Sunday, August 31, 2014

St Aubin's Bay Circuit

An early Sunday morning from Belcroute allowed a paddling circuit of St Aubin's Bay.  High tide meant that it was an easy launch of the pebbles, sheltered from the NW wind, which was blowing over the cliffs. After rounding St Aubin's Fort the wind, on our sterns, speeded our journey to Elizabeth Castle, our second major military fortification of the day. The return, into the headwind, wasn't as easy but the sun was out and it was a great morning to be out on the water.
St Aubin's Fort was our first target.  It was completed in the 1540's when St Aubin's was the main harbour on the island.  Additional fortifications were added by the German's during the Second World War.  Today it is operated as an activity centre by Education, Sport and Culture.
 Heading east across St Aubin's Bay we avoided the hobie cats, which were racing around the Bay.  Elizabeth Castle, offshore from St Helier, was built in the late 16th and 17th centuries.  Sir Walter Raleigh, who was Governor of the Island named the castle in honour of his Queen.
 In the 1970's and 80's members of the Jersey Canoe Club used to leave St Helier every Thursday night and usually included a circumnavigation of the castle on their paddle.  It is an area we venture into less frequently nowadays, which is pity is it is a fascinating historic paddle.
 Elizabeth Castle is well worth a visit on foot.
The end of the 19th century breakwater is painted as a navigation mark
 Crossing St Aubin's Bay was straight into the north westerly wind.  Offshore a cruise ship, of which there have been many more in Jersey this summer, lies at anchor.
 There was a slight swell having an impact on visibility, at times.
 We finished with a visit to Noirmont, returning to Belcroute along a pleasant section of
coastline.  A great 6.5 nautical miles.

No comments: