, France
19 August 2015 | Treac’h er Gourhed, Ile Houat, France 47’22.99N 2’56.85W - Ile de Penfret, Iles de Glenan, France 47’43.05N 3’57.04W via Port Kerel, Belle Ile, France & Port Tudy, Groix, France
14 August 2015 | La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W – Treac’h er Gourhed, Ile Houat, France 47’22.99N 2’56.85W via Anse des Vieilles, Ile d’Yeu, France & Trebezy, St Nazaire, France
08 August 2015 | Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W – La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W
04 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W – Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W
01 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W
28 July 2015 | Luarco, Spain 43’32.87N 6’32.08W – Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W via Laurno
24 July 2015 | Ria Vivero, Spain 43’40.55N 7‘36.16W – Luarco, Spain 43’32.87N 6’32.08W via Ribadeo, Spain
21 July 2015 | Ria de Cedeira, Spain 43’39.26N 8’03.74W – Ria Vivero, Spain 43’40.55N 7‘36.16W
16 July 2015 | Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’43.01N 25’25.75W – Ria de Cedeira, Spain 43’39.26N 8’03.74W, via Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores
06 July 2015 | Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’44.29N 25’39.94W – Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’43.01N 25’25.75W
30 June 2015 | Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Azores 38’39.15N 27’12.97W – Ponta Delgada, Sao Migual, Azores 37’44.29N 25’39.94W
25 June 2015 | Velas, Sao Jorge, Azores 38’40.82N 28’12.16W – Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Azores 38’39.15N 27’12.97W
19 June 2015 | Horta, Faial, Azores 38’31.99N 28’37.50W – Velas, Sao Jorge, Azores 38’40.82N 28’12.16W via Cais do Pico, Pico Azores

Bristles.

12 September 2015 | Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W – St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W
Every island around the world seem to have been, at some point in their lives, been invaded by marauding hordes. To defend against these unwanted visitors the key strategic points of those islands have been fortified to repel the invaders. Alderney is different. It's never been invaded and unlike other islands where just the strategic points are defended, every point, every bay, every brook and every beach is bristling with fortifications that have never had need to fire a shot.

One of the reasons Alderney has never been invaded is due to the tide that rips around the island making sailing there a heart stopping experience. This is exacerbated when the wind is blowing over the tide creating a world of white water. It was therefore with some trepidation and our hearts in our mouths that we approach the island when the tide was ripping and the wind blowing over it. We just hoped that our pilot book, tidal atlas and local knowledge, whose advice we were following to the letter would prove to be correct.

Amazingly everything proved to be right and we scooted around the island into the not quite so protected surrounds of Braye Harbour. In the North Easterly wind Ruffian bucked and kicked at her mooring making everything apart from lying down a real effort. It felt like we were sailing in rough seas and Iain quickly succumbed to seasickness while Fiona took the better option of going horizontal.

Deciding that either staying on Ruffian or going horizontal were not good options Iain ventured ashore to seek connectivity. The laptop pinged and emails flew in. There at the top of the list was the fruit of his labour from his time in the UK. A job offer was waiting and so within weeks Iain will be exchanging his tattered shorts and flip-flops, and his simple live-aboard lifestyle, for 3 piece suits with leather soled shoes and the cut and thrust of corporate life. Change is on its way on for the Ruffians.

With renewed vigour for exploring, Iain dragged Fiona out of her horizontal position and we walked every inch of the island. Around every corner we were presented with forts, gun emplacements, firing pits, machine gun posts and artillery positions. The air of menace was palpable and it was no wonder that the island had, over the years, proven to be impenetrable.

When all the fortifications were armed, having the barrels of guns pointing out of them in every direction, the whole island must have looked like one giant hedgehog, but as the guns left real hedgehogs returned. Alderney isn't home to normal hedgehogs, its home to very special blond ones and like all some blonds, they are a bit dense.

Taking to the countryside at night armed with a couple of torches that were powerful enough to be classed as light sabres we sought out these blond creatures. When they were highlighted, instead of running away from the light they just froze. This freezing strategy doesn't prove to be a particularly effective form of camouflage, as blond hedgehogs in the middle of green fields glow like moveable snack points for any predators. It's no wonder that this is the only place the poor things survive.

The more time we spent on the island the more people we met and the more the tiny community impressed us. We seemed to meet the same people again and again and all working like Billleo. We met a bar man at a bar, again on a diary farm and finally at the convenience store. The water taxi driver moonlighted as a pig farmer and photographer and the chandlery manager was also an architect and the head of planning. Talk about multi tasking.

With jobs now waiting, haul out dates 'booked'*, boat shows happening and an exciting arrival planned, we need to cross the channel and finally after exactly 3 ½ years of exploring new places head back to our home waters of the Solent.

*In so much that you can every book anything with the best boatyards.

A nice protected bay, with only a 400 mile fetch and a 4 foot swell!


The signs of war tower over everything.


Aye, that'll be a police car then.


What a cool place to live.


That's not a snow capped peak, it's a poo covered rock.


You can just imagine the troops parading.


Ruffian finally finds some flat water.


Lest we forget.


That's more like it.


Iain takes up position in a 'Tobruk' pit.


One scary lookout.


It's all happening out at sea.


Yo blondie. Shouldn't you normally be a brunette?


Lookouts for the saving and taking of life.


Poor Larry isn't looking forward to the fog.

Comments
Vessel Name: Ruffian
Vessel Make/Model: Sadler 34
Hailing Port: Newcastle
Ruffian's Photos - Main
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Created 29 January 2016

Who we are.

Port: Newcastle