Thursday, March 14, 2013

Some more aerial shots

It has been a while since I posted a few aerial shots of some of the excellent sea kayaking destinations that I have flown over fairly recently.  They illustrate the advantages of keeping a camera at hand on any flights that you take.

Approaching Jersey from the west to land on the easterly runway.  The broad sweep of St Ouen's Bay is clearly visible.
When approaching from the east aircraft normally turn over the Ecrehous.  On this day it was clearly low water.
Banking just after take off from Copenhagen.  It is always surprising just how shallow some of the water is and what a large area it covers.
 Sand banks off the north coast of Holland.
 Fawley Oil terminal en route from Gatwick to Jersey.
Glaciers to the north of the Nussuaq Peninsula, west Greenland as we started our descent into Uummannaq.  A 70 minute helicopter flight north was followed by a 3 week trip south.
The west coast of Milos.  Fortunately it wasn't as windy when we had paddled this coast a few days earlier but the wind strength produced an "interesting" flight back to Athens.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

After the blizzard its time to paddle

After the snow it was time to head out kayaking again and to see how the Island had been transformed in the matter of a couple of days.  Nicky and myself took advantage of the early morning sunshine to launch from St Brelade's but it was obvious that the snow was already disappearing.  It was a beautiful 90 minutes out on the water, well worth the effort of digging the car out of the snow on the drive.
Nicky at St Brelade's.  Spring tides mean long carries.
 We headed east first towards La Cotte de St Brelade.  Probably the most important archaeological site in Jersey.  
 Looking into the heart of La Cotte de St Brelade.  More than a quarter of a million artefacts have been excavated at this site, which is proving crucial to our understanding of the Palaeolithic era in northern Europe.
From here we turned west towards Pt la Moye and the granite cliffs of the south west corner of the Island.
Pt la Moye, a popular destination with fishermen, not surprisingly we had the area to ourselves today.
Once we had been able to see Corbiere, we turned and headed back towards St Brelade's.
This is a great place to explore, on Sunday we had been scrambling and wading through the cave, which is just in front of the bow of the kayak.  Today though with a sea temperature below 7 degrees we wanted to keep as dry as possible.
 Beauport.  The 8 metre raised beach is visible at the back of the bay.  It is hard to imagine that this time last year people would have been sitting on this beautiful south facing beach.  Roll on the summer.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 2 of the Blizzard

This really was exceptional weather event for Jersey, the heaviest ever one day snowfall for March and very strong winds.  Jersey Airport has been closed for 2 days, it is hoped to start flying tomorrow afternoon.  With many roads impassable it was just a matter of heading out doors, experiencing the moment and taking some photographs.

South coast cliffs around La Rosiere, Corbiere is just visible in the distance.
This is the descent path of the start of the Gorselands coasteering trip.
The path, like to roads, has filled up with wind blown snow making progress hard work.
The garden shed is clearly not spindrift proof.
La Moye Golf Course.  Not sure what number hole is disappearing in the snow.
Lisa and Chester on the Railway Walk.
Its not that often that the Jersey pistes come into condition.
Jersey's premier apres ski location.
 The Five Mile Road.  The snow wasn't as deep here as we were at sea level.  Not the depth of the drifts on the right.
 Nicky on the south coast footpath, it if wasn't for the gorse it could have been the Lakes in winter.
Frozen gorse.  It is difficult to imagine the impact the weather is having on birds such as Dartford Warblers.  The summer migrants, Wheatears and Sand Martins which appeared on the Island at the weekend must have had a shock.
 Beauport.  Spot the high tide mark.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A March Blizzard

After a weekend of kayak, at times in very pleasant conditions it was a bit of a shock today as the Island was hit by one of the most severe blizzards since 1979.  Not a day for sea kayaking but if dressed appropriately a day for experiencing the great outdoors.  Just a few of todays photographs.

 Corbiere lighthouse is out there somewhere
 Lisa and Nicky on the cliff path at Gorseland
 La Rosiere, we had been paddled here yesterday with Tower Hamlets Canoe Club
 Nicky on the path at La Pulente, St Ouen's is behind
Snow covered rocks at Petit Port.  The low water spring tide had exposed a significant width of seashore.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A foggy March day

The forecast was for fog patches drifting up from the French coast, the reality was dense for nearly 7 hours.  With visiting members of the Tower Hamlets Canoe Club the plan was to split in to groups, with one party heading towards the Ecrehous via the Dirioulles whilst another group took a more direct line to the reef.
Visibility was severely limited and although some of us had GPS's on the deck we had worked out the bearing using the traditional method of drawing tidal vectors, which gave us the bearing to follow.  It was particularly satisfying after nearly 6nm in such restricted visibility the houses of Marmotier popped up when we were only about 40 metres away.
It was a memorable days sea kayaking although somewhat disappointing for our English visitors that they were unable to see the views of the reef.  At least it gives them an excuse, if they need one, to return.
As usual lunch was at the bench but it was no lying around in the sun today.  Text communication with my daughter revealed that about 6 miles away she was basking in warm spring sunshine.
 Looking north along the tombolo.
Looking north through the houses.
Above shows the view towards Maitre Ile, whilst the view below is a photo taken from the same location on a slightly more pleasant day.