Ecrehous Day Trip
It was clear as the week progressed that high pressure would be building for the weekend and conditions would be ideal for a day trip to the Ecrehous, the only issue was that nobody seemed to be available for the paddle.
It was too good a day to miss though so I headed out on my own. A quick radio call to Jersey Coastguard and I settled into a steady pace. It was interesting to note an almost complete absence of birds whilst paddling just a few gannets and an inquisitive cormorant were my only companions on the crossing. Arriving at the reef I expected to be greeted by numerous boats which had crossed from both Jersey and Normandy but it was surprisingly quiet. Just a few on the moorings and a couple more fishing the outer edges of the reef.
The light southerly wind which had aided my journey out died away completely whilst having an early lunch so the return paddle was in quite exceptional conditions for a couple of days after the autumn equinox.
Sea kayaking is a social activity but sometimes a few hours on the water on your own, focuses your thoughts, ensures that you have confidence in your own navigation and provides the opportunity paddle in your own rhythm without always having to refer to other members of the group.
Looking back towards the north coast of Jersey. These were the only boats moored at the reef apart from a couple of French yachts. In complete contrast to the last visit hen upwards of 60 boats were at the reef.
The Jersey flag flying over the reef indicated that people were in residence.
Some of the small houses. The faint outline of the French coast is just visible.
The French side of the shingle bank, my kayak is just visible close to the rocks. Its a much shorter carry landing on this side of the reef.
Looking north along the tombolo. Great surfing waves develop across the pebbles at high water on spring tides.
I first visited the Ecrehous by kayak in 1974 and despite numerous visits I can never remember bumping into other Jersey paddlers.
Heading back to Jersey I paddled around the north of the reef before heading towards the Petite Rousse. The tide was heading south with considerable speed, I reached more than 8 knots on several occasions.
The north coast of Jersey is just visible beyond the Petite and Grande Rousse. The 5 nautical miles passed in less than an hour.
Leaving the Ecrehous, one of the great sea kayaking day trips.