Up the Creek - Further Afield
Beaucette, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Beaucette Marina (Tel: 01481-245000 or Mob 07781-102302 or VHF CH 80) on the NE tip of Guernsey is the first port of call from the north. As a marina it has all you would expect including fuel (at Channel Islands prices) and cycle & car hire. As a bonus there is a rather splendid restaurant (Tel: 01481-147066) on the premises serving exquisite meals at very reasonable prices. Booking is essential. The marina itself has an intimidating entrance which at one time was just a hole blown in the side of a very deep basin. It is not for the feint hearted but in essence it is no more difficult than entering a lock only one passes right on through although there must be some caution. There is a depth gauge on the outside but one should always first make contact with the Harbour Master for permission to enter (and depart) and you will be escorted through to your mooring. The entrance itself is narrow with a approx. 2½ M at half tide (approx. ±3 hrs for 1½M draft) but should there be any swell then extreme caution should be made with entry as near to HT as possible. In any strong north to south easterlies newcomers should avoid Beaucette altogether (but please return another day). Once making west from the Little Russel for Beaucette stay on the north side of the buoyed channel. The transits are a red vertical stripe on a white background on the north side of the entrance aligned to the same on the top of the white clubhouse building. When close inshore edge over to the south leaving the Pole beacon (S cardinal) to starboard. There are 4 (may vary) yellow waiting buoys just outside should you arrive early although sometimes one of these would literally disappear on an increasing tide (probably a twisted cable). You may be somewhat concerned at your own LOA on entry but the biggest they have accepted is around 110 ft so rest assured. Once in the entrance keep to the port side as on exit there is a wall ahead (with the Tide Gauge) where you will have to make a sharp turn to port and your stern will of course swing. Departing at night is extremely hazardous as there is a very powerful security light lighting the inside of the entrance. This literally kills your night site so have your helmsman below in the dark and hand over when in the entrance itself. There is limited space on the visitors moorings (pontoon) so again booking is essential. They also have a 16 Ton Boat hoist so should the need arise the service is on site.
The north east corner of the Island is quiet with some very good beaches and extremely good coastal walks. Of interest there are many historical forts dating back to the Napoleonic Wars, Pre-Martello Towers, a rifle range and many other structures of peculiar interest. Just relax in the dunes in the quiet! There is also a bus service (no 6 or 6A) to take you around the Island or direct to St. Peter Port for that essential shopping. Even for a non-walker, this part of the Island is NOT to be missed. Having been a visitor to the Island for the past 50 plus years I was rather surprised by the number of dilapidated and overgrown greenhouses that were once used for growing what Guernsey was famous for, Tomatoes. Its such a shame that after so many years the Bailiwick can’t find a profitable use for them again.