Join us sailing across the English Channel

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!

Tidal and Offshore Sailing

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!

790€ PP


📆 7 nights, departures:

26th July 2019

✈️ Southampton (SOU)

🌊 English Channel

🔴 Advanced sailing with tides and night navigation


Cross seas and borders

Start in England, stop at the pub in the Channel Islands, drop for a croissant in France and sail back!

Offshore and Tidal Sailing

Calculate the passage to match the tide, and ride the races like an ace. Check if we will stay afloat after the falling tide. Become a hand bearing compass hero.

Overnight passage

Experience sailing through the night, taking watches. Learn to keep the course using stars, determine your position with lighthouses, and identify other boats by their navigation lights.

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!

 

Isle of Wight

Famous as a holiday destination and for its scenic landscapes, the Isle of Wight has also a long maritime, shipbuilding and sailing tradition. It is the departure place of many races and regattas. We will stop over in Cowes for lunch, or for the night, and breathe in the Victorian charm of the island.

 

Bucklers Hard

To reach Bucklers Hard we will need to sail the picturesque river Beaulieu upstream. The Georgian cottages were built in the 18th century by the second duke of Montagu, as a shipbuilding and trading harbour for the West Indies. Today the estate hosts a maritime museum. In this quiet and scenic place we can stay for our first night either by the pontoon or on a buoy.

 

The Needles

These two sharp chalk stacks are the guardians of the Solent. They are the last landmarks when coming out of the straight and entering the Channel. The Needles lighthouse was built in 1859, and manned until 1992!

 

Alderney

The third largest of the Channel Islands, it has no cities, neither harbour that could accommodate us, but we can drop anchor! Like the other Channel Islands, Alderney is a self-governing Crown Dependency with its own parliament. The island is only 6km long, so everything is within walking distance. There are many forts, bunkers and ruins that we can explore!

 

Guernsey

Guernsey is where we will best feel the culture and singular status of the Channel Islands. A British Crown dependency, but outside the UK and therefore the EU (which the UK will have left by that time anyway), its inhabitants are however British citizens. It forms with Alderney, Sark and other smaller islands the Bailiwick of Guernsey (separate from the Bailiwick of Jersey!). Guernsey print its own Pound Sterling, and UK pounds can be used here but not quite the opposite. We’ll try to get our head around all this while heading for the local pub and check if taxes on drinks are indeed lower here!

 

Diélette

An old and typical fishing village, this is one of the harbours along the French coast we may stop in. We’ll visit the boulangerie for some croissants and baguette, perhaps buy some fish and just enjoy the quiet charm of a village that is not flooded with tourists!

 

Cherbourg

Facing Britain across the channel, the city has a long history as an important military port. The bay is protected by a more than 6km long breakwater, built in the 19th century under Napoleon, after earlier attempts in the 18th century. Protected by those walls, Cherbourg is the second biggest artificial harbour in the world!

 

Keep the connection

Day 8 is the day to say goodbye. All the miles sailed, coasts visited, skills gained and time shared with others will make you bond and build relationships. Cherish these, keep in touch and remember that the Naleia Sailing family is there. See you another time!

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