48°38.9'N 2°1.0'W St Malo, France
Jersey is 14 miles at its closest point to France and we were lucky enough to have a bank holiday weekend, some decent weather forecast and a couple of friends.
We were also very keen to test Silver Paws cruising faculties. It’d been a few months of preparations and wanted to utilise our delayed departure to trial some miles and see how she fared.
The tides meant a 5a.m departure was required for passage from Jersey to St Malo. The waters around us in the English Channel are some of the most tidal in the world and if you don’t catch the tide you will go nowhere quickly.
Abi & I whipped up some scrambled eggs, spinach, salmon and avocado which set us right up for the day. It was pretty chilly so we set the boat to course snuggled in the cockpit, reading, napping and watching the boys fail at fishing with a hand line (which met a fateful end).
We didn’t make the window of opportunity to enter St Malo through the lock, so we berthed in Saint Servant. Summer arrived that day in St Malo and it was a warm stroll across to the walled town. We went for a cold drink, changed venue, did the same, then repeated again, and again. A theme emerged, you weren’t allowed to order the same drink you’d already had. We got shizzled, ate perfect steaks in a rather traditional french restaurant then ended up in a bar which served terrible cocktails but you could consume them from swings at the bar with a bunch of creepy dolls watching you.
Following day we crawled to Chausey in mild fog. On arrival the fog parted to reveal ‘Venetius’ full of all our friends! I’d prepared a spread but the fisherman aboard Venetius had outdone us with a banquet of seafood. I swapped Lobster for Brie. #winning. After feasting, the paddle boards got wet and a swimming race ensued before we piled as many mates as we could in the tender and did runs back and forth to explore this special wee french island.
Chausey. French, tiny, quaint and nautical. No cars, tiny school, one pub, one shop; all cobbled together with meandering paths and cottages. It’s unapologetically nautical, even the church alters are all shrines to boats and the stained glass is littered with fishermans prayers. A stroll is all you need to loop the island, taking you neatly back to the pub, with a panorama over the estuary and setting sun.