Have you ever dreamt of going across the seas on sail? Leaving from one shore, and then after a long overnight passage, sea the sun rise on another? Relay your crew mates from their night watch? Keep your position on the chart in the light of a head torch? Take some headings on a lighthouse off the coast to make sure we are on course? Live a great adventure at sea? Then this trip is for you.
We will start from the Solent, a world famous sailing area located between the English south coast and the Isle of Wight. We will spend the first day or two exploring the Solent and the Isle of Wight, get acquainted with the yacht, learn to work as a crew, and wait for the proper wind conditions.
Then we will leave for the overnight passage to the Channel Islands, an approximately 20-hour journey. We will leave the Isle of Wight behind us and pass along the white cliffs of the ‘Needles’ while the sun sets over the Channel. As the night sets we will keep watch by teams of 2 or 3, to hold the course and keep an eye on passing ships. Watches will relay every 3 hours, and after a night of cruising, we will see Alderney appear in the morning light. We will take a break in Alderney or continue straight to Guernsey and head to the pub for a well deserved dinner!
On the next day, depending on our preferences, we can either explore the Channel Islands further, or take a hop to the French coast for some baguette and croissants. It will then be time to take the return journey, with the crew now hopefully working like a dream team!
This sailing trip will be more technical than our usual destinations and will be perfect for those who would like to take it one step further than sailing in the Mediterranean. Sailing in the Med is comparatively easy, since there are hardly any tides or currents. In many parts of the world however, cruising around in a yacht requires a lot more preparation. Departure and arrival times have to be calculated to be with the tide, and not against it. Getting the timing right makes the difference between fighting for hours against the current and going nowhere at all, or shooting forward at 10 knots and arriving to the pub just on time! The height of tide also needs to be calculated at every port to make sure that there is enough water under the keel. Actually, many harbours on this route will only be accessible at specific heights of tide, so we will need to get it right by looking up the values in an almanac, which is a thick book full of numbers ;). And again, when anchoring we will need to look up the tide heights to make sure we do not end up on the sand in the middle of the night once the tide has fallen 😉
So, for all those interested in learning how to prepare a sailing passage, calculate the tides, organise the crew and the watches, keep the navigation and fix your position, this is a trip for you!
This trip will also put our team spirit to the test. Everyone will have to play several roles on board, from taking the helm, to keeping watch at night, keeping track on the chart or simply putting the kettle on for the on-watch crew. We will have to work together as a team, take active roles and help out where and whom it’s needed.
This is your opportunity to taste how life is on board a boat headed for a long offshore passage or an ocean crossing. Stepping into this cruising microcosm, where all life is contained within a self-reliant plastic hull, is a unique experience. It is a plunge into a strange world where all rules are different from life on land, and you never quite come back the same.
Crossing the channel twice in 6 days (each of which is a 20 hours passage) is an ambitious program, and we will need to have the correct weather window, that means not too much mind, not too little, and from the right direction! There is therefore no guarantee that we can do the crossing. In case the weather doesn’t allow however, we will sail the south English coast and the goals of the week will stay unchanged: tasting longer offshore passages, sailing at night, and learning about navigation in a more challenging tidal environment.
It is recommended for this trip that you have sailed at least once before and are not overly sensitive to sea sickness. If you are in doubt or have limited experience, get in touch with us!
Channel Sailing Highlights
What you can expect to do on this route.
Channel Crossing Itinerary
We are true to the discoverers’ spirit and plan our adventures accordingly to the winds, the weather and your wishes. This means the order as well as some of stopovers may be different than presented below. Leave planning at home! The plan showed below is only an indicative itinerary and your trip may differ. Only the mad ones sail against the wind!